On his inauguration the premier of the Northern Cape uplifted a lot of spirits so much so that he is lauded by South Africans for sticking to the promises he made during his inauguration speech.
The efforts to hit the ground running seem to be continuing in full swing with the 6th administration greatly striving to impact the residents of the Northern Cape with different programmes meant to better their lives. So far we have seen different departments consistently hosting activities every week, with 35 days in governance, is this a sustainable energy we are witnessing? Well, we surely hope so.
At the two-day Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) Lekgotla the Premier, in his capacity as the ANC’s Provincial Chairperson, warned party members that it is time to be introspective but also a time to be progressive in order to avoid being relegated to opposition benches in the next coming elections. He also pleaded with the cabinet members to make use of minimum benefits from the ministerial handbook.
“As the premier when I go to Joburg, I sleep in a hotel that charges R5000 a night, and we treat that as if its normal. If I sleep for two nights its R10 000. We should stop these things, they need to come to an abrupt end!”.
He also called on the Sol Plaatje Municipality to deal with the section 106 report.
“The municipality must urgently deal with all issues emanating from the section 106 report and finalise the issue of appointment of all the senior managers where there are vacancies. We also need to strengthen the technical planning and implementation capacity of Sol Plaatje Municipality”.
He went on to say that the Sol Plaatje Municipality needed to deal with the section 106 report as a matter of urgency and that the municipality needs to become the engine of the Northern Cape that drives the province to greatness.
“This municipality plays an integral part of the smooth running of the province. How can you expect a potential investor in the city to drive from the airport and have to dodge every pothole? That investor is probably saying, how are you going to protect my investment if you can’t even take care of your roads?”
Co-operative governance, human settlement and traditional affairs (COGHSTA) MEC, Ben Vass surprised the traditional leaders of the John Taolo region by equipping them with a total of 8 4×4 bakkies to the tune of 3.5 million in acknowledgement of them being critical partners in harnessing development and service delivery in the area. The traditional leaders were pleased with the government’s move.
“We are grateful as this will ease our programmes, our work will be easier and we will be able to access each other more efficiently,” expressed Kgosi Pelonomi Toto, chairperson of the Northern Cape House of Traditional Leaders.
MEC Ben Vass stated that they are busy engaging different communities and stakeholders. More opportunities are still coming for the traditional leaders to ensure that they do their work diligently.
Heading over to the tourism sector, Maruping Lekwene, MEC for tourism officially opened the four day national tourism education conference on the 25th of June. The conference under the theme “Meeting the human capital demands of a changing workplace,” ought to discuss the current situation of the tourism sector, challenges and advancements relating to human capital demands in light of the changes anticipated for the tourism industry. 300 tourism teachers from across South Africa had direct interaction for the four days with industry leaders and empowering sessions aiding their understanding of their contribution to delivering a competent skilled future workforce for the tourism industry.
The cleaning staff in the departments of Social Development and COGHSTA were so inspired by the insourcing of outsourced workers that they decided to take it up with the different departments to implement what the premier had mentioned in his speech. But what Zamani had failed to include is that the insourcing won’t be implemented immediately nor will all the workers be insourced due to the departmental budget constraints, bearing in mind that when the financial year began, insourcing of security guards and cleaners was not on the books.
The provincial government is in a precarious fiscal position, the total budget for the province is R18 billion per year and is in debt of more than R3.5 billion (R1.7 billion in accruals which belongs to emerging small businesses that render the government service and end up not getting paid), R902 million in unauthorised expenditure and more than R500 million in rates and taxes to the municipalities. With the province in such a bad state one can’t help but wonder if insourcing will be an actuality in the 6th administration.
While many are celebrating Zamani Saul’s greatness and activism, a lot of civilians and government officials are complaining about how he is apparently rushing processes which may lead to disappointments in the future. A senior employee at COGHSTA stated that, “Currently the Premier will come into the department and meet with officials that I don’t think he needs to. He should deal with the HOD’s directly and let them report back to us, when we have to sit in these meetings it takes from our productivity time and quite frankly, that is unnecessary”.