The promises that the Eastern Cape MEC for Finance, Mlungisi Mvoko, made in his Budget Speech for the 2023/23 financial year are not feasible due to the ANC government's failed policy directions, like Affirmative Action, and its inability to eradicate corruption and mismanagement.
The R1 billion earmarked for improving school infrastructure is welcomed, but will only make a difference to learners' circumstances if it is used correctly and does not disappear down the deep, dark pit of corruption.
The poor state of schools in the Eastern Cape is exemplified by the migration of people to the Western Cape and other provinces to obtain better education for their children.
An amount of R21,8 billion was allocated to the struggling Eastern Cape public healthcare sector. Whether it will make any difference is doubtful against the backdrop of the maladministration of public hospitals and the lack of human and healthcare resources.
The 20 000 job opportunities that were created in the fourth quarter of 2022, mainly in the agricultural, manufacturing and construction sectors, according to the MEC, are encouraging but is no more than a drop in the ocean given the provincial unemployment rate of 42,4%.
With the looming Expropriation Act and ongoing load shedding, this upward trend will probably come to an end soon.
The FF Plus proposes that the province's turnaround strategy must include the continuous implementation of cost control. Measures must be put in place to ensure that the available funds are spent on service delivery, rather than on self-enrichment and corruption.
The Eastern Cape is a province with many challenges, but also a lot of potential. The ruling ANC, however, lacks the political will to unlock that potential for the benefit of all its people.
The Eastern Cape deserves better than the ANC.