DA dishes out a 'D' report card to ANC-led KZN govt
Durban - The DA in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday released its report card on the performance of the province's MECs, whom it says have averaged a 'D' grading for the year.
However, the DA also said the performance of the MECs was also an indication that a new brooms doesn't always sweep clean.
At the end of last year the DA handed the provincial government an average of ‘E’ for its performance this was as a result of arrogance from the provincial government.
This year, the DA said despite a new line up within the provincial cabinet, several MECs had continued to underperform and that they were not getting to grips with the underlying issues that were continuing to plague their respective departments.
The DA’s provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said that apart from Finance MEC Ravi Pillay, “who had the luxury of inheriting a well oiled machine”, most MECs scored below par.
“Of particular concern is the performance by Premier Sihle Zikalala, who has shown himself to be more interested in appeasing the different factions within his party than in getting down to the business of running the province.
“This poor performance unfortunately extends to his relationships with political parties in the province, which he shows no interest in uniting or creating better working relationships with,” said Mncwango.
He said that the ‘D’ average scored by the province’s MECs was because many of them were new to their departments and needed to be given time to make good “on their many promises”.
Mncwango said that it was regrettable that a lack of accountability had remained the biggest issue within the provincial cabinet, leaving the DA having to fight hard to ensure that the ANC “walks the talk”.
“This failure by the ANC has extended to written parliamentary questions, a critical oversight oversight tool for opposition parties in carrying out their constitutional duty to hold the executive to account,” Mncwango said.
Below is the DA KZN's Cabinet Report Card for the provincial government:
KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala - Score - E
“The Premier’s arrogant and divisive nature has led to a failure to unite the various political parties within the provincial Legislature. This to the detriment of service delivery to the people of our province.”
KZN Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu - Score - C
“While MEC Simelane-Zulu has made some steps to rectify the situation within her department, she is yet to take the hard step of holding any of her officials accountable for previous mismanagement.”
KZN CoGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka - Score - D
“As KZN’s municipalities continue to falter and fail, with scandals and corruption rampaging through eThekwini, Msunduzi, a failing Umngeni and internal politicking in many others, service delivery and the people of KZN are being left behind. The DA expects MEC Hlomuka to urgently intervene in the form of skills audits, consequence and accountability management, financial discipline and prioritisation.”
KZN Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu - Score - D
“The MEC would have received a ‘C’ but the recent ‘CarGate’ saga has painted a picture of his inability to provide sound direction and now he is best described as ‘wobbly’.”
KZN Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza - Score - E
“This department is in complete disarray while a protracted public battle plays itself out between the MEC and her Head of Department. While the DA is conscious of the fact that MEC Khoza was only installed in May, she has now served for more than six months in her new role, during which time she should, at the very least, have provided some form of leadership.”
KZN Arts and Culture/ Sport and Recreation MEC, Hlengiwe Mavimbela - Score - E
“She could also do a better job in highlighting sport in the province by overseeing the finalisation of sport centre rehabilitations and the building of new sports facilities.”
KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Nomusa Dube Ncube - Score - D
“The MEC has largely failed to attend to any of the EDTEA or Conservation Committee meetings, tendering apologies for at least 95%, while effectively abandoning committee chairpersons and members. Interestingly, she has found the time to attend to high-profile media laden community or conference engagements.”
KZN Community Safety and Liaison MEC, Bheki Ntuli - Score - C
“This portfolio is in serious crisis with the department showing under-performance across the board while also unable to ensure proper and effective management of the province’s 184 police stations. This while some station commanders continue to deny DA MPL’s the right to conduct oversight inspections.”
KZN Transport MEC, Bheki Ntuli - Score - C
“This Department of Transport needs a real shake up. While the newly appointed MEC acknowledges the problems, he is yet to make any significant changes. This while his HOD continues making the same mistakes and his department tries to recover from R14 billion worth of irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure.”
KZN Agriculture MEC, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi - Score - D
“This Department is on the verge of collapse and, along with it, the dire need to support our farmers and rural communities is vanishing. Yet, to date, MEC Sithole-Moloi has failed to take a tough stance on endemic corruption, severe incapacity at all levels and a total lack of accountability.”
KZN Public Works MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni - Score - D
“Public works continues to be the step-child of the provincial government with ever-shrinking budgets and an MEC that left the Legislature under a cloud and who has now been dusted off by the ANC and brought back.”
KZN Human Settlements MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni - Score - D
“While the friendly and affable MEC seems to have adopted an approach, she is yet to give any signal that she is prepared to take the ‘hard stand’ that is necessary to turn this Department around.”
KZN Finance MEC, Ravi Pillay - Score - B
“MEC Pillay has had the distinct luxury and advantage of stepping into the position of Finance MEC, taking over the only provincial government department that adheres to the principles of a capability and efficiency.”
Office of the Speaker at the KZN Legislature, Nontembeko Boyce - Score - B
“The simple adage that a “new broom sweeps clean” can certainly be said of the new Speakers first few months in her position. It is indeed an encouraging introduction into the six term of the KZN legislature. It remains to be seen though whether Speaker Boyce can maintain this enthusiasm for the entire term.”