MEC Gade warns of widening trust deficit between government and voters

Government’s failure to execute its mandate has widened a trust deficit between it and the people, according to Eastern Cape education MEC Fundile Gade, who said the people have lost hope because the government has taken too long to deliver on urgent services.

Gade was addressing the community of Cacadu in the Chris Hani region this week, where he relaunched the construction of a multimillion-rand school that was put on hold two years ago due to budget constraints.

He said: “The level of confidence and trust between government and the people who have voted for it is at the bottom line. People have graduated from demanding government services to the level that when the government brings services, they ask why now, why today not yesterday, or a year ago?”

Gade said the government needed to tighten its governance systems in order to win back the trust of the voters.

Turning to the R180-million construction project at Ntsonkotha Senior Secondary School in Cacadu, Gade apologised for the delays and blamed government’s poor financial planning.

“Ordinarily we should have finished this project a long time ago. One of the weaknesses of this government is poor planning and execution. Sometimes as human beings we create lots of errors that are expensive for the lives of those that depend entirely on the government.”

The project involves multiple classrooms from grade 8 to grade 12, as well as boarding facilities for the 720 learners. The students currently use converted classroom as boarding facilities, which are congested and pose the risk of being infectious.

The province is in the process of rationalising and merging about 1 800 schools, some of which will be closed because they do not meet the required threshold of 135 learners per school.

Gade said the Eastern Cape needs a serious curriculum revamp and the diversification of curriculum to speak to untapped economics opportunities in the province.

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