- ‘We know the problems and solutions to them’
Cogta MEC Thembeni Nxangisa says the DA has no business telling the ruling ANC how to correct the situation in Maluti-A-Phofung (MAP) when it is to blame for the situation in the ailing municipality.
Nxangisa made these remarks last Friday during a debate on the budget presented by human settlements department MEC Tshidi Koloi.
DA Member Mary Kleynhans had told the Free State Legislature there was nothing to celebrate or progressive about the budget.
Kleynhans said the human settlements department had failed in its task of providing decent housing for people in the province, citing the current backlog.
She further claimed the department had failed dismally to address the issue of housing in the eastern Free State, Qwa-Qwa in particular.
In response to Kleynhans, MEC Nxangisa said, “The DA is in no position to tell us how we should fix things in our municipalities, particularly in Maluti- A-Phofung where they are to be blamed.”
He noted, “This is the very same DA that campaigned and told residents not to pay for services in Qwa-Qwa, with the sole purpose of crippling that municipality and today they stand here and tell us how to fix things there. They contributed in messing MAP up.”
Nxangisa added he was in possession of the latest report by the Auditor General on Maluti-A-Phofung, prescribing how best the struggling municipality and others in a similar predicament could resolve their problems.
Kleynhans also questioned the R20 million problem analysis conducted by the department, which she said had no factual basis and had failed to come up with solutions for the housing woes in the province.
But a defiant Nxangisa would not have any of that, quickly responding, “We are not going to be told how to deal with issues of spatial planning by the very same people who created the mess we are in today.”
He added Kleynhans’ views were baseless and a true reflection of her party’s ignorance of problem-solving.
“We don’t use basic knowledge to solve problems; an analysis is needed to ensure specific solutions for a specific problem, hence that analysis we did.”
The MEC further said the opposition party was pathetic for seeking relevance by pointing out daily challenges that ordinary people are confronted with.
“The ANC led government is on a daily basis fighting to restore the dignity of its people and to have opposition parties coming to parliament to seek relevance is in itself pathetic and disgraceful,” he noted.
In response to questions regarding her budget presentation, MEC Koloi said she refused to be drawn in what she termed “negative talks”, adding her department will continue working hard to ensure that it addresses the backlog of housing in the province, particularly title deeds.
Koloi conceded that the department was confronted with challenges. “Our main challenge is to ensure that we deliver housing to our people and ensure that we give them a better life. Ours is not to focus on negative remarks that do not bring anything positive to the table.”