KZN's Election Budget Must Deliver Jobs, Not Only Votes

28 February 2013      


 The Official Opposition welcomes KZN's continued public investment into large infrastructure projects and transport links during an election year, but cautions that their success will ultimately be measured by the number of jobs they help to create and sustain in an uncertain economy.


"We will monitor each infrastructure project individually for value for money and economic justification in terms of job creation, and capacity for exploiting KZNís agricultural and tourism potential," said Leader of the Official Opposition Blessed Gwala in response to Premier Zweli Mkhize's State of the Province Address.


The IFP appreciates the renewed focus on rural development but warns against centrally-planned initiatives, such as One Home, One Garden that have previously failed to encourage agricultural production at household level and ensure food security in KZN's rural areas.


"Our province is yet to experience a genuine green revolution geared towards improved levels of agricultural production amongst our emerging farmers and food security for the poorest of the poor who rely on public welfare rather than grow their own food," said Gwala.


The IFP applauds the strides the incumbent provincial government has made in the fight against HIV/Aids but urges similar levels of commitment as KZN upgrades its infrastructural and service delivery capacity to meet the long-term requirements for the implementation of the NHI.


"The focus in the Departments of Health as well as Education must remain on the delivery of essential infrastructure and performance of staff if the province is to improve its health and education outcomes across the board, as it begins to feel the impact of reduced state funding due to the recent changes in KZN's demographics," said Gwala.


As much as the IFP welcomes progress in the investigations against corrupt officials, the government's anti-corruption efforts continue to focus on small fry rather than the big fish in the civil service who are largely responsible for management decisions that lead to fraud and corruption.


"We need to see the arm of the law at long last reaching the top echelons of the civil service, including the Accounting Officers in the government departments where serious breaches of the Public Finance Management Act compromise service delivery," said Gwala.


The IFP maintains that the provincial government needs to review and improve the targeted assistance it offers to municipalities in view of the disappointing audit outcomes of a large proportion of KZNís 61 municipalities, which are increasingly battling to deliver essential services to their residents.


The IFP welcomes the belated appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the tragic loss of life as a result of the botched endurance test of Road Traffic Inspectorate applicants during the festive season.


ďThe Official Opposition had previously called for the establishment of such a commission in the wake of the Harry Gwala Stadium tragedy as the only means to apportion blame and institute measures to prevent similar tragedies from reoccurring,Ē said Gwala.


The Official Opposition will respond to the Premierís State of the Province Address comprehensively in the parliamentary debate scheduled to take place in the Provincial Legislature tomorrow.


Contact: Blessed Gwala, 078 290 5842