by John Moodey MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
The following speech was presented in the Gauteng Legislature today by DA Gauteng Provincial Leader, John Moodey MPL, during the debate on the annual report of the Office of the Premier.
Once again, we find ourselves at that point in the year where we are tasked to assess the work of the executive and how they have performed in their duties in service to the people of this province.
One must commend the clean audit status of the provincial government. It is good to know that the boxes are being ticked to satisfaction, but when targets are set as low as the ones this government lays out – it would be criminal not to climb over such a low bar.
Again, the Office of the Premier has performed well. His office is one of the very few that runs efficiently. I would praise the Premier for this, but he – on numerous occasions, pats his own back, so I need not.
One would imagine, given the audit status of Gauteng that we were living in a thriving province, alive with possibility and hope.
Just scratch a little below the surface however and things are not as they seem.
Gauteng is home to 14 million people. 14 million people who rely on the competence of their government to ensure that they live rich, meaningful lives.
Sadly, under this failing ANC administration they do not.
Local governments run by the failing ANC are collapsing.
The people of Emfuleni, Lesedi, Rand West and Merafong are on a daily basis, subjected to untold hardships because of ANC failure.
The millions of Rands owed to Eskom and Rand Water has created a situation where at any moment the taps could be closed and the lights turned off.
Over and above this, these municipalities are bankrupt. Most of them have had to present unfunded budgets for the up-coming financial year. In light of this, please explain to the people gathered in this House today how service delivery is going to be rolled out?
I will answer for you. It won’t.
We have already seen how staff in the West Rand District have gone unpaid. This is just the start.
The illegal investments made by these municipalities with VBS bank were of no concern to this government – despite warnings from the DA that action needed to be taken.
Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy went as far as to say that investigating the matter was none of this government’s concern – until the mounting pressure to acknowledge the problem became too great to ignore.
And now, we are still waiting to know what action will be taken? Again, let me answer for you – none.
This is the failing ANC way. We have seen on numerous occasions that those who are morally bankrupt and corrupt are shielded by the failing ANC.
One need look no further than the murderous former Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu – the architect of the Esidimeni tragedy, purportedly corrupt Brian Hlongwa or the deviant Simon “sex-pest” Mofokeng to know that there are no ramifications for cadres in the failing ANC.
In fact, delinquency is rewarded as these fine fellows remain part of the party’s provincial decision-making body.
It is no wonder then that residents of Gauteng endure hardships if these are the people entrusted to guide us.
Crime and poverty are inseparable.
The ANC’s failure to stimulate the economy of this province has unleashed a crime epidemic experienced nowhere else in South Africa. An unprofessional police force, that has become a law unto itself, has exasperated this problem.
Crime summit after crime summit we hear the same old tune. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been a deafening silence by this administration.
The lack of will by this government to tackle crime head-on can be summed up by the utterances of Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane who recently encouraged communities to take the law into their own hands.
Two million unemployed young people have the failing ANC to thank for their perilous position. Some have lost all hope of ever being employed, with many turning to illicit substances to escape their hopeless situation.
These lost young souls, our nation’s future, are locked out of the economy by poor policy decisions and cumbersome legislation.
In 2014, Premier Makhura announced that the province would be re-industrialised, that corridors of development would be the game-changers to reignite the economy.
Four years later, what has happened? Nothing.
I for one cannot see evidence of these game-changing projects.
River cities, prawn farms, solar power for government buildings – the recommissioning of power stations. Where are these fanciful projects? They remain on the pages of your inaugural speech, Premier.
Similarly, the provision of housing is another fanciful tale of this administration. Every year the demand for housing grows. It grows at a rate that far outstrips the supply that can be offered by the department.
As a solution to this problem, mega-human settlements were envisaged to move our people out of the squalor in which they currently live. However, these settlements have yet to begin to take shape.
Those that have moved from the planning phase, have been hijacked by so-called “business forums” who have stalled their roll-out. Earlier this year, Premier you told this house that there was going to be action taken against these illegal forums – but like so much of what you say, nothing has come to fruition.
It is likely that the corrupt elements within the failing ANC are benefitting from the work of these forums which is why you have failed to act.
Premier, when you assumed office in 2014, the contentious e-Toll system had not long been operational yet it was clear that the people of Gauteng would not accept this taxation. Throughout the course of your time in office you have made numerous utterances on how the system has negatively impacted the people of Gauteng.
A white-wash commission and a few marches later, the gantries remain active.
As the 2019 elections draw near, you have once again become quite vocal on the matter. This is no doubt an electioneering ploy – because if you truly had the intention to stand up for the people of Gauteng you would have lodged an inter-governmental dispute.
You would have also lobbied national government to not renew the collection contract with Kapsch when it is up for renewal next month. You have not done this either.
From the mouths of both the Finance Minister and Minister of Transport, under the failing ANC these tolls will continue to be operational.
The complete and utter capture of the state by nefarious individuals under the watch of the failing ANC has eroded our economy, our morale and hope.
Do not for one moment think that Gauteng has been immune to the effects of state capture.
In the Metros of Johannesburg and Tshwane that the DA took over in 2016, corruption and pillaging was endemic. In the two years that we and our coalition partners have been in office, we have taken drastic steps to arrest this scourge.
We have reinvigorated the term “servants of the people”. The money we have saved from rooting out corruption, pulling the plug on vanity projects and challenging illegal tenders worth millions, we have re-prioritised for our people.
Water, electrification and housing are the order of the day.
We have also shown no fear or favour for those within our own ranks who have been found to be wanting. Unlike the failing ANC we tackle issues head-on
Next year, the people of this province will have the opportunity to vote for change. To elect a government that puts their interests first.
A government that will get Gauteng to work.
Premier Makhura, you tried as best as you could with the dead-weight that comes with being in the failing ANC hanging around your neck, but now it is time for change. Real change for One Gauteng for all!