DA thanks Makashule Gana for his service

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The DA notes the resignation of Makashule Gana from the party and as a member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) today.

We would like to thank him for his immense contribution to the party the past twenty years.

40 000 job opportunities lost as MEC Tau stalls on job creation

40 000 job opportunities have been lost because the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, under the leadership of MEC Parks Tau, has missed this critical job creation target for the 2021/2022 financial year.

It is deeply worrying that the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) is dragging its feet when it comes to the empowerment of businesses through the Global Business Services programme for the 2021/2022 financial year. This information was revealed in the fourth quarterly report of the department for the previous financial year.

During the third quarter, the department claimed that it could not train and create any jobs as part of this programme, because it was unable to find a suitable space for the training to take place.

However, the DA has been reliably informed that the venue to be used was Nasrec which already has all the infrastructure needed to ensure that the training can take place.

In addition, a target of creating 10 000 jobs in the townships through the Global Business Service programme was also not met.

This is concerning as it means that the department is only embarking on a tick box exercise and is not committed to empowering our entrepreneurs and unemployed youth to become key players in the Information Technology and Communication (ICT) sector.

Programmes like this play a crucial role in ensuring that small businesses that would otherwise not be able to access the Gauteng Broadband Network can do so effectively, giving them access to the digital economy.

This is critical now more than ever, given the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on how businesses are now run.

The DA will be tabling questions to the MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau, to ascertain exactly how these targets will be met in the 2022/2023 financial year.

Currently, there are at least 2.7 million unemployed people in the province. This programme will play a pivotal role in making a dent in this number, especially amongst our unemployed youth. Furthermore, this will also go a long way to curbing crime in our communities as many unemployed people fall prey to criminal activities in a bid to put food on the table.

Accessing the digital economy, particularly for our youth, is important especially if businesses which operate in the township want to expand their client base which will lead to more jobs being created.

2 658 000 Gauteng residents are unemployed, yet few job creation targets are met

It comes as no surprise that there has been an increase in the unemployment rate in Gauteng.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) that was released for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate in the province currently stands at 36.7%.

Currently, there are 2 658 000 unemployed Gauteng residents, while there are 680 000 discouraged work seekers in the province.

This increase in the unemployment rate is extremely concerning, given Premier David Makhura’s claims that his administration is committed to ensuring that employment opportunities are created through various programmes led by the government.

However, the quarterly reports paint a different picture regarding the job creation targets and, in many instances, these targets are not met.

These job creation targets and skills development programmes play an integral part in ensuring that there is a conducive environment for the private sector to invest in the economy.

It is high time that Premier Makhura, and his executives should ensure that all job creation and skills development targets set each year are met.

This is critical for our unemployed residents who are not able to access tertiary institutions due to a lack of finances.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the Premier Makhura-led administration to meet all its job creation targets. We also demand that where these targets are not met, the political head and officials responsible for these programmes are held to account.

Gauteng Department of Economic Development spends over R5 million on war room, yet Zero employment opportunities created

The 2.6 million unemployed residents of Gauteng are not reaping any benefit from the Economic Development war room that was established under Premier David Makhura, yet a total of R5 052 195,96 has been spent.

This is extremely disheartening as it means that our unemployed residents especially the youth will continue to struggle to put food on the table and will now have to wait even longer before they can become active participants in the economy in the province.

Since its inception last year, R1 772 720,46 has been spent to supply and equip the physical facilities the war room utilises and a further R3 279 475,50 has been spent on compensating the 17 technical advisory panel members for the period covering October 2021 to February 2022.

In response to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, the MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau indicated that since the inception of the war room in July last year a roundtable discussion with the various sectors involved only took place between February and April this year. Furthermore, no job creation has taken place and the MEC is unable to tell us exactly how many jobs will be created.

The DA will be engaging with MEC Tau regularly to monitor the progress made in stimulating the economy and ensuring that more job opportunities are created for our residents on an ongoing basis.

