Masualle paints gloomy picture

Other highlights from his speech included:

  • Improving water, sanitation, roads and electricity infrastructure in small towns;
  • 25 000 households will be supported with agricultural inputs to strengthen food security;
  • A focus on digital transformation in education;
  • Cuban professors to assist the province in improving maths, science and technology subjects; and
  • Refurbishing 11 healthcare facilities.
While he touched on the drought crisis that has gripped the province, and particularly the Bay, Masualle did not provide details in his speech about the specific role his administration would play to mitigate the impact.

Nelson Mandela Bay’s dams have reached the lowest levels in decades, at a combined tally of about 25%.

Responding to questions from the media, Masualle said they welcomed the R6-billion announced by Gigaba to be made available for water projects across the country.

He added that they were talking to the provincial disaster management centre to build its capacity to plan for disasters such as droughts.

Asked what he thought about his performance as premier over the past four years, Masualle said he believed that he and his executive had met their objectives.

“Our government system is premised on political parties; we are deployed by them.

“From time to time such deployment is evaluated and assessed and a decision gets made about whether or not you are fit for the purpose,” Masualle said.

“We are here to pronounce on the progress we are making, and we are moving ahead.”

He said that anyone who doubted his capabilities should check for themselves and that he believed he had a strong team.

Opposition parties felt his speech lacked a proper vision and plan for the economy and jobs for the province.

DA leader in the legislature Bobby Stevenson said: “It had absolutely no heart, it showed that it was coming from a man who is on his way out.

“In fact, Masualle should not have delivered the state of the province address.”

Stevenson said the speech was proof that the province needed a complete government overhaul.

“The premier even mentioned that he is going to call a senior management conference – but what is lacking is core leadership that takes tough decisions and ensures we take value for money.”

Mabuyane also believed there was no need for a conference for senior managers, saying: “Managers are employed to implement decisions of the ANC. We don’t need to negotiate about that; we don’t have to go to a conference about that.

“Leadership of the ANC must provide leadership and parliament must provide oversight.”

UDM MPL Max Mhlati said he was disappointed there were no new economic drivers for the province announced.

“The only jobs you hear about are these EPWP jobs for people, which are your [pick and] shovel jobs.

“What about the graduates? There are no jobs for them.”

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