In order for any government to succeed there needs to be strong leader in place who is able to steer the ship successfully. But the performance of some of the government departments and entities seems to suggest that not enough is been done by Premier David Makhura to ensure that the spends money within their allocated budget, without incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Over the last five financial years millions of rands have been spent on overtime by the various government departments. This trend of paying millions in rands in overtime is concerning, given that if this trend does continue, the wage bill will not be kept at 60% for the 2020/2021 financial year.
Given the current state of the economy, it is concerning that overtime vast amounts of money have been spent on paying overtime to government employees. One way in which to ensure that this trend does not continue is to ensure that each department has an Annual Performance Plan (APP) in place so that exorbitant amounts of money is not spent on paying overtime when it is not needed.
The only way this can be mitigated is by ensuring that each and every department submits an APP that details exactly how they will be cutting down on overtime in the new financial year. Failure to do so will lead to a wage bill that is far higher than 60%.
A DA government would ensure that all the necessary APPs are in place and adhered, so that we avoid fruitless and wasteful expenditure and that there is no underspending in key areas that drive economic growth.
Another concerning trend by government departments over the last financial year is not meeting job creation targets that are set. Job creation is important, our youth are in desperate need of job opportunities that will provide them with the necessary skill set to seek out a long-term sustainable job. But this can only be done through the help of government, who through their Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) are able to provide our youth, women and people with disabilities much needed skills development that will open the pathway to other job opportunities.
As the DA we are cognisant of the fact that government only cannot create jobs for everyone that is unemployed, but if the correct environment is created the private sector will be more than willing to assist in helping with the skills development of our unemployed residents in the province.
Investing in infrastructure in Gauteng is important. But unfortunately, the Department of Infrastructure Development is unable to properly implement infrastructure projects in Gauteng. One example of this is the Nokuthula School for learners with special needs. This is one of the most expensive schools ever to be built in Gauteng at a cost of R300 million. It took three years for this school to be built, yet after being completed in October 2017 it is still not fully operational. This is all due to the Department of Infrastructure Development’s failure to submit the required documentation, which has led to the City of Joburg withholding the final occupancy certificate for the school.
This means that boarding school buildings cannot be used allegedly because they were built within a flood-line. The result of this is that many learners who would have been accommodated in the boarding school are being transported to school on a daily basis.
In addition, the quality of construction is being questioned despite the huge cost. When it rains, parts of the school become flooded, there are numerous leaks, walls are disintegrating because of damp and part of the ceiling in the hall has collapsed.
If this was a DA led administration, we would ensure that officials who are not performing as they should be taken through the necessary disciplinary procedures and if needed removed from their position.
It is clear that much stronger leadership is required to ensure that all government departments reach their goals set for the next financial year. As the DA we cannot sit back and watch as our people are led down by the ANC-led administration when it comes to service delivery.