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People of the Free State’s needs are overlooked yet another year

(Debate on Free State SOPA)

Just like King Osiris was seemingly blind to his brother's sins in Egyptian mythology, the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, is deliberately turning a blind eye to the decline of the Free State, and her party's hand in it.

The Free State's roads are so decayed and dangerous that people have lost their lives. By dismissing the poor condition of the province's roads as a mere inconvenience, the Premier confirms her apparent blindness to the extent of the decay.

The ANC is blind when it comes to contractors' competence and sees only their skin colour when awarding tenders.

Free State taxpayers' money is squandered on contractors who cannot do the work properly. A great number of ongoing legal battles could have been prevented if competent companies were appointed to maintain and develop critical road infrastructure.

Food security is dependent on a very sensitive value chain in agriculture and every variable, from rainfall and other weather patterns to infrastructure, plays a very important role. It is lamentable that the ANC has left local farmers to fend for themselves – and fix the roads themselves – while they are also battling the elements and other relevant variables.

In addition, the Free State has lost its allowance for the maintenance of road infrastructure from the National Treasury, because the allocated funds were not spent.

And this same problem stretches much further than road infrastructure. Several municipalities, like Matjhabeng, have also lost around R100 million due to underspending.

Free State municipalities are bankrupt. Mafube and Kopanong are unable to pay salaries.

While Maluti-A-Phofung has also been identified as one of the municipalities requiring national intervention. If this intervention should fail, there will be nothing left of the Municipality.

And then the endless faction fights in Mangaung are still continuing. Legal battles have become the norm while residents see no improvement in essential service delivery.

The ANC's only solution to all these problems is establishing more task teams.

But the remnant of the Free State is in greater jeopardy than ever before due to years of political malice, a lack of action and the Premier's deliberate blindness.

It is time for her to open her eyes and behold this reality.

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