This week, two cabinet ministers spoke about the sustainability of provinces. Trevor Manuel and Mosiua Lekota believe the nine provinces are not well capacitated to efficiently and effectively run the affairs of government.
The ministers are way out of line. To compare and benchmark the colonial, apartheid regime is not only absurd, but irrelevant, and undermines our hard-fought revolution.
To raise the issue of the relevance and number of provinces citing capacity problems is to approach the debate from the tail. The debate must examine the relevance and efficiency of provinces using the theory of the role of the state in the development of our country. It is also critical to examine the operational framework accorded to provinces by our constitution, which is limiting and constraining.
The question is whether, within the developmental framework adopted by the government, provinces have a role. How do they relate to municipalities? Do they have sufficient legislative and financial resources to discharge these challenges?
Not only provinces have capacity problems and many are discharging their duties with distinction. They have also played a very important role in stabilising our country.
The debate on the efficiency and role of governance structures must continue in a holistic manner, not in isolation.
Benny Boshielo, Polokwane