DA Eastern Cape throw down the gauntlet ahead of Premier Masualle's 2015 SOPA

FEBRUARY 19, 2015

As final preparations and logistics conclude for Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle's 2015 State of the Province Address at the Bhisho Legislature on Friday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Thursday laid down the challenge for the Premier with a list of expectations.

“Fortunately we all know -- as does the premier of the Eastern Cape -- that there is nothing to laugh about regarding the state of our province. There are so many areas that need determined attention and drastic action that it is hard to prioritise these,” said DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader, Athol Trollip, in a statement.

“For the man in the street in the Eastern Cape, I would assume that the main areas of concern are the following; Unemployment; Corruption; Crime; Education and Service delivery.”

Trollip said that corruption is endemic across all of these areas.

“Service delivery or the quality thereof is what makes our lives liveable or not.

“Sadly our lives and livelihoods are compromised by poor service delivery in this province. We look forward to the premier telling us how these issues will be dealt with differently because there is no ‘good story to tell’,” he said.

UNEMPLOYMENT

“Unemployment has become a curse in South Africa. Not only does it directly affect those who deal with its harsh reality on a daily basis, it places strain on whole families and demoralises our youth, who, whilst attending school and studying at institutions of higher learning, have this bleak future ahead of them,” said Trollip.

“The ANC and its tripartite alliance partners have destroyed over 720 jobs a day since Jacob Zuma became president. Between 2009 and 2014 the expanded unemployment rate has increased.

“This situation puts more strain on this province’s social welfare/net resources and directly reduces revenue.

“This whirlpool scenario has got worse under the Zuma administration and premier Masualle is one of Zuma’s appointees.”

CORRUPTION

He said that despite President Zuma’s public commitment that the ANC is combating corruption, it has escalated to pandemic proportions in his term of office and this province is sadly no exception. 

“Corruption is unfortunately not something that happens in a vacuum; it is endemic and affects every aspect of our government, service delivery and society in general. This is not surprising (they say a fish rots from the head down).

“We still have not seen any action taken against the ANC politicians who committed blatant fraud and corruption during President Mandela’s funeral (this despite the ANC’s Integrity Commission promising swift action). The ANC doesn’t have a shred of credibility in this province anymore in this regard. (Examples of corruption are myriad),” Trollip said.

CRIME

“Crime affects all of our lives and the poor in urban and rural areas are the hardest hit. Crimes against woman, children and the elderly are unprecedented anywhere else in the world with the exception of war-torn countries and those faced with the invasion of radical Islamist organisations such as Boko Haram and ISIS.

“Farm attacks, violent crime, stock theft and cash heists have all escalated out of control. This situation has besieged our society and allowed criminals to terrorise us all,” he added.

EDUCATION

Trollip said that despite miniscule improvement in the matric results, “we all know that the so called pass rate is actually a fig leaf indicator of the real state of education in our province. The fact that the number of successful matriculants, (43 778 out of 66 935, or 65.4%) is so low compared to the number of enrolled students twelve years earlier in 2003 in Grade 1 (286 598) is the statistic that tells the truth about the state of education in our province. 

“Our education system has therefore bequeathed a future of dependency on the state with no potential of gaining employment for the 218 050 children who did not finish their formal schooling.

He said that while the ANC has claimed to have built a new school a week in the last year, the matter of real concern is that it plans to close 1 498 schools (310 have already been closed) and it doesn’t have enough qualified, dedicated and competent teachers to teach our learners. 

“The ANC has allowed SADTU to destroy our education system despite us putting more money into education per learner than any other developing country in the world,” he said 

“The ANC must be held to account for the disconnect between per capita funding and educational outcomes. Parents can no longer stomach or accept his state of affairs.”

SERVICE DELIVERY

Concerning service delivery, Trollip said that quality service delivery is something that every ratepayer and voter should demand from a government.

“Our citizens do, but they get ignored. It’s time that we all ask ourselves this one fundamental question. If each provincial department and local municipality receives budgetary allocations from national and provincial treasury, what happens to these resources if they do not extrapolate into quality service delivery? The answer is that these resources get “lost” to corruption, mismanagement and maladministration,” he said.

“Democracy means you can say no to this -- by voting for a new dispensation!

“The people of the Western Cape did this six years ago and look at what they got. If you want change you must make it happen. 

“Rewarding those responsible for our provincial status quo is the equivalent of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome -- nothing will change!”