Premier must clarify – are we cost-cutting or building a new Legislature?

By Francois Rodgers, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance:

KZN’s ANC-led government appears to have done an about turn on cost-cutting measures announced just days ago, with claims that the provincial cabinet recently conducted a visit to the site of a proposed new legislature complex.

The move comes after austerity measures – including the freezing of all vacant government posts – were reinforced via a Treasury circular on Wednesday last week in an effort to address the R3billion shortfall created by ballooning public servant salaries.

Certainly, KZN’s cost-cutting steps ring hollow with the provincial government now seemingly “hell bent” on relocating its parliamentary precinct – a move which has no benefit to the people of the province.

A new legislature will cost KZN citizens an anticipated R1billion.  This is a figure that could well treble given the ANC’s track record of poorly managed state projects such as Nkandla and the Madupi power plant.

It is ironic that while cost-cutting is being implemented to address the R3billion shortfall, the monies ‘saved’ may well end up being spent on a new legislature.

The DA will not tolerate the siphoning of money away from critical service delivery areas.

We expect Premier Mchunu to decide what his cabinet’s priorities are.

Either they are to improve the lives of KZN’s people with service delivery and sustained economic development through job creation.  Or they are to improve the lives of MPL’s and create his own “legacy” in the form of an expensive building.

We call on the Premier, his Cabinet and ANC members of the legislature to walk the talk.

Given the current economic landscape it is not the time to be taking impulsive decisions that are not a priority to the people of KZN.