The serious administrative shortcomings in the entire North West province have prompted some to call for a Commission of Inquiry into its affairs.
Failure to deliver services, large-scale corruption and the illegal deposit of millions of rands of municipal funds in VBS Mutual Bank are just some of the concerns.
Premier Job Mokgoro, in his State of the Province Address last year, indicated that heads would roll for those implicated in the VBS scandal, but observers say little seems to have been done.
Premier Job Mokgoro delivers the state of the province address:
Political analyst Andre Duvenhage says, “We know there were questions asked about the VBS Bank, the so-called R150 million but specifically the R49 million that was referred to. My concern is that there were no proper investigations. What we need in the province is a small Zondo Commission to investigate what is going on. It is critical to turn the province around because at the moment we have a province under administration, the majority of municipalities under administration. We have chaos and anarchy that is going on and people are paying the price for poor service delivery. It’s time that everyone be dealt with equal under the law. And specifically also Ruth Mompati, there should be an investigation and the law should go its way.”
Local government expert, Barry Hanyane from the North West University says Mokgoro is under immense pressure as he has inherited an administration that is beset by a lot of corruption.
“Whatever becomes of his anti-corruption strategy, such a strategy is bound to rattle the cage, especially of members of his political parties who may and may not necessarily be pointed out as involved in the scandal itself.
“But let’s not forget that the Premier had his hands full, seeing that in the previous administration under Premier Supra Mahumapelo, a number of dubious transactions were noted, which put the spotlight of corruption in the province into the governance map and at the same time put the administration of the current Premier under undue pressure.”
Premier Mokgoro reflects on his North West State of the Province Address:
Meanwhile, the use of asbestos in classrooms across the province has not been eradicated completely. Premier Mokgoro says that although some school buildings made with asbestos have been broken down, there are others that have either some asbestos classrooms or asbestos roofs.
“Asbestos has been identified as a health hazard and we aim to eradicate it from all our schools. Full asbestos schools, those who built entirely out of asbestos, had been eradicated completely and what is remaining are those schools buildings which are part of this programme and we will be starting with the worst cases.”