Rise Mzansi says Dukwana will deliver empty promises at SOPA

Rise Mzansi says Dukwana will deliver empty promises at SOPA

Rise Mzansi in the Free State has poured cold water on the upcoming Free State Province’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) on 29 February 2024, to be delivered by Premier Mxolisi Dukwana, sighting none service delivery, corruption and high debt during the premier’s tenure.

The Free State Convenor of Rise Mzansi Nomsa Marchesi is cautioning the residents of the Free State against getting their hopes up ahead of the SOPA as Premier Dukwana will once again deliver a bucket load of empty promises; she says nothing has changed under the leadership of Dukwana, instead, he is continuing from the legacy of former Premier and SG of the ANC Ace Magashule.

Marchesi says Premier Mxolisi Dukwana has taken a chapter from Magashule’s book and knows nothing except what he learnt from the former Premier of the province.

“Under Dukwana municipalities and various departments which are solely responsible for basic services have collapsed whilst corruption is the order of the day in the province. Municipalities are under dire financial strain and there are no alternative ways to turn the tide in these municipalities.

Day-in-age municipalities like the Welkom-based Matjhabeng, Theunissen-based Masilonyana and Trompsburg-based Kopanong amongst others have failed in every sense to deliver basic services to residents under Dukwana’s leadership,” said Marchesi.

“In Matjhabeng raw sewage spillage has been running across streets and homes of residents for years. The municipality is also heavily indebted with a debt of R5 billion to Eskom and another R5 billion to the Vaal Central Water utility,” she continued.

According to the Convener, Kopanong and Masilonyana municipalities have been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons including failing to pay municipal workers on time, failing to submit proper documentation for auditing to the Auditor General.

Nomsa Marchesi alleges that the two municipalities owe municipal workers retirement pension funds millions of Rands leaving workers of retirement age in limbo.  She says all these things happened whilst Dukwana was there as the right-hand man of Magushule and it is also continuing under his leadership.

“Prior to the failed R255 million Free State Asbestos criminal case in 2021 just after Magashule and other corrupt accused leaders like former Mangaung Metro Mayor (MMM) and Human Settlement MEC, Olly Mlamleli, got arrested Dukwana and other disgruntled ANC comrades organised an unsuspecting group of ordinary South Africans to protest against Magashule and others at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court in the name of rooting out corruption.  

He spoke highly of himself and condemned corruption and unethical leadership but has anything under him really changed to date? The answer is no!” remarked Marchesi.

Going for the jugular, Marchesi pointed out that Dukwana is the same man who also went to the State Capture Commission led by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and exposed how his former boss Magashule and the notorious Gupta family attempted to buy his soul with R2 million.

“He previously said during his tenure as an MEC, he was offered R2 million monthly in exchange for his signature on a document that would have authorised a R41.8 billion government investment deal to build a “New City” in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality, which would have benefited the controversial Gupta family, Magashule and their associates,” said Rise Mzansi’s Convener.

“These were the actions of a brave man who risked his life to try to expose the rot in the ANC and Free State government,” she continued.

Nomsa Marchesi says, in contrast to the heroic and ethical actions, the now turn arch rival of Magashule is no different as municipalities under him are crumbling, millions of Rands are being misappropriated, and millions that are meant for service delivery are being returned to national treasury.

“In 2022 the Department of Human Settlement which was led by Dukwana when he was the MEC for the department forfeited a whooping R20 million back to treasury.  Also, between the period of 2022/23 a total of 17 municipalities in the province forfeited R171 million of the allocated conditional grants.

One should therefore ask, what empty promises does Dukwana have under his sleeve this time around? Countless promises have been made to residents and nothing gets done. It’s unacceptable that residents continue to live in squalor conditions and abject poverty, whilst the rate of unemployment and crime remains high,” said Nomsa Marchesi.

“A RISE Mzansi government will prioritise placing dysfunctional municipalities in major economic nodes under administration until they meet basic Auditor-General standards and are on a sustainable path to recovery,” she concluded.


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