Honourable members, fellow South Africans, and the people of Gauteng
We have a Gauteng Premier that is full of empty promises, more plans and that has established several war rooms and tasks teams yet very little to show for how his government has improved the quality of lives of the people of Gauteng.
On Monday, Premier David Makhura delivered the 8th edition of his theoretical plans full of empty promises.
Premier, I sat, watched, and listened to you deliver your 8th State of the Province Address. What I saw on Monday is an incapable and incompetent Premier who has no political will to lead and has lost leadership control for his executive members.
Perhaps what you delivered on Monday was your farewell speech, your last State of the Province Address as you prepare to leave office.
What exactly has Premier Makhura done for the people of Gauteng since 2014, and what legacy will he leave behind?
Mr Premier, your legacy is the killing of mentally ill patients at Life Esidimeni; the stealing of public funds meant to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and the urbanisation of poverty.
Mr Premier, you have done very little for the people of this province. You sat and folded your hands when your friends and comrades were looting the PPE funds and then acted surprised. You did the same thing when your government killed Life Esidimeni patients, you pretended that you were not aware of what was happening within the Gauteng Department of Health.
Your biggest failure Mr Premier has been the management of the economy since you came into office in 2014. When you came into office, the unemployment rate in Gauteng was 24,6 percent and currently is sitting at 37 percent by the time you leave this office, it would be approaching 50 percent.
There were 4,8 million employed people in the province in 2014, and now there are 4,4 million employed people. Under the leadership of Premier Makhura, more than 400 000 people have lost their jobs. The number of unemployed has increased by more than 1 million in the years that you have been in charge.
This is a shame, and no wonder even your comrades cannot wait to see you leave. You have failed the people of Gauteng, particularly the young people because under your leadership we have seen poverty and unemployment skyrocket in Gauteng.
Honourable members, the premier has been talking about the Gauteng Township Economic Bill as the panacea or the pill that will cure his failures over the last 8 years. As I listened to him on Monday, I remembered what the former President Kgalema Motlanthe once said in 2007:
“This rot is across the board. It’s not confined to any level or any area of the country. Almost every project is conceived because it offers opportunities for certain people to make money. A great deal of the ANC’s problems are occasioned by this.”
Let the truth be told the Gauteng Township Economic Bill is not about assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs in Gauteng but primarily about the township development fund. The fund will only enable the connected elites to steal from the government coffers. This is the reason why the fund is designed to have its own board, employees, and offices.
If you were serious about the interests of the small business owners and entrepreneurs, you would have used the existing provincial development finance institutions without the need to create another government entity.
Mr Premier, you have indicated that you will be establishing a war room to unlock the potential in the province to reduce the number of unemployed people. Do you need to be reminded of the last time we had a war room in this province when people looted PPE funds right under your watch? The people of Gauteng do not need war rooms but deserve a government that will improve their living conditions without stealing their money. Your government has failed on both these scores.
As you prepare to leave the office, I wish you all the best, but the people of Gauteng will not miss you because under your government it has been eight wasted years. The people of our province are now poorer than when you took office.