“State of the Province – 2013” debate closes – Premier’s unconvincing reply

To recap:  Last Friday, Premier Helen Zille presented her ‘State of the Province’ address, on Tuesday political parties in the Western Cape parliament replied (see my previous blog post) and today the Premier replied to us.

PROVINCIAL CLEAN AUDITS:

On my statements regarding corruption, the Premier initially cited information not relevant to the point I made (but all of which I agree with) but then added that her government has not stagnated and regressed in its progress towards achieving clean audits in the 14 provincial departments by explaining how the DA’s audit results are an improvement from the ANC’s term of office (until 2009).  I agree that this is true and have congratulated the DA on this performance.

But the reality remains that the last two financial years (2010/11 and 2011/12), which are mid-term years for the DA, have shown stagnation and even regression in audit outcomes – in both of these years, only 4 departments achieved clean audits (the A-G calls that ‘stagnation’), and last year one department received a qualified opinion (the A-G calls this ‘regression’ – because this same department was cleaner before).  ‘Progress’ would mean that the number of departments with clean audits have increased throughout the DA’s term, but this is not the case.

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUND:

On the Housing Development Fund’s annual financial statements being outstanding, the Premier replied that this is not true.

But the reality is that these have not yet been tabled in parliament (to-date) so that SCOPA can interrogate their financial performance. Thus, it remains outstanding – almost 6 months late, and counting.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE:

The Premier replied that the Substance Abuse programme has verifiable facts and figures, and cited a few examples relating to patients who went through the 24 treatment centres.

But, firstly – the Department of Social Development’s published annual report states that it’s facts and figures are not verifiable.  Secondly – in the hearing with SCOPA, the Head of Department (HOD) told us these are not verifiable, confirming the assertion in the annual report.  Thirdly – the AG report confirms 92% are not verifiable.  Fourthly – in my speech I clearly qualified my concerns ( “…besides the treatment centers that have grown to 24, few if any facts are verifiable”).  I provided that caveat knowing that the treatment centers facts are more verifiable, but not fully

I trust this confirms that I was not inaccurate in what I said. The Premiers reply does not present the full and accurate picture.

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