Modise slams poor municipalities, praises opposition

2012-02-18 09:21

Underperforming municipalities got a tongue-lashing from North West Premier Thandi Modise in her state of the province address, while she praised opposition parties for “keeping the ruling ANC on its toes”.

Job creation was the highlight of her address in Mahikeng yesterday: 80 433 created against the targeted 52 898. The housing backlog was reduced from 249 000 to 209 000. Another achievement was the reduction of HIV infections by 0.4%.

She said: “We have exceeded our targets for voluntary tests and have even managed to be the only province to marginally reduce the rate of HIV infections.”
Municipalities that are performing poorly got a tongue-lashing from Modise. “We cannot pretend that local government will be hitting the targets soon,” she said.

Modise described as “shocking” the 2010-2011 audit reports from municipalities. Only nine out of 25 municipalities submitted their annual reports to the Auditor General, making the province one of the worst performers at local government level.

In addition to mining, agriculture is one of the income generating industries for the North West. The two agricultural colleges in Taung and Potchefstroom will be refurbished during this financial year. Modise said her province should aim to provide “the best agricultural training in our country”.

She used the speech to praise opposition parties in the province for keeping the ruling ANC on its toes. “Our energetic opposition do not just criticise when things are wrong, they often acknowledge when we do right. They make good governance a reminder to those of us who are not always on our toes. They give meaning to democracy at work.”

While Modise had promised last year to fill all the vacant strategic positions in the provincial government, this goal was only partly achieved with several departments still operating with acting heads of department. She said this would receive attention.

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