Free State Premier must show leadership and include all the people of the Free State in plan to build

Dévar Smit

(Budget vote debate in Free State Legislature)

The Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, frequently talks about #BuildingTheFreeStateWeWant, but she must clarify who the 'we' are that she is referring to and whether all the needs of all the people of the Free State are taken into account with the ANC government's so-called striving for a common goal.

It is clear that the Free State government does not take the needs of the agricultural community seriously.

Farmers have good reason to feel that their lives do not matter to the ruling party while they are living in fear as farm attacks and murders keep increasing.

In addition, the Free State government has deprived farmers in the province of any form of drought relief by failing to submit the required business plan to apply for the disaster relief from the national government.

The FF Plus welcomes the re-prioritisation of 67% of the non-essential items in the Free State budget and wants to challenge the Premier to ensure that such luxuries are cut back on in the future as well.

The norm to spend large amounts of money of luxuries and celebrations while the province is basically bankrupt is unacceptable.

Now is the time for the Premier to show her mettle and include all people of the Free State in her plan to build a better province. If she continues to allow her government to waste money on luxuries while not addressing the province's pressing problems, the legacy of her leadership will be no better than her predecessor's.

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