DA wants Zikalala to take hard stance against corruption in SOPA
Durban - With KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala set to deliver his State of the Province address shortly, the Democratic Alliance in the province says they expect him to take a hard stance against corruption in the province’s numerous government departments and municipalities.
Zikalala is expected to deliver his address on Wednesday morning at the Pietermaritzburg Royal Showgrounds.
Among the leading issues the DA’s provincial leader, Zwakele Mncwango, wants Zikalala to address include tackling corruption in provincial departments and municipalities, and the initiation of lifestyle audits of provincial cabinet members and senior government officials.
“We have seen a lot of forensic investigations being done, but in terms of the recommendations, nothing ever happens.
"Now the question is, are we wasting money with these forensic investigations because no one gets arrested and the government is unable to recover monies that are stolen,” Mncnwango said.
He said that during the last SOPA, Zikalala had told the province he would initiate a lifestyle audit for provincial cabinet members, but to date nothing has been done.
“Was that just a talk show? We are hoping that the premier will tell us, in terms of the progress, why he has not done this and what the obstacles are, as he has not even managed to start doing a lifestyle audit,” Mncwango said.
Mncwango said that another burning issue they expected Zikalala to place emphasis on was the provincial capital city’s Msunduzi Local Municipality.
“Last week, I wrote to him and gave him a list of our proposals, including requesting answers on why the municipal manager, Sbu Sithole, was removed and being sent to the Ugu District Municipality, given what he has achieved, because I know he was busy with investigations.
“Before he even finished these investigations or even gave us a report, in terms of what he has found in this rotten municipality, he then gets removed and sent to Ugu District Municipality.
" There are allegations that he was actually close to cracking cases and getting some senior officials and politicians arrested.
"But it’s for the premier to tell us whether this is true or not, because that municipality has collapsed, but there’s nothing that the premier and MEC for Cogta are doing about it,” Mncwango added.
He added that education in rural areas and townships was another key area of interest they wanted Zikalala to shed light on, as it was clear that learners attending rural and township public schools were not getting quality education compared to those in urban areas.
“This is really unfortunate in a democracy where learners are still subjected to this kind of environment where some have the advantage of getting quality education and others are not getting this quality education,” Mncwango said.