Sopa: Zikalala outlines his plans to take KZN forward

2019-06-30 12:45
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Stand to attention during the national anthem at the State of the Province Address at the Legislature on Friday.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala Stand to attention during the national anthem at the State of the Province Address at the Legislature on Friday. (Moeketsi Mamane)

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KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has announced a raft of measures to end political killings, combat corruption and clamp down on elements disrupting business operations in the province.

Delivering his State of the Province Address (Sopa) in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on Friday, Zikalala singled out corruption as one of the social ills that had to be defeated if the province is to prosper.

“The KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier will work together with civil society, the faith-based community and traditional leaders to lead efforts to mobilise society in a campaign against this scourge, popularise whistle-blowing and nurture a culture of a clean government,” he said.

As part of the measures to root out corruption, the provincial government would be setting up an anti-fraud and corruption hotline and increasing security around senior government officials within the finance and procurement units of departments and municipalities.

“A panel will be set up to review all big contracts,” Zikalala said.

On the political killings, Zikalala said the provincial government was in the process of finalising a plan to guide departments in the implementation of recommendations made by the Moerane Commission that investigated political assassinations in the province.

“The recent unrest including killings, looting and burning of trucks, disruption of business operations, and proliferation of drugs cannot be tolerated within a society that intends to build a better life for its people.”

KZN, Zikalala said, has emerged from a painful history — with violence in the 1990s claiming more than 20 000 lives.

“We can never return to the shameful days of the so-called ‘black-on-black violence’. We cannot again be synonymous with the painful memory of being known as the killing fields of South Africa,” he said.

Amongst other things, the commission recommended that the provincial government should take steps to ensure that councillors and other political office bearers did not have any influence in the awarding of tenders.

“We have already prepared a detailed implementation framework to ensure that the recommendations are implemented by the various entities listed in the report,” he said.

On the economy, Zikalala said the provincial government will increase its support to small businesses, invest into the province’s Special Economic Zones in Durban and Richards Bay and develop programmes to grow the province’s tourism industry.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sihle zikalala
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