NC SOPA far removed from realities on the ground

1st March 2024

NC SOPA far removed from realities on the ground

Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul

The real story of what residents of the Northern Cape live through on a daily basis, does not add up to the strategically crafted statistics used by the Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, to unjustifiably enhance the achievements of the sixth administration, as detailed in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) today.

Low vacancy rates don’t mean much when you only have enough theatre nurses to operationalize four out of nine hospital theatres at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital.

High access to schooling doesn’t mean much when you have high drop-out rates, nor does buying electronic devices to “make children smart”, when a growing number of learners cannot even read with comprehension.

We hear of eight schools that have been completed since 2019, but the Premier failed to tell people why school construction projects, in places like Ga-Segonyana, have been abandoned after money for their completion ran out.

With regards to Sol Plaatje’s water challenges, funding has been promised and pledged before, but has failed to fix the problem. The mention of the health care app is also not new. The DA previously tried this app when we were trying to summons an ambulance in an emergency, and it was not working.

We hear of the 146 new ambulances bought since 2019, and we are told all payments are made within 30 days but yet we heard this week that in ZF Mgcawu, only nine out of 22 ambulances are operational. At the same time, new ambulances could not be procured in the current financial year because of accruals at the health department.

The Premier refers back to his stance on cutting the frills and unnecessary expenditure. It seems this was quickly forgotten with this SOPA, where no expenses have been spared for the R3 million event.

Comments on reducing wastage are also contradicted by the fact that, as of March 2023, the Auditor-General’s reports show that the provincial government incurred R199 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. On top of that, it incurred R729 million in unauthorised and R18.8 billion in irregular expenditure, which means that the provincial fiscus carries the burden of more than R19.8 billion in unwanted spending.

It is also wrong to brag about soccer teams in the first division, when they tend to be misused to win votes for the ANC. This is just another example of the abuse of state resources.

The SOPA itself was nothing less than an electioneering ploy. It is far removed from the reality on the ground and the hardships faced by residents of the Northern Cape.


Issued by Harold McGluwa MPL - DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader