EFF in KZN wants govt outreach programmes scrapped

2014-07-16 00:00

THE only time any MEC would feel the need of a bodyguard is when they are being rejected by their people.

Who else would they be afraid of, asked Vusi Khoza, provincial Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) convener.

The EFF in KZN wants the government’s outreach programme, Imbizo, and Taking Parliament to the People, to be scrapped in order to save taxpayers’ money.

They also want the provision of bodyguards and state vehicles to MECs to be also discontinued.

His call comes in the wake of a similar call by King Goodwil Zwelithini, that government should review the hosting of Imbizos.

Khoza said the Taking Parliament to People programme should be held at community halls and schools if the government was to save taxpayers’ money.

The EFF provincial convener also said MECs should no longer be provided with state vehicles and bodyguards because they could afford to pay for those perks from their own pockets.

“If an MEC wants bodyguards, it is security against who? The minute you need a bodyguard, you know the people who elected you rejected you,” Khoza said.

“If a person feels insecure, they must pay for their bodyguards and not use state resources,” he said when asked what issues needed to be changed in KwaZulu-Natal administration.

But Premier Senzo Mchunu’s spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said bodyguards were assigned to MECs following security assessments, which were done by the police.

“We therefore cannot take a decision which is contrary to the recommendation of security experts,” Sibiya said.

Commenting on Khoza’s call for scrapping of the outreach programmes, he said the provincial government was reviewing Imbizos in terms of size and frequency following Zwelithini’s pronouncement.

Khoza said the EFF has asked the KZN legislature to excuse them from its medical aid scheme in line with a similar request by their counterparts in the national Parliament.

“It [the medical aid] is done unconstitutionally. What happened to constitutional freedom of choice and association?” he asked, adding that their counterparts in Parliament had been withdrawn from the medical aid scheme after they made a request.

Khoza said they had yet to receive a response from the KZN legislature.

Legislature spokesperson Wonder Hlongwa said they have not received such a letter.

Khoza said if the EFF was in power, public representatives would be forced to use public health facilities and schools. This would then hopefully lead to improved service standards as those in power will want to ensure they get the best medical care and education.

He added the EFF would keep on campaigning for radical economic transformation.

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