Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Free State SOPA: An unrealistic rehash of old promises

The State of the Province Address (SOPA) by the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, offered no more than empty promises and a rehash of plans that failed in the past.

The Premier announced "with pride" earlier today that more than 40% of the people of the Free State are dependent on social grants. That is certainly nothing to be proud of, instead, it proves that the Free State government has failed to stimulate economic growth.

Economic growth can only be stimulated if infrastructure is properly maintained and developed. Businesses are hampered by Free State municipalities’ inability to provide basic service delivery. No business enterprise can function optimally without a stable water and electricity supply.

Today it was announced that only phase one of the Botshabelo Industrial Park has been completed even though the Premier promised last year that the entire project will be finalised by the end of 2020. The Premier also repeated the promise of a R1 billion investment in the Maluti-a-Phofhung Special Economic Zone. Year in and year out, the same promises are made.

The Premier admits that municipalities are a great cause for concern and nothing to be proud of, but boasts that approximately R280 million in conditional allocations for municipal infrastructure (MIG) had been spent at the end of December 2020.

That is but a drop in the ocean seeing as it adds up to spending only 38% of the said grant. And as a result, National Treasury has reduced the allocation of funds to the Metsimaholo Local Municipality with R26 million due to the underspending.

While the Free State seems to be the epicentre of corruption and state capture in South Africa, the Premier failed to address these burning issues adequately, she only offered lip service.

The Covid-19 vaccination programme that the Premier announced today is unrealistic and the projections for this year's targets do not add up. She said that 2 042 vaccinations will be administered every day, but projects that 1,9 million vaccinations will be done for the entire year. It only adds up to approximately 630 000 vaccinations. And up to date, the Free State has only been able to do 4 803 vaccinations in total.

The war against gender violence will not be won if there is only one safe haven and five shelters across the entire Free State.

The Premier's SOPA offers no hope for a better Free State. The ANC government is clearly failing miserably. The people deserve an accountable government free of corruption.



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