Modern, Growing, Successful Province

STATEMENT BY THE OFFICE OF THE PREMIER ON THE CARTE BLANCHE INTERVIEW

A recent broadcast of an interview on Carte Blanche where the presenter engages the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul on service delivery challenges in the Sol Plaatje municipality paints a very negative report on a bedrock of sensation and misconceptions.

Having reviewed the unedited version, Premier Saul repeatedly asked the journalist, Govan Whittles, to contextualise the interview. 

Due to the intended biased narrative that the production team wanted to drive, they opted only to show a few seconds of a 16-minute interview to achieve the illusion of a non-functioning municipality. 

To further prove bias and ill intent, the production team refused a right to reply by granting an interview to the Sol Plaatje Municipality. Instead, they opted to send written questions for their response. This advice is given by Premier Saul when he explicitly asked Mr Whittles whether they consulted the Sol Plaatje Municipality on the service delivery issues. For the entire 16 minutes, Premier Saul explained in detail the context of the service delivery challenges of the Municipality. 

Premier Saul provided Mr Whittles with the historical facts as well as advances made in addressing the service delivery challenges that Sol Plaatje Municipality is not immune to. Every municipality, even the Metro Municipalities faces the very same challenges due to upgrading and expanding Apartheid spatial planning. Developing Western Countries to have these challenges albeit on a smaller scale.

For purposes of clarity, the Office of the Premier wishes to place on record that for the past thirty years and also since the inception of the Sixth Administration, service delivery has been escalated and more resources directed at repairing ailing infrastructure and upgrading infrastructure to provide access to basic services for previously disadvantaged individuals. 

Not even the COVID-19 pandemic hampered the vision of the Northern Cape Provincial Government to improve the lives of the people of the Province. Since 2019 and throughout National Lockdowns in 2020/21, this Administration has consistently shown economic growth and has even shown recovery after COVID-19 and getting job creation back to pre-Covid levels. Service delivery has also shown increased levels, and many times exceeding National targets that have been set.

From your semi-urban areas to the deep rural villages in the John Taolo Gaetsewe and Namakwa Districts, we pride ourselves as a provincial government that we have responded swiftly and effectively to the needs of the people of the province.

As indicated in the StatsSA Census Report of 2022; in terms of service delivery, this is our track record:

  •  Water provision stands at 95,8%
  •  Electricity provision stands at 92.5%
  •  Sanitation provision stands at 80%
  •  Housing delivery stands at 85,9%,
  •  Refuse removal stands at 72%

Throughout the interview, Premier Saul pointed out that much as there are challenges especially as it relates to water interruptions due to backlogs in the maintenance of ageing and inadequate infrastructure, plans are in place to correct this. Over the years, the Municipality was faced with an inadequate budget that hindered its ability to properly maintain, repair or refurbish its water infrastructure.

The Municipality has now put in place a plan of action to address these challenges with an approved funding of R2.5 billion through the Budget Facility for Infrastructure (BFI) of National Treasury, the municipality is now in a position to address infrastructure challenges. This funding will enable the municipality to embark on a comprehensive plan to upgrade the infrastructure, reduce water losses, and enhance water quality.

The Municipality has also submitted business plans to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DSW) for the refurbishment of the Homevale Wastewater Treatment Works, which was vandalised in the recent past. The Business Plan is under review by the Department for the approval of the repair costs. The municipality has rolled out a massive pot-hole repair project, and work is continuing in this regard. 

In January President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the 1 Billion Rand Housing project which will assist in reducing the housing backlog across the province. With this comes many work opportunities that will directly benefit residents as well as positively drive economic growth. 

We urge the media; especially during this time, not to involve themselves in political matters. We ask them to continue reporting fairly, without distorting facts intentionally or unintentionally through misrepresentation, deliberate omissions, or summarisation. If we find evidence of unethical journalism, we will point out such.

Media Enquiries

Ms Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, Spokesperson to the Premier, 083 447 6586,

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Office of the Premier 
Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
8301

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