Mkhize speech 'lacks punch'
OPPOSITION parties yesterday described KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize's state of the province address as disappointing, with the DA saying it lacked a "killer punch".
"The premier didn't say anything new. It probably was his most disappointing speech," the party said.
"In his entire speech there were probably four lines devoted to corruption, and in those four lines there were no concrete steps on how he will fight corruption.
"He didn't say a word about road networks, which we feel is essential. There's no point in constructing roads if they are not connected to areas where people can market their products," DA caucus leader John Steenhuisen, said.
He also criticised Mkhize for not pronouncing on lifestyle audits for senior or government officials. But he praised Mkhize for his rural development programme.
IFP leader Bonginkosi Buthelezi criticised Mkhize for "once again putting the blame for KwaZulu-Natal's precarious financial position on the global economic recession without acknowledging that it was partly the result of gross overspending by the previous ANC government".
"The multi-billion rand overdraft, which is only being addressed belatedly and slowly, has created a host of macro-economic burdens for KwaZulu-Natal in addition to the global economic meltdown," Buthelezi said.
He said while some of the over-expenditure had been unavoidable as a result of unfunded mandates, the IFP maintains that a large proportion can be traced back to wasteful expenditure on self-promotion, advertising and unnecessary luxuries.
"For many years the ANC government behaved as if money was no object. Unless this culture is acknowledged and acted against, the incumbent government will find it hard to change the underlying culture of extravagance and excess," Buthelezi said.
The IFP has dismissed the bulk of this year's state of the province address as "a bland extension and continuation of ongoing government programmes and initiatives".
"There are few fresh ideas and little innovation. The government is going full steam ahead with programmes, many of which have not yielded tangible results," he said.