The proposed amendments to the Cannabis for Private Purposes bill that seeks to further decriminalise cannabis usage and legalise South…
by Francois Rodgers, MPL – Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature
Today’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) by KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, was indicative of a Premier who is in a state of denial as he delivered little more than a wish list for the province.
We saw a Premier who is not just in denial but also delusional when he spoke about the July 2021 unrest and social cohesion in the same breath. This when what the people of our province experienced was an insurrection due to the ANC’s own lack of social cohesion.
Today, we saw a Premier who spoke about Covid-19 and its effects as being the main reason for KZN’s stagnant economy. This when we all know that the pandemic was simply the final nail in the coffin after years of economic mismanagement.
Today we saw a Premier who doesn’t know where to begin when it comes to political murders in our province but who continues to ignore the recommendations of the Moerane Report.
Earlier this week, the DA outlined several areas which we expected the Premier to address. These included the safety of KZN’s people and SAPS capacity, the KZN economy, the creation of sustainable employment, the provision of housing and the delivery of proper basic services under local government.
In his Address today, titled “A Turning Point’, the Premier turned his back on the people of KZN with no clear measures on how he and his government will keep them safe.
He turned his back on President Ramaphosa’s mantra that governments role is to provide an environment conducive to business. Instead he announced the KZN government’s acquisition of SAPREF – yet another state owned entity to plunder.
He turned his back on business and investment by failing to take decisive action against so-called business forums that are killing our provincial economy.
Today the Premier spoke about jobs but, again, it was a pie in the sky wish list. He spoke about bullet trains when his government cannot even run Metrorail properly.
He spoke about crack teams and summits when service delivery at local government level has hit rock bottom. He spoke about drone technology when thousands of people continue to live in squalid conditions in KZN’s transit camps and informal settlements.
Today, the Premier spoke at length about plans with few deliverables. This is because the ANC cannot walk the talk.
Tomorrow, during the State of the Province Debate, the DA will further unpack today’s Address, drilling down on specific areas. We will also outline our solutions to these challenges in the form of our Blueprint for a DA-led KZN, post 2024.
As KZN’s only real opposition voice, the DA will continue to demand accountability from the Premier and his ANC-led executive. We do so on behalf of the people of our province who deserve more.