A government that needs resort to propaganda is a government in trouble

By Roy Jankielsohn, Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The below member statement was delivered by the Leader of the Official Opposition, Roy Jankielsohn (MPL), during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today:

The propaganda event broadcast on channel 404 on SABCN on Tuesday evening, 6 October 2015, between 19H30 and 21H15 will not fool the people of the Free State.

The event broadcast a video clip of each department and allowed each MEC to propagate messages on their service delivery.

Allow me to give some examples of this:

A proud announcement by the MEC of Health that he is distributing flavoured condoms. This announcement was made while our hospitals have shortages of staff, regular shortages of medication and consumables, and some rural hospitals have shut down wards due to shortages of funding and personnel.

An announcement by the MEC of COGTAHS that her department is delivering houses. Her reasoning was because not a single video clip in her department’s presentation did not have a house in it. All over the province our people are left with many half-finished or poorly constructed state houses that cost hundreds of millions of wasted Rands.

The MEC for Public Works proudly showed hospitals that are empty and will be opened “sometime in the future”.

The visibly nervous and insecure MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development’s presentation included two still unsustainable projects that are subject to investigations by the Public Protector, namely the Vrede Dairy Project and Hlasela flagship Diyatalawa Agri Village project that have already cost hundreds of millions of Rands.

While citing matric results as a major achievement, the MEC for Education failed to explain why most of our learners in the Free State drop out of school before reaching grade 12.

Other MECs and the Premier gave similar propaganda presentations.

The DA will submit questions to determine what the provincial government paid for this propaganda exercise, while so many of our people are without basic services, unemployed, and hungry.

Such propaganda exercises will not fool our people who have to live amongst the sewerage and refuse because service delivery has collapsed, or those whose children face bleak futures due to the poor quality of education, or whose family members die or have to live lives of pain due to failures in the healthcare system.

That is why the ANC membership in the Free State has declined from 121 074 members in 2012 to a meagre 51 088 today.

Speaker, a government that has to revert to such propaganda, and then actually believes its own propaganda, is a government in serious trouble.

In the Western Cape where the DA governs, we do not need to waste taxpayer money on frivolous propaganda. The DA’s track record in service delivery speaks for itself. Where we govern, we deliver and improve people’s lives for the better.