NEWS & ANALYSIS

Job Mokgoro must focus on health, jobs, corruption, housing and crime – Joe McGluwa

DA PL says new Premier's success will be determined by how quickly he can act on important issues

Mokgoro’s first 100 days must focus on health, jobs, corruption, housing and crime in the North West

27 June 2018

The success of the first 100 days of Job Mokgoro, the new North West Premier, will be determined by how quickly he is able to restore confidence in our broken health system; create much needed jobs, especially for the youth; fight rampant crime; build houses and accelerate the distribution of title deeds; and stop the culture of corruption, which has become a common and acceptable at all levels of government in this government.

It is no secret that Premier Mokgoro was a compromise candidate, who has been tasked by Luthuli House to balance the interests of two opposing factions. One faction is led by Cyril Ramaphosa -- ”the weakest ANC president in history” – another faction is led by a friend of Jacob Zuma and the Guptas, Supra Mahumapelo. Therefore he will have the tough job of actually leading the people instead of a faction. The DA’s policy around governance is that the people must always come first.

Former Premier Supra Mahumapelo managed and administered over an extensive state capture project that impoverished the people of the North West while enriching a connected political network close to the ANC.

Premier Mokgoro must walk the talk and ensure that he takes active steps to dismantle Mahumapelo’s corrupt network as a critical first step in restoring public confidence in the government and its ability to deliver services.

The Auditor-General has painted a terrible yet honest picture of the state of collapse in this province, yet the ANC has ignored this in favour of continued corruption, while the people suffer more and more.

In order to change the North West, the Premier will need to heed to the Auditor General’s 2016/17 findings, which concluded that the Province must address “the lack of accountability and commitment towards clean administration”. Failure to do so will only worsen the Provinces already precarious financial position and a decline in service delivery.

With an unemployment rate that has risen from 23,9% to 25,8%, it is essential that infrastructure investment and development should be prioritised to create jobs, especially for the youth.

It is however disappointing that Premier Mokgoro has not clearly articulated an infrastructure development programme for a Province which has some of the largest infrastructure backlogs in the country. The unemployed are once again being denied access to opportunity by an ANC government which has shown repeatedly how it does not care for the people.

Nothing has changed in the Province’s crisis ridden health system and residents are still being treated in overcrowded and understaffed hospitals. Unless Mokgoro takes bold steps to remove tenderpreneurs’ undue influence on health procurement, residents will continue to be transported in wheelbarrows and sent home with no medicine to die.

Cleaning up of housing lists is ‘low hanging fruit’ that must be prioritized if the North West is to create opportunities for residents to become home owners. The DA will hold Premier accountable if he fails to implement a transparent housing process that creates value through title deeds in order to break the cycle of poverty.

Residents are looking for a government that will protect them from crime which went out of control, especially in our rural areas. Premier Mogkoro’s success in fighting crime will only be measured in how quickly he facilitates the implementation of rural safety nets.

The North West is a broken Province which was held to ransom by Supra Mahumapelo’s disastrous tenure as Premier. Premier Mokgoro will be judged on how well he dismantles the legacy of Mahumapelo and creates opportunity for the province’s poor residents.

If Mokgoro is serious about rebuilding what the ANC has broken over two decades he will implement the aforementioned strategy.

While the installation of a new Premier will help in restoring order, the reality is that Mokgoro will remain a figurehead unless he distinguishes himself as a leader of substance, rather than a leader of a faction.

We will monitor this ANC administration very closely but ultimately real change will only come when the people head to polls and vote for a DA-led government that always puts them first.

Issued by Joe McGluwaDA North West Provincial Leader, 27 June 2018