By Adv Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson for Economic Affairs:
The Democratic Alliance urges Premier Sylvia Lucas to expedite the appointment of the Member of the Executive Council for Finance, Economic Development & Tourism as well as permanent heads of department for the provincial Treasury and the department of Economic Development & Tourism. The departments have had acting heads since October 2014 and November 2014, respectively.
Since the resignation last week of the former MEC for Finance, Economic Development & Tourism, it becomes even more important to have permanency in key positions.
It is detrimental to the stability of the departments when there is uncertainty about senior positions and it makes delivering on core mandates more difficult. Both are key departments in creating an economic environment in which jobs can be created.
With the highest youth unemployment rate in the country, we need the departments to be geared towards expanding economic opportunities to all and not to be wondering about what’s going to happen next.
Departments will be presenting their annual reports to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature soon; who will be held accountable for mismanagement and maladministration when there is neither a MEC nor a HOD?
We have called on the premier to take her responsibilities seriously before. She is neglecting het duty in terms of section 12(1)(b) of the Public Service Act, which mandates her to appoint heads of department.
It is a national objective that funded vacancies, such as heads of departments, must be filled within six months.
However, the premier has sat back and now the provincial Treasury has had an acting head for a year. The department of Economic Development & Tourism has had an acting head for eleven months.
We call on the premier to appoint skilled professionals with the interests of the people at heart to these vacancies. We need knowledgeable officials who will care more about the public than about personal gain in these positions.
The Northern Cape cannot afford another MEC who defrauds the province or corruptly enriches himself.