Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi will not offer anything new during his State of the Province Address (SOPA) this evening. The residents of Gauteng will continue to hear about the economic corridors of this province as in previous years, but there will be no tangible results.
Crime in Gauteng continues to rise, yet hundreds of crime wardens have been deployed to prevent and fight crime. The drones that were promised last year by the Premier have yet to be rolled out. Therefore, our residents, particularly women and children, continue to live in fear. Police stations and Community Policing Forums (CPF) need to be given adequate resources to fight crime in the province instead of the Premier spending millions of rands on drones and CCTV cameras. While police stations do not have enough vehicles and generators to operate during load-shedding.
Given that this is an election year, Lesufi will continue to push his pipe dream of a bullet train from Limpopo to Gauteng. While our current railway system does not function properly, residents struggle to get to and from work daily. Furthermore, the goalposts for the scrapping of e-Tolls have been moved every year since the 2019 elections. Our residents are being forced into paying for a system they never wanted. We need a real solution to e-Tolls immediately, not empty promises.
For years, we have been hearing about how our infrastructure will be improved, yet our children are still being taught in asbestos schools, clinics are not completed on time, and learners are still taught in overcrowded classrooms due to delays in completing schools. In addition, infrastructure projects are a key driver of employment opportunities, yet the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) is unable to appoint competent service providers and complete projects on time and within budget. It is high time that the Premier announces that this department is dissolved.
Corruption remains rampant in this province. Only a few connected individuals and politicians continue to benefit from government tenders. For many years, we have been told that lifestyle audits will be conducted on all MECs and high-ranking government officials. However, we have never been given any of these lifestyle audit reports. This begs the question: What is the Premier hiding from the public?
If the Premier truly cared about the well-being of our residents, he would use today’s SOPA to admit that his government has failed to uplift the lives of our residents.
Our residents need proper solutions to fix Gauteng, and this can only happen if Premier Lesufi admits that his administration has failed. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has a plan to rescue this province. It is high time that our residents are given a capable state that can deliver real solutions to the problems this province faces, not lip service.