Premier Makhura: We need visionary thinking, not more of the same

February 27, 2015

During his State of the Province Address (SOPA), Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, laid down his administration’s vision for the future of the province.

 

However noble his plans may be, a large portion of the success expected of him depends on factors beyond his control.

 

From private sector investment, local government, increased telecommunication capability and corruption – Premier Makhura has painted himself into a tight corner.

 

The DA Caucus in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature has examined the contents of the premier’s wish list and has identified key stumbling points in his vision for Gauteng.

 

Below are excerpts from speeches delivered by DA members during the debate on the SOPA.

 

The complete speeches can be found by clicking here.

 

E-tolls

“The people of this province have on numerous occasions and on numerous platforms said that e-tolls must go, yet the premier and the ANC refused to recommend they be scrapped. Only one solution remains, and that is for the premier to announce a provincial referendum on the future of e-tolls. No hybrid system of toll collection is acceptable to the people of Gauteng.”

 

John Moodey MPL, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader.

 

Education

“We need better resources to ensure that our schools environment is conducive for learning and teaching. The approach adopted by this government to attract, retain, up-skill and retrain teachers is weak, considering that many teachers received shoddy education and the country is in desperate need to produce certain skills.”

 

Khume Ramulifho MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education.

 

Infrastructure

We are barely able to spend R1, 5 billion a year on infrastructure in this province. Last year the infrastructure underspend was R643 million. This year, with  one and a half months to go before the end of the financial year, the spend on the core functions of the infrastructure development department, amounts to 53% and equates to R1,5 billion that has to be spent before the end of March.

 

Alan Fuchs MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

 

Economic Development

“The Premier has made no mention of using Independent Power Producers. He needs to pressurise his comrades in national government to move on the enabling legislation. A veil of secrecy currently surrounds exactly who these producers are and how much energy they are capable of producing. Eskom’s monopoly needs to be broken.”

 

Janet Semple MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development.

 

“The reason we don’t have black industrialists is because the ANC prefers taking shares in existing big firms to enrich its ruling clique from time to time, instead of decisively transforming the economic environment so that small black businesses can compete. There is always lip service to reducing red tape before introducing more. Provided there isn’t any delays and corruption, it would take 22 days to start a small business in South Africa if you jump through all the government hoops. In New Zealand, it takes 24 hours.”

 

Ashor Sarupen MPL, DA Gauteng finance committee member.

 

Transport

“On transport matters the premier spoke of the O R Tambo Aerotropolis as a saviour for the Ekurhuleni economy, but the land around the airport is already too expensive for this scheme to ever succeed.”

“He lauded the bus rapid transit undertakings in the three metros but one has not got off the ground, one is presently moribund because of an illegal strike and the third is mired in controversy and allegations of corruption and graft.”

 

Dr Neil Campbell MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Transport.

 

Local Government

“I listened to the Premier’s speech in anticipation that I would hear how we will address the failing service delivery in our municipalities. I was hoping there will be plan to address how we will help those municipalities in Gauteng, which are either bankrupt or on the brink of bankruptcy, turn around to being investor friendly, service delivery orientated, financially healthy running municipalities. But I got none of the above.”

 

Solly Msimanga MPL, DA Provincial Chairperson.

 

Finance

“…your R32bn infrastructure budget is no more and no less what than has been budgeted each year for the past 5 years. It is nothing new. In fact, due to inflation, you are spending less in real terms than you have before. It is ‘business as usual’. With respect, the provincial government cannot be about ‘business as usual’; it has to be about ‘radical change’.”

 

Mike Moriarty MPL, DA Shadow MEC for Finance.

 

Public Accounts

“Annually, SCOPA makes recommendations to this House on how to make the Provincial Government accountable, responsive, transparent and clean. I could give you an incredibly long list of resolutions of this House which have been ignored or only partially complied with. Most of the guilty MECs and senior officials remain in positions of extreme responsibility, regardless of their contempt of the House. Do you have the right people around you, Mr Premier?”

 

Glenda Steyn, MPL, DA Spokesperson on SCOPA.

 

Media Enquiries:

John Moodey

DA Gauteng Leader

082 960 3743

 

Mike Moriarty

DA Gauteng Chief Whip

082 492 4410

 

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