KZN SOPA: No more talk Mr Premier – it’s time for action
25 June 2019
As KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala gears up to present his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Friday, the DA expects him to deal with the crippling triple challenge facing the people of our province – unemployment and an ailing provincial economy, non-existent and poor service delivery and rampant crime levels.
This triple challenge continues to negatively impact on the lives of millions of KZN’s people on a daily basis. While the Premier has done a lot of talking in recent weeks, Friday is when the rubber has to hit the road with realistic, measurable strategies.
As the Premier prepares to deliver his SOPA, he will be acutely aware of the blood nose the ANC in KZN received during the recent May elections, causing a major loss of support for the party. This is the clearest indication yet that the people of the province have lost confidence in the ANC. He will also be aware of the fact that he is leading a divided ANC, one which he must unite if our province is to move forward and fulfil its vast potential.
The reality is that Premier Zikalala has effectively been running KZN for several years from behind the scenes and that, during this time, little if nothing has changed. And so, the question ahead of Friday’s SOPA must be - what will he do differently now that the role is officially his?
Our province is in a downward spiral economically. More and more people are unemployed, numerous communities exist without proper basic service delivery and – to add to this – they live in fear for their lives each and every day.
Instead of more vague promises and ‘plans about plans’, the DA expects a clear and precise strategy from Premier Zikalala in terms of the following;
- We need to see a clear plan on how interest will be reignited in our province’s economy and we need a plan when it comes to job creation - particularly for our young people;
- We need hear a plan to end the ongoing systemic intolerance aimed at foreign employees, as trucks are set alight and businesses targeted. This is devastating our provincial economy;
- We need to hear a clear plan with workable policies aimed at protecting the safety and security of our people;
- We need a plan that will address the dismal service delivery levels in our province, with a renewed focus on municipalities so that effective service delivery becomes the norm rather than the exception; and
- We need a plan which is aimed at building a capable state in KZN. Policy means nothing if we do not have a clearly defined direction with the necessary support structures in place.
Only time will tell whether Premier Zikalala is capable of delivering on these and other critical issues which threaten to sink our province and whether he is able to place the needs of the people of our province ahead of those of the ANC.
In the event that he shows the political will to do so, he will find an ally in the DA. In the event that he does not, he will face the full might of KZN’s strongest opposition voice.
Issued by Zwakele Mncwango, Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature, 25 June 2019