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
"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
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
Contact: Blessed Gwala, 078 290 5842