Pressure is mounting for Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha to implement recommendations of the Special Investigating Unit report on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) corruption in the provincial health department.
On Thursday, when he tabled his annual State of the Province Address (SOPA), Mathabatha declared that he remains resolute towards holding individuals that are implicated in the report accountable.
An anti-corruption organisation in the province, Conty Lebepe Foundation, says the PPE tender scandal has robbed residents of access to key services.
A fight against corruption
While Mathabatha’s tenth SOPA delivery largely focused on an economic turnaround strategy, the premier also declared his commitment towards combating maladministration and corruption, reiterating that his provincial government will cooperate with law enforcement and the National Prosecuting Authority, in ensuring that companies or individuals mentioned in the SIU report are brought to book.
Opposition parties and PPE corruption whistleblowers say it is highly unlikely that the premier will live up to that promise. Conty Lebepe Foundation’s spokesperson Fani Tsela says that the premier has not held anyone accountable.
“The premier must walk the talk, it has been long that he has been saying this, there is no consequence management regarding the corruption scandals that are being exposed in his administration. We are worried as the Conty Lebepe Foundation that every time it is talk and talk and no action.”
ANC welcomes the SOPA
The African National Congress (ANC) in the province holds a different view. Party spokesperson Donald Selamolela says they welcome the contents of the SOPA.
Regarding the SIU report into corruption, Selamolela says he believes that the premier will adhere to the recommendations of the report.
“He has already given us a report that in as far as the PPE is concerned, they are in the process of implementing the report. They are sitting with the report now, so we are very happy with the outcome. We are very sure that all the things he said will be reached because of the commitment he has already made last year.”
Meanwhile, on issues pertaining to the economy, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has accused the premier of failing to implement some of the promises made in his previous address. EFF leader in the legislature, Jossey Buthane, says the provincial government’s decision to rely only on investors is not enough.
“Our people are now on their own, the premier has thrown them to investors, the premier spoke more about investors than what government plans to do to assist our people to live a better life in Limpopo, now on corruption he says nothing.”
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha outlines plans for the economy :
Implementation of the goals
The Democratic Alliance Limpopo leader Jacques Smalle says the premier will likely struggle with implementing many of his goals.
“Overall there was a lot of talk and not a lot of proper implementation as we are now. The highlight on municipalities spending patterns, it is clear that municipalities are struggling.”
The parties in the legislature are expected to debate about the premier’s speech on Tuesday next week.