President Jacob Zuma has slammed Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, for exposing confidential issues that were discussed in their meeting in Pretoria.
In his statement, the president said the Western Cape Premier has once again disappointed him by releasing to the public, what was meant to be kept confidential.
The Statement reads:
“Previously, Ms Zille also released to the public confidential information from a meeting that President Zuma had convened between premiers and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) ahead of the 2014 National General Elections.
“The confidential contents of the consultation have been released to the public by Ms Zille without authorization.”
The presidency had a consultative meeting with the nine provincial premiers ahead of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance. There, the premiers were informed of the economic adjustments which the would be taking place in the country especially as the government was out to have a major cut down of its jobs.
Zille had on Tuesday, laid out the current changes that would be taking place especially in her province. Speaking in her “Inside Government column”, Zille blamed the last round of public sector wage negotiations for a budget crisis that will see appointments in vacant posts being frozen and a scaling-down of the number of new posts.
In her statement, she revealed that at a recent meeting chaired by President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria‚ herself and other premiers were told “that Cabinet has now decided we will face further cuts because there is simply no money to give us. This was attributed to ‘a new crisis’ having arisen due to national government’s chronic under-funding of higher education over many years”.
She added that the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech will see “money committed to national and provinces for the new financial year…substantially cut across the board”. Adding that Western Cape Would have more of their budget cut down in the next three years to balance their budget. Zille ended her statement by saying that this major cut down would have severe effects on citizens as vacant posts would be frozen and some others who are working would be retrenched.
Meanwhile, Zille had reacted to the presidential speech slamming her for letting out what was discussed. To this, she said she does not understand why she cannot share the president’s concern about how much money the government needs to save so that it can pay for everything, including the university fee shortfall.
In her tweet, Zille said ”So, Pres Zuma told us to make big budget cuts. I HAD to tell the whole prov gov. Why can’t I tell the public? Why is this so secret?”
Zille continued: “@PresidencyZA @GraemeRauby What confidential info? Without details, I merely wrote my newsletter on what you asked me to tell the Prov govt.
The president is due to deliver his State of the Nation speech in Parliament next Thursday, with Gordhan only delivering his budget speech two weeks later.
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