Opposition parties in the Eastern Cape legislature have criticised Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s State of the Province Address (SOPA), saying it lacked detail. Mabuyane delivered his maiden address themed, “the Eastern Cape We Want” in Bhisho on Friday.

He highlighted tourism, agriculture and skills as key priorities for economic growth. However, the opposition say that Mabuyane’s speech lacked inspiration.

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Nqaba Banga says that they are not impressed. Veliswa Mvenya of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) says Mabuyane’s speech lacked inspiration.

“We are not impressed. We are back to square one in the province, all promises without a proper implementation plan.”

Mvenya says the Eastern Cape needs a strengthened economy and improved living conditions. “It is inconsistent in government for what needs to happen. What we need to do to change the aspiration of the people of the Eastern Cape is to strengthen the economy to improve the conditions of our people.”

Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Yazini Tetyana says the Premier only said what people wanted to hear.

“You cannot implement all of that have been said. All that he did was to say what we want to hear.”

Senior researcher at the Mkahanda-based government watchdog, the Public Service Accountability Monitor, Tlamelo Mothudi, says implementation should follow Mabuyane’s speech.

“I think we are at a point where actions speak louder than words. A lot of the things that were spoken about are things that we know. We are about the current state of health care in South Africa, we know about education more importantly in the Eastern Cape; so it’s all good and well. It’s great to see that the 6th administration is trying to hit the ground running and they are trying to ensure that they grow the economy; but we need to see action.”