Newly elected premier, Sefora Ntombela, said that she expects all members of her executive committee to hit the ground running with regards to accelerating service delivery in the Free State.
Ntombela further said that she will be ensuring that strategies and budgets are implemented within time frames of less than nine months, as she was present at the Budget Speech which was delivered by the MEC of Treasury, Elzabe Rockman, just a few weeks ago. “Our budget was R43 billion and while it has decreased as opposed to previous years, I will make sure that the money is spent on the matters that it needs to be spent on,” Ntombela said firmly.
Speaking at her inaugural ceremony at the Toyota Free State Stadium yesterday afternoon, Ntombela said that she is aware of ongoing rumours which have been circulating, saying she is an extension of former premier, Ace Magashule. However, Ntombela said she is her own person and therefore intends to leave her own legacy.
She highlighted areas she will be focusing on during her tenure, which include jobs for unemployed graduates and promoting unity and social cohesion within the province and ANC party. “I have received thousands of congratulatory messages but two messages, namely one from a master’s graduate who said had been unemployed for five years as well as one resident who asked me what will I be doing that’s different, particularly with regards to the fact that there are so many division between the people in our province. Our mandate as the ANC is to create a better life for all our people and I will ensure that we fulfill this mandate,” Ntombela said in her maiden speech.
She further appealed to all members of the ANC in the province, saying division slates should stop as these only make the layman suffer.
“I know I am not supposed to say this, but the conference is over. The time of pushing #NDZ and #CR17 agendas has passed. Right now, we need to find a way to work together because while yet we are fighting, there are people who still need basic services to be delivered to them,” Ntombela said.
Meanwhile, as a way of boycotting this event, members from opposition parties in the province, namely the EFF, FF Plus as well as the DA were not at the event as they stated the whole event was a waste of tax payers’ money.
Outgoing premier, Magashule, said that he has over the years worked with Ntombela several times and believed in her abilities as a capable leader.