Parties blast ‘empty’ Sopa

2020-03-06 14:15
THE KZN Legislature has spent close to two million rands on three luxury cars to be used for running errands for the institution.

THE KZN Legislature has spent close to two million rands on three luxury cars to be used for running errands for the institution. (File)

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Opposition parties yesterday tore into KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala’s State Of the Province Address (Sopa) tabled in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, with the DA labelling the speech “empty promises”

DA KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Mbali Ntuli said Zikalala missed an opportunity to come up with viable solutions to the province’s troubled municipalities.

“The premier could have announced changes that would stop the further collapse of our municipalities, including the implementation of Section 139 of the Constitution. Instead, we got no real concrete steps as to how he intends to get his government to turn around the situation.

“With nine municipalities under administration, including KZN’s capital city, it is clear that the premier and his Cogta Department have no handle on the situation. That only one municipality in our province managed to receive an unqualified audit also means that every single other municipality in this province is in major trouble,” she said.

In his Sopa, Zikalala said the provincial government was currently fixing problems at most of the municipalities, including Msunduzi and eThekwini.

Further, he said that the provincial government was addressing some of the pressing challenges such as unemployment and crime.

However, the IFP was not convinced Zikalala’s plans would work.

Said IFP MPL Blessed Gwala: “We have heard all these plans before but what the people of this province are expecting from the provincial government is the actual delivery.

“Our concern as the IFP is that the new plans are being announced while we were still waiting to hear whether the targets of the previous plans had been achieved.”

The NFP said while it welcomed Zikalala’s job creation plans, aimed to, amongst other things, address youth unemployment, the party was concerned about the fact that the province has been shedding lots of jobs in recent years.

However, the ANC said it was impressed with Zikalala’s Sopa.

ANC MPL and Economic Development MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube hailed Zikalala’s Sopa as “pro-poor”.

“Job creation remains central to achieving government’s objectives of inclusive growth. We remain committed towards broadening economic participation in the economy and reduce dependency on the welfare system.

“Yesterday, the premier spoke at length about the importance of SMMEs and co-operatives. He identified these as instruments aimed at fast-tracking the entry of previously disadvantaged communities into the mainstream economy,” she said.

Zikalala said his Sopa spoke to the province’s realities and priorities.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kzn legislature

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