KZN Cabinet report card: ‘Empty suit’ Premier fails to deliver, account

by Zwakele Mncwango, MPL - Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature

Today’s annual KwaZulu-Natal Cabinet report card by the DA indicates an overall decline as an ‘empty suit’ Premier and 86% of his failing ANC Executive and their Departments record either no improvement or a regression in terms of performance levels.

According to the DA’s assessments:

  • The average score for the Executive was an ‘E”;
  • The Premier and his Acting Premier barely missed an ‘F’ – an indictment against the failing ANC leadership in this province;
  • A total of seven Departments regressed in terms of performance;
  • Those MECs who scored the worst marks and which showed no sign of improvement from last year are at the helm of some of KZN’s most critical service delivery Departments;
  • Six Departments remained the same as in 2017, showing no sign of improvement; and
  • Only two – the Office of the Speaker and Human Settlements, showed any improvements this year.

The reports are proof that governance in KZN has been relegated to a tick-box exercise by the failing ANC, which has forgotten its responsibility to the very people that elected them to these positions. Instead, what we have is a so-called leadership which is more interested in driving their own personal party agendas.

This untenable situation has been allowed by a Premier who has shown a lack of strong leadership or guidance and who has allowed ANC factionalism to have a devastating impact on the efficacy of the provincial government.

The Reports also highlight the lack of accountability within the KZN Legislature on various levels during 2018.

Notably, the Premier failed to hold his MECs to account for their lack of poor attendance at Sittings, TLTP’s, Hearings and portfolio committee meetings. Despite the fact that many MECs were absent more than they were present, the Premier does not seem to care and allows them to come and go as they please.

MECs also showed the same disrespect for the Auditor-General’s recommendations with less than 20% attending the Scopa Mid-term hearings into the finances of various Departments. With an attitude like this, the A-G’s announcement, just days ago, of an overall regression in provincial government departments’ finances during 2017/18, comes as little surprise.

Most significantly, the Premier has failed to hold his Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and CoGTA MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube to account despite both having severely violated the rights of KZN’s people to proper service delivery.

Compounding Cabinet’s poor performance is the lack of urgency in responding to written parliamentary questions – a critical oversight tool for opposition parties. The Office of the Premier – which is supposed to lead by example – was one of the worst offenders, only replying to 33% of all DA questions. The worst offender however was Premier-in-Waiting, EDTEA MEC Sihle Zikalala who answered 32% of the DA’s questions.

Within his own Department, the Premier has also failed to address serious issues raised in forensic investigations within his own Department along with the Moerane Commission Report which is gathering dust on a forgotten shelf.

The irony of the Legislature slogan – a People Centred Activist Legislature – is not lost on the DA. Nor is it lost on the people of KZN. The failing ANC in this Legislature does not care about the people it is supposed to serve.

The failing ANC-leadership in this province has and continues to make a mockery of this Legislature. Critically, it has failed and continues to fail the people of KZN by not delivering on its mandate to improve and to address issues of the past through service delivery and job creation.

In 2019, the people of KZN have the power to bring about change when they go the ballot box. The kind of change that will release the true potential of our province and which will see the installation of a government that cares about the people and which will build One South Africa for All.


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