State of the province: 3 things Magashule did not say
The Free State would host a crime prevention summit, following a recent spate of farm attacks, Premier Ace Magashule announced in his state of the province address today.
Magashule sympathised with the families of farmers and farm workers who have been affected by crime and also mentioned the scourge of the abuse, rape and murder of women and children.
“It is of vital importance to engage the farming community to find a solution to prevent and stop farm attacks,” he said.
He said the province had shed many jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, and stressed the importance of a conducive environment for job creation.
Magashule took a swipe at former premier Mosiuoa Lekota by saying his government would replace one-door, two-room houses constructed by Cope’s Lekota who is a former ANC premier of the province.
What Magashule did not say:
1. Magashule mentioned that the Free State health department was the third-best performer in the country, but failed to address the fact that the department was in the red by millions or how the effects on service delivery would be curbed. He also did not mention the financial woes of all provincial departments, which had forced the provincial treasury to institute stringent cost containing measures.
On health, Magashule said: “Drug availability at Primary Health Care sites are 96.7% and at Regional and Academic Hospitals drug availability is at 97%.”
This despite reports from opposition parties that patients who need chronic medication are being sent home empty-handed, because the department of health is curbing overexpenditure.
2. He did not mention the progress of the department of police, roads and transport, which had been put under administration by national government in his address.
3. Magashule did not address persistent rumours that a provincial cabinet reshuffling was in the works. He did say an MEC for health would be appointed “soon”, following the death of Health MEC Fundiswa “Fezi” Ngubentombi.