The Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul.
Kimberley - Opposition political parties are challenging Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul to make good on his promises to turn the province around when he delivers his State of the Province address on Friday.

EFF provincial secretary Shadrack Tlhaole said that the red berets would do everything in their power to ensure that Saul remained accountable.

“We are not fighting the premier, we will support him, but he has appointed the weakest cabinet. This is not a preschool. The premier must not allow internal battles within the ANC to derail the Province,” said Tlhaole.

“Young people are suffering from a crippling economy and we must ensure that clinics are open 24 hours a day. Our roads are in a bad condition and we do not have enough ambulances. Saul must get the ball rolling at the Lerato Park housing project that has remained uncompleted for many years. He has also been very quiet on how he will root out corruption, as well as what will be done about the unopened Kimberley mental hospital. A fresh investigation should be done into this white elephant as well as the government garage.”

Tlhaole believed that Saul had a responsibility to ensure that there was enough land for residential occupation and farming.

“The EFF is not happy about state farms that are being given to friends.”

Tlhaole added that the outstanding Section 106 investigation report at the Sol Plaatje Municipality also had to be prioritised.

“The current state of municipalities in the province is a direct result of weak leadership within the ANC. Saul must be transparent and deal with all outstanding matters. We also want to know why his municipal account was given priority, while the electricity of the poor is immediately suspended if they have any outstanding debts.”

He indicated that while bold turnaround strategies required time to implement, insourcing of services such as cleaning, gardening, catering and security services should be introduced with immediate effect.

Freedom Front Plus deputy provincial leader Danie Coetzee said the party would give Saul 100 days to deliver an economic development plan for the Province.

“This plan should lead to employment, sustainable job creation and stimulate the local economy.”

DA provincial leader Andrew Louw said that Saul should begin implementing concrete plans following his announcements regarding introducing austerity measures and subjecting government officials, including himself, to lifestyle audits.

“We want to know how the premier plans to deal with those who fail to curb lavish splurging and those who contravene the law to fill their own pockets. Leadership without consequence management will fail to have the desired impact on this Province’s dire fiscal position.”

Louw added that it would be counter-productive to establish provincial construction and mining companies.

“The premier must instil accountability within the health sector - probably the worst run department in the Province. It is a lack of accountability, and not a lack of funding that lies at the heart of the Department of Health’s failures.”

Louw stated that the premier should announce interventions at dysfunctional municipalities.

“He must be willing to pull the plug on cadre deployment in the Province and ensure that properly skilled and competent officials are occupying government jobs.”

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