Days before he delivers his maiden Sopa, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has been told by the opposition to start translating his words into deeds. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Days before he delivers his maiden state of the province address (Sopa) KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has been told by the opposition to start translating his words into deeds.

The DA, the third largest party in the provincial legislature, says Zikalala needs to deal with unemployment, ailing provincial economy, non-existent and poor service delivery and rampant crime levels.  

Zwakele Mncwango, the leader of the party in the legislature, said instead of more vague promises and ‘plans about plans’, the DA expects a clear and precise strategy.

“While the Premier has done a lot of talking in recent weeks, Friday is when the rubber has to hit the road with realistic, measurable strategies,” Mncwango said. 

He said Zikalala is aware of the many challenges faced by the province as a sizeable number of voters deserted his party, the ANC at the May 8 polls.

“The reality is that Premier Zikalala has effectively been running KZN for several years from behind the scenes and that, during this time, little if nothing has changed...Instead of more vague promises and ‘plans about plans’, the DA expects a clear and precise strategy from Premier Zikalala.”

 Giving a hint of his maiden Sopa, Zikalala said he will expand on practical steps to be taken by his new government in its quest to propel the province to greater heights. He added that focus will be on job creation, improving the delivery of services, growing the economy, human settlements and sustainable livelihood. 

“The preparations for the delivery of Sopa are at an advanced stage. We have done all the necessary consultations including holding makgotlas with all relevant stakeholders. We also appreciate the valuable contributions we have received from ordinary people of KwaZulu-Natal,” said Zikalala. 

 Unlike the other eight legislatures in the country, the opening of the KZN legislature one is done over two days. Thursday will be King Goodwill Zwelthini’s turn to officially open it and Zikalala will deliver his address on Friday. 

Political Bureau