State of Limpopo: What the premier didn’t say

2014-02-21 08:24

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Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha has delivered a state of the province address that was aligned with President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address – and its message of delivery.

Here are five things he said yesterday and what he failed to mention.

What Mathabatha said:

1. We can boldly say Limpopo is back where it is supposed to be. At the time (when five departments were placed under administration) the province had an overdraft of R1.7 billion and at some point public servants were not going to receive their salaries.

We are proud to report that the situation has been turned around and we have improved to a positive cash position of R4.4 billion as of the end of January this year.

2. To date, 19 162 learners are benefiting from the school feeding scheme programme. The plan for 2014/15 is to put 20 500 learners on this programme.

3. The De Hoop Dam in the Sekhukhune district is almost complete and the bulk distribution pipelines are in various stages of implementation. To be exact, construction of this dam will be completed by the end of next month.

This R13.3 billion project will help supply the people of Limpopo with water and contribute meaningfully to the development of the economy of our province.

4. Limpopo has resolved 4 970 service delivery cases reported to the premier’s hotline since 2009 and according to Mathabatha the province “has been declared the best performer in resolving service delivery cases”.

5. Since 1994, we have built over 250 000 houses for poor families, benefiting about 1 million people. In addition to this, we transferred over 12 000 housing units through the Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme.

What Mathabatha didn’t say:

1. Mathabatha failed to mention how the Limpopo government was dealing with the widespread challenge of poor schools infrastructure and dilapidated classrooms.

A Grade 1 boy recently died in a pit toilet at school.

Read: Boy (6) who died in pit toilet had ‘escaped death’ in taxi accident

2. The premier did not address water shortages – particularly in rural areas – outside the areas to be serviced by the De Hoop Dam.

He said the De Hoop Dam project would be completed at the end of March, contradicting President Jacob Zuma who had said the dam had been completed.

Mathabatha later said, at a press conference, that there was no contradiction as he knew for a fact some people would start drinking De Hoop water by end of March. Back at De Hoop two cranes were still on site and bulk water supply pipes were being laid.

3. Mathabatha’s statement about the resolution of service delivery cases does not acknowledge a number of service delivery protests in the province – among them violent protests in Malamulele last year.

4. The premier did not say if housing delivery was on track in light of the R900 million housing tender scandal.

5. He did not give details of the ongoing investigations and action on corruption and maladministration that had led Limpopo to the verge of collapse more than two years ago, save to say 300 people had either been charged or faced corruption-related charges.

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