Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Free State SOPA lets people of the Free State down

The State of the Province Address (SOPA) delivered by the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, earlier today was nothing but a rehash of plans and projects that were announced in the past but were never implemented.

Very few of these projects ever really get going seeing as the Free State's current financial crisis makes it impossible and on top of that, the governmental departments are seemingly unable to execute any plans.

The Premier once again emphasised the Maluti-a-Phofung special economic zone. This special economic zone has sadly only created 90 permanent job opportunities thus far.

The Premier failed to make use of the opportunity to announce drastic cost-saving measures and re-prioritising.

Instead she focused on the government's role in job creation and made promises about reducing youth unemployment through creating nearly 32250 job opportunities by means of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

The government, however, cannot sustainably keep creating jobs. The government is supposed to create a climate in which the private sector is empowered to create jobs so as to reduce unemployment. 

The Premier mentioned in her SOPA that attention must be paid to the environment and climate change, but her first priority should be to stop the pollution caused by sewage, which municipalities are failing to manage properly. Sewage is spilling into rivers on a daily basis. 

She failed to announce a concrete plan to address the failure of various Free State municipalities and merely stated that the MEC for Cooperative Governance will deal with those crises. The provincial interventions at municipalities in the province are, however, not successful.

It is unacceptable that the Premier made no mention of rural safety.

The Free State does not need lip service and empty promises, but feasible solutions. The FF Plus will keep putting pressure on the provincial government in the Free State Legislature to ensure that concrete plans are drawn up and implemented.

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