State of The Province Address: What Gauteng Was Promised in 2015
State of The Province Address: What Gauteng Was Promised in 2015
On Monday (February 22), the premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, will once more address the sitting elected members of the Gauteng Legislature. The State of the Province Address will be part progress report and the other part will (hopefully) present a way forward.
Let’s take a look back at some of the promises premier Makhura made to Gauteng residents and the goals he set for the province in 2015.
Top of the agenda, Makhura introduced his government’s 10 pillars, establishing the foundation for what is to come in the next 15 years for the people of Gauteng. These 10 pillars are made up of areas provincial government has identified and the key to changing the province.
Introducing the pillars, the premier referenced President Jacob Zuma’s May 24 2014 inaugural address, which called the fifth democratically elected government the “beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society.”
Reading the premier’s address, this second phase seems to be all about creating social and economic change for all.
Makhura said, “It is for [the pursuit of social and economic change] this reason, that over the next five to 15years, we shall take active decisive steps to make Gauteng an integrated city-region characterised by social cohesion and economic inclusion; the leading economy in the continent underpinned by smart and green industrial and socioeconomic development.”
What are these 10 pillars and what do they mean?
- Radical economic transformation
With Gauteng being an economic hub in the country – we are responsible for 36% of the country’s gross domestic product, doing 40% of the manufacturing and creating 31% of all jobs – transforming the economy is a big part starting a new dawn.
This promise is truly long-term. According to Makhura, the economy can be transformed in three key ways: Firstly, with the centralising and support of township-based business owners and SMMEs; secondly, with the exploration of how the finance, car manufacturing, ICT, tourism, pharmaceuticals, creative construction and real estate industries and can create exclusive job opportunities; and thirdly if ways are found in which the provincial economy can be more innovative and driven by new ideas and methods.
- Decisive spatial transformation
This pillar aims to remedy the geographic legacy of apartheid through shortening the distance between where people live and where they work. It also aims to integrate commercial and residential spaces in all future RDP planning
To develop public transport infrastructure, create new integrated and sustainable human settlements that are “livable, smart and green.”
- Accelerated social transformation
As the first two pillars work to transform Gauteng’s economy for the people, the third pillar is meant to bring social services such as education, health and the legal services to the people at a faster pace. This pillar aims to improve the quality of life for all Gauteng residents.
To continue to provide free basic services such as refuse removal, water, sanitation and electricity to poor households and support learners from these households.
- Transformation of the state and governance
The province needs to change how public servants interact with citizens and how provincial government engages with communities to hear service delivery complaints.
Promise: To unveil a “Service Delivery War Room” in 200 days.
- Modernisation of the public service
Public service in democratic South Africa was built on the principles of Batho Pele. As such, corruption needs to be addressed and rooted out in the public sector. “Activist government” in which the people will be the centre of all government work was mentioned.
Promise: To evaluate community participation structures and processes in 100 days, enabling citizens to be encouraged to engage with government.
- Modernisation of the economy
The important role small township enterprises, SMMEs and youth cooperatives have to play in rejuvenating the Gauteng economy, needs to be emphasised.
- To launch a project called Tshepo 500 which is designed to upskill unemployed graduates, unemployable youth, women and people with disabilities through programmes of entrepreneurship training, and to
- launch an incubation and support centre for woman- and youth-owned businesses in 100 days.
- Modernisation of human settlements and urban development
There is a need, in line with the drive to eradicate unsafe living conditions built under apartheid, to make sure all future settlements built by government are planned better. Provincial government will work with municipalities to ensure that township roads are tarred, work will be accomplished toward ending the bucket system of sanitation and turn hostels into family units.
Sustainability in the province is important. Old townships and the inner city will receive particular attention.
Promise: To speed up the handing over of existing and complete housing projects that have been started, in 200 days. Allocate all houses to rightful owners.
- Modernisation of public transport infrastructure
Gauteng is to be made into a modern African city that is easy to navigate. A public transport system that functions well is key to more people accessing economic opportunities. Beyond public transport, OR Tambo will be upgraded into an airport city.
Promise: To plan, within six months, how OR Tambo into an will be turned into a “aerotropolis” in the next five years.
- Reindustrialisation of Gauteng province
Gauteng will be made an industrial hub once more. With public transport being expanded, buses, trains and locomotives would be manufactured locally. The province will partner with Prasa and Transnet and invest R300-billion in post, freight rail and more.
- Taking the lead in Africa’s new industrial revolution
With Gauteng’s status as one of the top economies on the continent – Gauteng contributes 11% to the African economy – it is well-placed to lead in developing the continent’s economy for the future. Gauteng cannot lead the transformation and industrialisation of the African economy without secure energy sources.
Promise: To develop a plan for a sustainable energy mix, with particular focus on renewable (solar, wind) energy sources in 200 days.
We look forward to Premier David Makhura’s address on February 22 to see whether these promises have been fulfilled and whether the pillars are indeed leading the way to the future.