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Political Parties Walk Out Over the Presence of Controversial Former President

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By Ashok Ramsarup :: Political parties – Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – walked out of the State of the Province address in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Friday morning.  The parties expressed their dissatisfaction over the presence of former President Jacob Zuma in the legislature.

The DA strongly objected to Zuma’s attendance indicating to the Speaker of the House – Nontobeko Boyce – that he was not a member of the provincial legislature thus prompting their  walkout.

Despite the chaos, the newly elected KwaZulu-Natal PremierSihle Zikalala parried along in the legislature calling for an assessment of the 54 municipalities in the province, incurring almost  three-billion Rand in irregular expenditures in the 2018-2019 financial year.

Zikalala said they want to demonstrate humble services to the people, but there were many  challenges. He indicated that some municipalities failed to live up its mandate. “We want to make a firm undertaking that we cannot in all honesty allow this situation to continue. The  Provincial Government, through  Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs  (COGTA ) and Premier’s Co-ordinating Forum will continue to support all municipalities with the main focus on building administrative capacity, financial management and uninterrupted provision of service delivery  to the people.

“Equally decisive interventions will be taken to enforce adherence to rules on municipalities which are not responding positively to expected standards,” said Zikalala.

He pointed out that current state of eThekwini and uMsunduziMunicipalities were concerning concern about their capacity to provide services.  Zikalala said in particular the Office of Premier, COGTA and Finance would work closely with these municipalities to ensure proper functionality and effective services to the people.

Zikalala made a clarion call to  political formations and parties in this house, traditional leaders, religious leaders,  civic society, including labour unions and non-governmental organisations, academics,   artists and the  community to work together to decisively stop the culture of violence and the prevailing state of lawlessness in the province.

He said it was high  time that this be confronted and be dealt with, once and for all, for the future and prosperity of  KwaZulu-Natal.   Zikalala also wants the elimination of drugs, substance abuse, confront domestic violence, women and child abuse and stop teenage pregnancy.  It is shocking to note, he said, some schools had become war zones and centres of crime, drugs, and sexual abuse.

Zikalala said he never  imagined the killing of a  teacher in front of students as it happened at Folweni about 10 kilometressouth of Durban, followed by the killing of security guards. “Wemust embark on a vigorous campaign to build a social stability, restore human values and solidarity  among  people as underpinned by the sole conviction that “Umuntu ngumuntungabantu”,  literally means,  a person is a person by others. I am, because you are!” Zikalala added.

Ashok Ramsarup is award-winning senior journalist of South Africa 🇿🇦 


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