The time for talking is over and it is high time that the Department of Economic Development starts delivering on its mandate of ensuring that a conducive environment is created for the private sector to create more job opportunities that will lead to long term employment for the unemployed residents of the province. Our residents cannot wait till 2024 for more jobs to be created, they need jobs now.

The war room is proving to be toothless as Gauteng is seeing an increase in the number of unemployed people and those who have given up on ever finding a job in the Gauteng economy. The so-called war room is ineffective as an intervention. The priority for the province must be to attract investors who will create jobs for the people.

2.6 million people are unemployed in Gauteng, while the government rests on its laurels

2 612 000 residents of Gauteng are unemployed and a further 848 000 have given up hope of finding a job. This brings the unemployment rate to a staggering 36,6%.

This is a clear indication that our people are suffering and are struggling to put food on the table.

This information was revealed in the fourth quarter Labour Force Survey for 2021 that was released earlier this week.

This is very concerning as it is evident that not enough is being done by the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) to ensure that sufficient employment opportunities are created for our unemployed residents in the province.

To address the inequality in our society, we need a government that has the political will to ensure that the private sector is prepared to invest in our economy so that more job opportunities can be created. Under the leadership of Premier David Makhura, it is clear that this political will does not exist and our economy will continue to decline.

Recently it came to light that the Gauteng Department of Economic Development failed to meet its ICT job creation target which was set at 20 000 for the third quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year.

It is opportunities like these that help to alleviate unemployment, particularly amongst our youth who are in desperate need of jobs.

The GPG must ensure that the correct environment for the private sector to invest in the economy is created by ensuring that skills training and development takes place.

It cannot be that we have a situation where our unemployed residents particularly the youth are crying out for employment and skills development opportunities that are blatantly being ignored by the GPG.

The DA is demanding that all government departments especially the Department of Economic Development starts meeting its job creation and skills development training targets set for the year.

I will also be raising these concerns through the Portfolio of Economic Development Committee at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

20 000 job opportunities lost in ICT sector, while our youth are crying out for jobs

20 000 youth in our townships are losing out on a critical skills development programme simply because the Gauteng Department of Economic Development is unable to get their ducks in a row.

Unemployment in Gauteng is at an all-time high at 37 percent and our youth in particular are suffering and are in desperate need of employment opportunities to put food on the table.

The Department of Economic Development in Gauteng has yet again failed to meet its job creation target for the third quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year.

According to the third quarter report, a total of 20 000 job opportunities were meant to be created in the ICT sector.

The report further indicates that this target was missed because the department was unable to find suitable sites for the training.

This is a pathetic excuse from the department as their total goal is to train 40 000 people by the end of this financial year.

We are two years into the devasting Covid-19 pandemic and yet, we are still unable to find ways of working around the problems of accommodating our residents in being upskilled in new technology.

It is high time that the lackadaisical approach from our government to capacitate our residents with critical ICT skills ends.

The DA demands that a clear plan be put in place by the department which explains exactly how this backlog will be addressed. We will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature as well as continuing to put pressure on the department to meet this target by the end of the current financial year.

The DA will also monitor this process to ensure that all our youth have fair access to this programme.

This programme will leave our unemployed residents and youth with a new skill that will assist them in seeking out the job opportunities that arise. This will also assist with skills transfer to other residents across the province.

More hardship for township businesses as MEC Tau fails to procure their goods and services

Gauteng township businesses are struggling to make ends meet and are on the brink of collapse, yet the Gauteng Department of Economic Development is failing to support them through the procurement of their goods and services. The township economy is supposed to be the lifeblood of this department, but it only achieved 1.3% of the 10% target for procurement of goods and services from township businesses across the province.

Failure by the Department of Economic Development to spend money on procuring goods and services from the township businesses means more hardship for the poor and small businesses in the townships.

This information was revealed in the department’s third quarter report for the 2021/22 financial year, and paints a very dire picture of exactly how our township businesses are benefitting from accessing and successfully providing goods and services to the Gauteng Provincial Government.

