What opposition parties want Mkhize to address

2010-02-24 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize will deliver his second State of the Province Address in the city’s Royal Showgrounds today and opposition parties have stated what they want to be contained in his speech.

Democratic Alliance caucus leader in the KZN legislature, John Steenhuisen, said that his party believes that education, health, infrastructure, corruption and tender abuse, overspending and wasteful expenditure, safety and security and sustainable job creation need to be addressed urgently by the premier.

The caucus leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Dr Bonginkosi Buthelezi, said Mkhize needs to speak on government’s five priorities and give clear direction on action and implementation. The priorities are health, education, job creation, rural development and fighting crime.

On education, Steenhuisen said that, while last year’s matric pass rate improved slightly, it was nowhere near where it should be as a province. He said that the pass rate was low on subjects such as accounting, mathematics and physical science. “Last year the province spent some 41% of the budget on education. This is clear evidence that expenditure alone does not achieve results, unless it is coupled with specific target outcomes …” he said.

Steenhuisen said that two recently released documents paint a very sorry picture regarding the fight against corruption and tender abuse in the province. “The first was the auditor general’s report, which exposed public servants who were running companies that were doing business with their own and other government departments. The second was the Public Service Commission’s report into the declaration of business interests by se­nior public servants”. He said that KZN had a 68% compliance rate. “Knowing which public servants own what companies is a basic starting point to stamp out corruption and maladministration, and the premier must set out a clear set of consequences for officials who fail to submit these”.

Buthelezi said his party would like Mkhize speak on the issue of rural development, which King Goodwill Zwelithini also touched on in his speech at the opening of the legislature, as well as other issues that the king raised, such as HIV/Aids and circumcision in the province, and the state of rural roads.

Buthelezi also cited the matter of national health insurance.

Buthelezi said his party would like Mkhize to speak about KZN’s readiness for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and that he should elaborate on the role Durban is to play.

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