News24

Little praise for Mkhize

2010-02-24 21:03

Pietermaritzburg - Opposition parties were disappointed with KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize's state of the province address on Wednesday.

"It was pedestrian speech. I was very disappointed. It was just a presentation of a broad vision which lacked details," said the Democratic Alliance caucus leader in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, John Steenhuisen.

Mkhize wrote only four lines on corruption, he said.

"He was supposed to tell us how he plans to deal with corruption. We have too many government officials who do business with the departments that they work for. We need to deal with that."

Crumbling road networks

Steenhuisen was also disappointed that Mkhize did not say a word about the province's crumbling road networks.

The Inkatha Freedom Party's KwaZulu-Natal leader Bonginkosi Buthelezi was not happy that Mkhize had blamed the global economic recession for the province's financial position.

Mkhize was supposed to have acknowledged that it was partly the result of gross overspending by the previous ANC government, said Buthelezi.

"The multi-billion rand overdraft, which is only being addressed belatedly and slowly, has created a host of macroeconomic burdens for KwaZulu-Natal in addition to the global economic meltdown," he said.

Buthelezi said that the province's over-expenditure could be traced back to wasteful expenditure on self-promotion, advertising and unnecessary luxuries.

ANC happy

The Congress of the People's Lucky Gabela was disappointed that Mkhize did not focus on job creation.

The province lost 117 000 jobs in the first quarter of 2009.

Meanwhile, the ANC's Themba Mthembu said he was happy that the speech had focused on priorities such as education and health.

"We are also happy that he has also addressed the issue of lifestyle audits for government managers," he said.

The premier had also outlined how the province would deal with skills and rural development.