This is deeply concerning considering that the Gauteng township economy has suffered a double whammy of the hard lockdown restrictions which prevented them from selling a lot of their goods and services as well as the July violent looting and unrest.

This is just another blight on this department that has also missed its job creation targets for the third quarter.

It is high time that this department has measures and systems in place to monitor whether or not the subcontracting will be able to meet this very important goal of empowering and growing our township economy.

Our township businesses continue to suffer, and many will have to close their doors if the government does not start to properly invest in procuring goods and services from them.

The DA will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) demanding answers from the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau, on why his department has failed to meet its targets of procuring goods and services from the township businesses.

We will also be engaging with businesses and entrepreneurs in our townships to ascertain how they contribute to the Gauteng economy and the challenges that they are faced with. The DA believes that to grow our township economy, the Gauteng Government and in particular the Department of Economic Development must create a conducive environment for our township businesses to grow. This can be done if the department is leading by example in procuring township goods and services and cutting red tape.

Under Premier Makhura’s leadership, unemployment and poverty has increased drastically

Ndza Khensa,

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.

Ndza Khensa,

Less money for small business recovery with establishment of duplicate entity to stimulate township economy

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that the proposed Gauteng Township Economy Development (GTED) Bill will be duplicating a function of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) and will be a waste of such money that could rather be used to assist small businesses recover from loss and damages following the looting and riots in the province last week.

Currently the draft bill makes provision for the establishment of a Development Fund and board that will not have a CEO.   The DA believes that this is a waste of taxpayers’ money and that the GEP is more than equipped to help grow the township economy, and save so many livelihoods that are at great risk of being destroyed.

The GEP’s mandate is to ensure that small businesses and entrepreneurs are given the support they need to help grow their business. However for a long time now, this entity has been failing on its core mandate.

It is critical now more than ever that the GEP fulfils its mandate given the recent looting and vandalism that has taken place across Gauteng as well as the economy-killing Covid-19 regulations that have forced many businesses to close their doors.

The township economy plays a pivotal role in the creation of jobs that people in the province are in desperate need of.

While the main aim of the GTED is to help stimulate economic growth in our township, we cannot allow our hard-earned taxpayers’ money to be wasted on frivolous state-owed entities.

Public comments on the bill close on 31 July 2021.

The DA is encouraging all small businesses to comment on the GTED bill, so that all inputs can be taken into consideration before the bill is signed into law. Comments can be sent to the DA on haveyoursay@da.org.za

We will also be submitting our inputs on this bill to ensure that the GEP is considered as an entity to execute this bill’s mandate. We will not allow the current government to waste taxpayers’ money on the establishment of new entity that does not have value for money, while innocent South Africans continue to lose their jobs, with no relief from government.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status. 

Save Jobs: DA requests MEC Tau to grant 3 months grace period to liquor industry

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau asking him to grant liquor outlets a grace period and payment holiday for three months for those outlets that have their licences up for renewal.

Small businesses, including liquor outlets, bore the brunt of the vandalism and looting that erupted in the province last week.

In addition to this devastation, the alcohol industry has already suffered major losses due to the Covid-19 restrictions imposed on the sector.

The Covid-19 Lockdown regulations have brought countless liquor outlets to their knees, forcing many to retrench staff. This has resulted in an additional loss of jobs – something our economy cannot afford.

Granting a grace period on the renewal of liquor licences as well as a payment holiday will help the industry to get back on its feet once the ban on the sale of alcohol has been lifted.

Given the extraordinary times that we are living in, extraordinary measures are needed to help get our economy in the province back on track.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC to put measures in place that assist not only the liquor industry, but all businesses that have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A grace period such as this could very well be the measure that ends up saving the jobs of those who are in absolute fear of their livelihood as a result from lockdown restrictions, and the rampant looting and destruction of the province.

The time is now to save livelihoods.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.