The Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, is in denial about the serious decay of the province’s infrastructure, its economic crisis and poor service delivery.
The Premier missed a golden opportunity to address the root causes of the most pressing problems during her State of the Province Address (SOPA), such as the present political instability, corruption, incompetent public officials and the province’s exorbitant wage bill.
For the Premier, the terrible condition of the province’s roads is no more than an inconvenience. It has, however, cost innocent people their lives, and farmers are expected to repair roads themselves.
In addition, the Free State government has indicated that it cannot refund farmers who repair roads at their own expense.
The economic crisis in the Free State will not be turned around unless the province’s infrastructure is properly maintained and developed.
No business enterprise can function optimally without accessible roads as well as stable water and electricity supply. The provincial government must take decisive action to address these issues before more business enterprises leave the province.
The Premier should have announced feasible solutions for the ongoing water crisis, where municipalities owe water boards billions of rand, in her opening address today.
The only thing that she did make abundantly clear, though, is that she and her party are getting more and more caught up in the ANC’s infighting. And it is only adding to the instability in municipalities and provincial departments, which are the ANC’s battleground for factionalism.
The ANC government will surely struggle to repair the enormous economic, social and administrative potholes that it has created in the province.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Armand Cloete on FF Plus