State of the Province Address
Gauteng Premier, David Makhura’s State of the Province Address was a weak attempt to absolve himself from the many wrong-doings of the ANC-led provincial government, while at the same time offering little hope of a brighter future for the 13.5 million residents of the province.
Makhura’s admission that no consultation had taken place on e-Tolls, and that the matter is the prerogative of national government, shows that he has capitulated to his masters in Luthuli House. He has decided that he is not a man of the people.
The complete and untruthful distancing of himself from the Life Esidimeni tragedy beggars belief. The Premier should have tendered his resignation today out of respect for the 100 and counting mentally ill patients that lost their lives.
Economy, Housing, and Social Services
The de-institutionalisation of mental health patients and the warnings against this action were made known to the Premier as early as January 2016. Instead of taking his share of the blame, Makhura has attempted to isolate himself from the tragic events that led to the loss of 100 and counting lives. Again, he has shown that political survival and, not people come first.
Many of the so-called plans to be rolled out to reshape the economy, housing, and social services are simply reheated dreams that are two years old. Minor adjustments to these fanciful dreams has certainly not led to prosperity.
The Lost Generation
The Premier had little to offer to the lost generation of those who are out of education and out of work. In Gauteng, there are 3.4 million people who fall into this category, the highest in the country. Since taking office, unemployment has risen from 29.8% to 32.2%. It cannot continue to be business as usual for this province.
The Premier has made mention of numerous panels and commissions that will be established to re-shape the economy and deal with the social challenges of this province. The real question is, when will this administration get down to the hard task of delivering on its mandate to all?
More, now than ever, will the DA seek to drive a plan that speaks to redressing the wrongs of the past – building a more inclusive economy and uplifting the lives of those who have been marginalised and forgotten about by this administration.
Premier Makhura’s face saving exercise may do well for the cameras, but it does not bode well against the coalface of real-world hardships faced by the residents of Gauteng.
John Moodey MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
060 558 8312