Opposition parties in the North West have lambasted Premier Bushy Maape saying he is turning a blind eye to service delivery challenges that are facing residents.
They say Maape’s State of the Province Address, held in Mahikeng on Friday, leaves much to be desired and has brought up more questions than answers on promises made last year.
The State of the Province Address was attended by dignitaries from all spheres of government and community members. Moments after the Premier took to the podium, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) started raising points of order.
Chaos ensued when instruction was given for security to boot out unruly members of the EFF who demanded that Maape apologises for the utterances he made in Parliament last week when he said there are no potholes in the province.
When order was restored Maape made several promises to the residents. “We are pleased to announce that Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) through the Presidency has set aside R13 billion for the maintenance and upgrading of 39 roads projects in the province. These projects will be implemented during the 2023/24 financial year. This is in addition to the R1.3 billion for road upgrading and maintenance in the current financial year.”
North West State Of The Province Address:
Maape also indicated that some job opportunities were to be created.
“Over 2300 work opportunities, training, as well as business development support, were created for young people in various sectors such as information communication technology, tourism, environment management as well as rural development. The North West Parks Board will spend R4 million on youth skills development programme which is envisaged to create at least 120 job opportunities.”
Opposition parties in the provincial legislature, however, were not impressed.
Freddy Sonakile, from the Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus leader in the provincial legislature, says it was the emptiest speech he has ever heard in the entire administration of this term.
“When you look at the speech they are talking about the energy plan that they are going to start. I mean load shedding is here now residents and business people are suffering. They thought that this was their chance to get answers but nothing came out of that. He is talking about youth strategy, he cannot be talking about all these strategies we have previously, agriculture nothing, tourism nothing. This was the emptiest speech that one has ever had in the entire administration of this term.”
The EFF in the province says the address did not carry much.
“The infrastructure, in general, is deteriorating and the Premier has not presented a clear programme on how he is going to improve the situation in this province and we take him as a delinquent and a liar. We have actually requested the African National Congress (ANC) to recall him as the Premier because he lied to the nation during the Sona debate when he was addressing there,” says Papiki Babuile the secretary for EFF in the province.
While promises were made – it remains to be seen whether or not they will come to fruition in the promised time frames.