DA red-flags three Eastern Cape departments, scores them two out of 10

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Bobby Stevenson, DA leader in the Eastern Cape provincial legislature
Bobby Stevenson, DA leader in the Eastern Cape provincial legislature

NEWS


The departments of health, education, and rural development and agrarian reform scored the lowest points on a DA scorecard in the Eastern Cape.

DA leader in the province, Bobby Stevenson, said the report card had been compiled by the party in the Eastern Cape legislature, looking at each department’s performance in 2020. Each department was given a score out of 10.

“There is no doubt that 2020 has been an exceptionally trying year, with extraordinary challenges, most notably those brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is said that, in the light of adversity, true character is revealed. In the Eastern Cape, this adversity has revealed how fragile our government departments have become, following years of neglect, mismanagement and outright corruption,” he said.

He added that the situation in the province was worsened by the fact that the rot of corruption had permeated into relief efforts, with a culture of self-enrichment at the expense of those who were in dire need prevalent across the province.

Read: High court dismisses yet another bid to reopen beaches along the Garden Route

Stevenson said that, out of 10, the department of health had scored only two. “The dysfunctional department of health has been thrown into the spotlight due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The department continues to teeter on the brink of total financial collapse, with no decisive political leadership and a veritable army of senior officials who cannot manage. It is such a shambles that the minister of health himself has had to visit the province no less than five times to sort out the mess, with fresh deployments on every visit,” he said.

Last year the DA had given the department of health a score of three.

The department of education was also scored two, after last year’s score of three.

“This year the department of education has been plagued with a myriad of debilitating factors. In responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, procurement mismanagement by the department saw PPE [personal protective equipment] purchased at inflated costs. Often supplies were of inferior quality or simply not delivered.

“Allegations of PPE corruption are rife, with the department’s actions placing the health and safety of learners, teachers and school staff at risk,” Stevenson said.

He said infrastructure delivery continued to be plagued by non-payment of contractors, incomplete projects and completed projects standing vacant.

The department, according to Stevenson, had also failed to address previous Auditor-General findings, resulting in repeat findings for the 2019/20 financial year and a sixth consecutive qualified audit opinion.

Read: Daily hospital admissions decrease in the Eastern Cape, hospitals not overflowing - Mabuyane

Due to its continued failure to deal with the challenge of drought that has devastated the province, the department of rural development and agrarian reform was scored 2. This is the same score it received in 2019.

“Agriculture is a key, labour-intensive industry for the province, yet critical drought mitigation resources have either not been made available or have been redirected away from areas where they are needed most,” he said.

The department failed to lobby for an extension of the provincial state of disaster declaration which would have allowed the national government to provide much-needed assistance to the farmers affected by the drought.

Stevenson said the department was also not doing enough to assist small-scale farmers. “Many of the departmental projects remain in a dire financial state and will require bailouts from the government in the very near future. This is a direct result of the inability of the department of rural development and agrarian reform to ensure that competent project leaders are appointed to these projects and their unwillingness to partner with private sector organisations and farmers.”


facebook
twitter
linkedin
instagram

Lubabalo Ngcukana 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
lubabalo.ngcukana@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
The EFF has sent a legal letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office, demanding that the lockdown regulations be relaxed to allow political gatherings in compliance with all Covid-19 protocols. The party said that regulations prohibit political campaigning and activities in preparation for this year’s local government elections.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Like church members, political party members should gather
20% - 30 votes
I fear the third wave
42% - 64 votes
Hold off on the elections
38% - 57 votes
Vote