ANC Gauteng Legislature
ANC Caucus in the Gauteng Legislature's response to the SOPA

ANC Caucus in the Gauteng Legislature's response to the SOPA

21 February 2012

The ANC caucus welcomes the State of the province address, delivered by the Premier of Gauteng, Comrade Nomvula Mokonyane. The Sopa this year was a significant one, given that it was delivered at a time where the ANC celebrates 100 years of unbroken existence and right in the period of the midterm review. The Sopa in 2012 is also unique as it was delivered in the city of Tshwane, a place which was historically known as the heart of oppression and where many heroes and heroines spent their final days under the draconian rule of apartheid, but we should celebrate the newly found identity of Tshwane and more importantly that a very strategic address had been delivered in Mamelodi- the legislature took the address to the people.

The ANC Caucus firstly applauds the Gauteng Provincial government led by the Premier on the evident progress which has been made in the past year. The SOPA gives us and many people of Gauteng hope that the government is a people oriented and service delivery government. The ANC caucus notes and welcomes the vast interventions made through programmes and beefing up of administration where necessary.

Education

The increase in the matric level completion rate is an indication that intervention systems put in place to address challenges in education have assisted immensely. Schools in townships more especially, have shown a pass rate increase; most of them achieving rates in the regions of 80%. The spirit of collectivism between the community, learners and teachers has assisted in curbing some inherent inconsistencies. The education department continues to show significant improvement not only through pass rates but also through infrastructure being put in place to address problems and further improve on gains made.

Employment

We welcome the increase in job creation and the unexpected exceeded target by Gauteng. Where the initial target was to create 229904 jobs in the financial year and the result was 281686 jobs being created. This is astounding given the turbulent nature of the economy as a result of the recession. We experienced job losses which left many workers unemployed. We have faith that given the intense infrastructure development projects, more jobs will be created.

Youth

We commend the Gauteng government for placing young people on top of the agenda. Young people are most vulnerable to triple evils in society- unemployment, poverty and inequalities. Given that they constitute a large portion of the population, it's paramount that we have sustainable programmes and plans to meet their expectations. The Gauteng Youth Employment strategy has evidently gone a long way to deal with the plight of young people. The development of Township enterprise hubs is a progressive step in the right direction to not only curb unemployment but identify and harness entrepreneurs in townships. The days of having strategic centres only in suburbs have ceased to exist. The concentration of resources to those who need them the most is imperative. The proposed enterprise hubs will assist in skills development and also inculcate the principle of self sustenance from a young age. The Youth of today evidently does not seek to be merely employed, but it wants to be part of the bigger mainstream of the economy, it is therefore the duty of government where it can to offer tangible assistance and support where possible. The ANC Caucus also notes the forged relations between the public and private sector to alleviate the scourge of unemployment. We hope that the private sector will work hand in hand with government in ensuring that young people are employed and trained within the private sector.

Health

The Health department has been in the spotlight for various reasons. The ANC caucus lauds the Premier for the interventions and proposed new systems which have been put in place to address some of the crippling problems within the management system of the department. The Premier has announced a very proactive approach by setting a team which will specifically look at the management operations system in order to deal with financial difficulties. Despite these challenges there are many deliverables within the department such as the completion of the Bertha Gxowa hospital in Germiston, completion of units in Chris Hani Baragwaneth hospital and the revitalisation of hospitals around Gauteng. More people have access to ARV's and the maternal mortality rate has dropped since 2010. This is an assertion that the health department is fully functional and delivering to our people. We have full confidence that the department will swiftly turnaround and that the interventions put in place will go a long way in addressing systematic problems moving forward. Health is not just a government issues but its imperative that partnerships are forged with broader society to encourage healthy living, awareness on preventable diseases and proper education on treatments where necessary.

Corruption

The firm stance against corruption in the SOPA indicates that there is no place for unscrupulous conduct of people who solicit public funds for their own enrichment. Corruption has no place in government and society in general, as it directly robs our people of service delivery. The Premier has also launched a hotline which links up with all departments and Metro's in Gauteng, which will go a long way in exposing some shortcomings in service delivery.

Infrastructure and housing

We note the major infrastructure developments which have subsequently led to much needed job creation. The economy of Gauteng remains central in overall development. The integrated transport system has taken off and we welcome plans in place to further roll it out in major metros. This will subsequently boost the Gauteng economy and link major cities within Gauteng. The rehabilitation of roads will also assist in this integration. The transport system links directly to the Gauteng 2055 vision which seeks to radically change the face of Gauteng to a global city region. We welcome major projects such as the G-link project as well as the ICT roll out plans which will see Gauteng being a world class economic hub attracting investors around the world. We look forward to the proposed Summit scheduled to take place in June where all stakeholders and community members will be given a platform to share their views on the future and deliberate on how they wish to see Gauteng in 2055.

We welcome the solution proposed on the ongoing e-tolling debate. The Premier has announced that a team has been set up led by the Minister of finance to deal with the matter urgently ad find an amicable solution.

Conclusion

The Premier made a profound statement "The agenda of nation-building and social cohesion should not be in the purview of government alone, but should be a societal matter that finds expression in the social compacts that we form and the reaffirmation of our identity as South African citizens and Gauteng residents." This statement asserts that the responsibility of making government work, not only lies with officials, but it's a societal responsibility and we should all work towards a common objective of making Gauteng a province of excellence, good governance and people oriented.

Issued by Office of the Chief whip (ANC)
Hon. Brian Hlongwa
On behalf of the ANC Caucus (GP Legislature)

For more information contact
Gugu Ndima
Media and Communications Officer
ANC Caucus
Gauteng Legislature
076783 1516