Basic services are the keys to economic freedom in the Free State

27 Apr 2022 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Dr Roy Jankielsohn.

Freedom Day means little for many people in the Free State who are unemployed and living in poverty. The rights enshrined in our Constitution must be used to expand socio-economic freedoms.

The oversight visit to businesses in Parys, which is an important agricultural and tourism town, has once again exposed how local economies are dependent on basic services such as water and electricity. We have heard first hand from residents, business owners and their employees how water interruptions and the current lack of a stable electricity supply in Parys and Tumahole are threatening the local economy.  The irony is that the town sits on the scenic banks of the overflowing Vaal River.  Residents of this scenic Free State town are currently without water and electricity which has been an ongoing crisis for years. Distraught residents fear for their safety and the lives of people who rely on electricity for life support. It is evident that the dysfunctional Ngwathe Local Municipality is unable to deliver basic services to the residents of the community.

Sadly, many residents who voted for the governing party, the ANC, did not have water and other services before the elections and are still without these after the elections. Sporadic water supplies, electricity interruptions, decaying roads infrastructure and poor sewage and refuse management are some of the reasons why unemployment and voters in Ngwathe must not be swayed by the ANC’s campaign tactics and instead, vote for a party with a track record for good governance and the political will to bring true economic freedom to their front doors. Poverty continues to increase in the Free State, with 63% of Free Staters already living in extreme poverty.

As service delivery continues to collapse, the Free State is in economic freefall. Freedom comes with a responsibility, and this responsibility implies using democracy to improve services and end poverty. Only DA-run governments in the country have been able to improve the lives and livelihoods of residents by turning the tide on service delivery and economic decay