Premier must renounce allegiance to Jacob Zuma in the interest of KZN’s people
3 May 2018
The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has today challenged the province’s Premier, Willies Mchunu, to renounce his allegiance to former ANC President Jacob Zuma and put the people of KZN first. The call was made during the KZN Legislature Office of the Premier Budget Debate.
The current divisions in the ANC have led to corrupt, paralyzed and hopelessly ineffective governance. The Premier needs to admit that this stems from the actions of one man – former ANC President Jacob Zuma – and that the people of KZN are now paying the price for the many disasters created or engineered by him.
Yet this one man continues to cast a shadow over our province with real leadership nowhere to be found. The Premier is largely absent from his duties while the legitimacy of his shadow Premier, Sihle Zikalala, remains highly questionable after his illegal provincial executive committee (PEC) structure was disbanded by a court of law.
Currently, the view of our province is one of failing municipalities, inept government Departments unable to manage their finances, corrupt politicians and no service delivery. Most damning though is the Premier’s lack of intervention in the critical areas of Education, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and Health, all of which are ravaged with problems, yet their MEC’s remain unaccountable. Today there are hundreds of Natu teachers and Msunduzi SAMWU workers protesting outside the Legislature. The Premier must take full responsibility for this. It is happening because people are angry that no one is listening to them.
The Premier’s problems do not end there. A look at the Office of the Premier Budget has revealed the following;
- There is no adequate provision for an inflationary wage adjustment over the 2018/19 MTEF which will affect available funding, leaving an ever-decreasing sum available for the actual work of the Department;
- There are still problem areas within the Royal Household Trust which has shown itself to be both disorganized and unaccountable. Despite being in operation for two years, there is still no evidence of the value this entity has brought to the King, or the citizens of KZN. This government should not isolate the King from the people, meaning the Trust should link the well-being of the king and the people; and
- Amafa is also a concern with R40 million – also the entire budget – spent on salaries. Is this an employment agency or a public entity?
But there are solutions in sight, if only the Premier would note them. An obvious way of boosting his budget is to sell his residence, Parkside Place. If it’s not being used then sell it. If DA Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga can do it and build RDP houses, then Premier Mchunu can too. This is money that could also be spent on skills development programmes to empower the millions of unemployed young people in our country
Our people are becoming poorer every day and they are losing hope. The question is whether the Premier is capable of holding his executive to account, whether he is interested in ensuring that citizen’s voices are heard and whether he has the political will to root out corruption within government Departments.
The Premier needs to face the people of KZN and provide an environment conducive to economic growth, political stability and the overall well-being of its citizens. He needs to step up, be accountable and make his government accountable. It is time for him to show leadership.
Issued by Zwakele Mncwango, DA KZN Spokesperson on the Office of the Premier and the Royal Household, 3 May 2018