Premier out of touch, say parties

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and AmaZulu king Misuzulu Zulu. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and AmaZulu king Misuzulu Zulu. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 4, 2024


Durban — The 2024 State of the Province Address delivered by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube last week followed the tone set by the State of the Nation Address, in which the ruling party punted its successes since coming to power.

The address took electioneering into overdrive as political parties prepare for the general elections in May.

ANC chief whip Vuyiswa Caluza praised Dube-Ncube for giving an accurate account of what the government had done to change the lives of people over the years.

Dube-Ncube told the sitting that change in service delivery brought by the ANC-led government was visible in schools, roads and healthcare facilities that had been built by the government.

She accused the IFP of building sub-standard houses and schools under the homeland system, saying that in many instances the ANC government had to start from scratch in building houses and schools.

According to Caluza, people from the Zululand District and uThukela District where the IFP was in power were yet to get proper service delivery because the IFP leadership was squandering public funds for personal use.

She also lambasted the IFP leadership for alleged sexual misconduct in some municipalities, saying this was one of many reasons why the IFP would not lead the provincial government, despite such ambitions.

“We must never allow the IFP to return to power because no one will protect us from those who seek sexual favours before giving us jobs,” said the MPL.

Turning to the DA, Caluza accused the party of selective service delivery, saying that only white communities were receiving services in the Western Cape, while the people of Mpophomeni in uMngeni Municipality in KZN, where the DA’s Chris Pappas was mayor, were complaining that they were being neglected.

Responding to the address, the IFP leader in the KZN Legislature, Blessed Gwala, accused the ANC of failing the people of KZN. He said Dube-Ncube had delivered a campaign speech instead of addressing pressing issues such as unemployment, crime and poverty.

“The State of the Province Address left us wondering how a government that is meant to serve the people can be so grotesquely out of touch with the reality,” said Gwala.

He described the ANC as a slippery serpent that could not be trusted.

“The ANC keeps promising jobs, they did so in 1994, in 1999, in 2004, and in 2024 you see the pattern.

“People have lost patience after 30 years of promises and yearn for a competent government,” he said.

According to the IFP MPL, it was worrying that 27.3 million people relied on social grants that were financed by 7.1 million taxpayers, insisting that drastic measures should be taken to address unemployment in KZN and the rest of the country.

DA leader Francois Rodgers described the premier’s address as being full in content but lacking substance and credibility.

“In fact, it was little more than a continuation of the ANC manifesto launch held last weekend. The building of a new palace for the king, with no substance on how and from which budget it will be funded, leaves one with the impression that the ANC is desperately trying to garner support from areas where it has lost followers. Remember it is an election year,” said Rodgers.

He cited unemployment, the abject poverty and inequality, and the filthy sewage-filled streets as some of the challenges that the ANC government had failed to address in the past.

Rodgers also noted how the ANC leaders, over successive years, had promised to deliver water to communities that were in need of such and how the plans had not yielded visible results.

He noted how water had become a topical issue in recent times, and echoed the IFP sentiments that the ANC leadership was out of touch with the reality faced by the people.

“A true sign of just how out of touch the ANC is with reality – and the lack of shame it feels despite the collapse of water services – is the fact that the City of Durban is set to host the 2025 World Water Conference.

“The absurdity is beyond comprehension,” said Rodgers.

Dube-Ncube said while it was important to acknowledge that unemployment was still high and to try to attract investors, it was equally important to encourage people to develop skills so that they could be self employed.

University of KwaZulu-Natal academic and political analyst Siyabonga Ntombela said it was not surprising that Dube-Ncube had used the platform to sell the ANC’s plans as this was a regular habit in an election year.

“She was always going to follow the tone that had been set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, where there was no clear indication of where the country is at the moment, but more about what the ANC wants to do,” said Ntombela.

Sunday Tribune