The IFP wants Premier Sihle Zikalala to use his Sopa to fix the province’s ailing education and fight crime, among other things. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - The IFP, the official opposition party in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, wants Premier Sihle Zikalala to use his maiden state of the province address (Sopa) on Friday to fix the province’s ailing education and fight crime, among other things.

On Wednesday, the party’s leader in the KZN legislature, Velenkosini Hlabisa, said Zikalala must also come up with plans to fix the province’s municipalities, saying the Auditor-General raised serious concerns about the way in which finances are utilised in them. To enable the economy of the province to grow, the party wants Zikalala’s government to allocate funds to build all weather roads and other critical infrastructure. 

“Health care in KwaZulu Natal is crumbling. Medical facilities in the province suffer shortages of staff, especially nurses and doctors. Some medical facilities suffer the disease of bad staff attitudes towards patients,” Hlabisa said.

Turning to education, Hlabisa said only a chosen few of South Africans can afford to pay for quality education and Zikalala must end that. 

“Hence the KZN government must prioritise the provision of quality education by ensuring that every primary school in the province has a proper grade R classroom; that grade R educators and/or practitioners are properly remunerated; that schools and education offices are professionally managed by skilled personnel,” he added.

The two legs of the opening of the legislature would start on Thursday with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini officially opening it . On Friday it will be the turn of politicians with Zikalala to outline the priorities of his government. . 

Being one of the most violent provinces and a perceived breeding ground for hitmen operating in the taxi industry and political circles, Hlabisa wants Zikalala to tell the provincial audience of what he is going to do to eradicate the scourge of crime. 

“KwaZulu-Natal has experienced an increase of crime levels year after year. Of late, the province has suffered a spate of murders, especially in relation to the persecution of political leaders. With this kind of an unhealthy environment, it will be very difficult for the province to be able to attract the much-needed investments into the province,” said Hlabisa. 

Political Bureau