Placing Free State under administration is long overdue
29 October 2018
The DA in the Free State notes the possible intervention by National Government into the administration of the Provincial Government. This is long overdue.
The DA has repeatedly warned that maladministration and corruption, which were defining features of the failing ANC and Ace Magashule’s tenure as premier of the province, were always destined to cripple the provincial government.
Magashule who has been promoted to the top job of secretary-general of the failing ANC left behind a province marked by joblessness, corruption and service delivery collapse.
The provincial Health and Education Departments continue to operate from a position of technical insolvency, both for years have spent more than their budget allocation. Both departments struggle to deliver quality services.
The people of the Free State are subjected to huge delays and poor services at provincial health facilities. Many learners still have to travel long distances to attend overcrowded schools because the failing ANC has squandered money for investment in the new schools.
The warnings of the Auditor-General over the last years that poor contract management, the awarding of contracts without proper competitive bidding and bid evaluation and the lack of consequence management relating to irregular and wasteful expenditure are a real threat to the ability of the provincial government to function in a sustainable manner.
Ace Magashule and his administration however willfully ignored all of the warning signs. His government was only interested in benefitting his inner circle of family and cronies to the detriment of the people of the Free State.
Intervention by the National Government is now inevitable, but must be accompanied by a speedy and focused investigation into the affairs of the Provincial Government with the aim to prosecute and jail those ANC politicians who have treated the provincial budget as a slush fund over the last years.
Unfortunately the recent intervention by the National Government into the administration of the North West province has only strengthened our view that President Ramaphosa wants to strengthen provincial governments without holding accountable those ANC colleagues responsible for its demise.
Only the DA can bring real change to the Free State that will turn around provincial government and service delivery. Only the DA can build One South Africa for All, where the people come first.
Issued by Patricia Kopane, DA Free State Premier Candidate, 29 October 2018