Let’s get Gauteng working!

Issued by Solly Msimanga MPL – DA Gauteng Premier Candidate
11 Mar 2019 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: The below speech was delivered by the DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga MPL, during his launch of the DA Gauteng Manifesto at Saulsville Arena in Attridgeville Tshwane today.

Gauteng should be the Golden Opportunity Province – a place alive with possibility. A place where people can realise their dreams in a thriving economy, where there is a job in every home, where people feel safe and secure in their communities and where people should not despair about what tomorrow will bring for their children

Despite its incredible potential, Gauteng is being held back by the corruption, mismanagement and maladministration of the ANC government. Only the DA can bring the change needed for everyone to prosper in freedom and security.

I believe in Gauteng.

I believe that if Gauteng works, South Africa will work.

I believe in what this province has to offer. I have faith that it can offer people unlimited opportunities to succeed. In the mess we inherited from the ANC in Tshwane, we experienced and witnessed the devastating effect of corruption in destroying these opportunities.

As a young man growing up in a shack right here in Atteridgeville,  I have experienced first-hand the challenges faced by millions of our people who continue to remain locked out of opportunities, neglected by an uncaring government that puts itself before the people whom it is meant to serve. The disregard for our people, our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters spurred me to action. When the opportunity arose, I was motivated to become the Mayor of my home City, Tshwane. I took the opportunity hoping to create more opportunities for our people.

When presented with the opportunity to move into the luxury R5 million mayoral mansion, I chose instead to live in my own house and sell the mayoral mansion to build homes for 40 people.

I care deeply for the people of this province and understand their daily struggles. While I was Mayor of Tshwane, I cancelled the R754 million in debt owed by under-privileged communities to the City.

I am a champion for change and I’m calling on all of you, the people of Gauteng to be part of change we all so desperately need.

I championed change in the City by tackling corruption and increasing opportunities for the city’s residents. We championed change in the way in which EPWP jobs in the City were allocated. We established an open and fair system by which people could benefit from EPWP job opportunities.

As Premier I will champion change for Gauteng that was previously thought to be impossible.

The effects of corruption and its crippling impact on government made me realise that we can only effect the change we want for our people by keeping corruption out of Gauteng.

Inaction and empty promises by the ANC is causing Gauteng to regress.

Unemployment has grown by 600 000 under Premier Makhura and more than 2 million of people in this province are now unemployed, and have been denied the opportunity to earn an honest living. Not only has the ANC-government failed to create jobs beor keep us safe from crime, they don’t even know how to.

Access to jobs and support for small businesses under the ANC is largely restricted to their friends and family, or wasted on corruption and bloated agencies which serve the interests of politicians, not the people of Gauteng. Manufacturing is on the decline and tourism is underdeveloped.

We have also seen large-scale infrastructure collapse, such as sewage and water-works in a number of our municipalities, due to mismanagement and corruption.

Change in Gauteng is being made possible by the DA.

The DA is the only party that can unseat the ANC and bring change to this province. In 2016 people said it would be impossible to beat the ANC in Tshwane and Johannesburg but we proved that it can be done. In 2016 the DA started its mission to bring change to Gauteng by ending corruption and opening up more opportunities for people. That change will only be complete when we take full control of the government in the province.

In Johannesburg, Tshwane and Midvaal we are working to bring change to Gauteng from the bottom up. In just two years, we have put a stop to dozens of dodgy tenders, arrested corrupt officials, and laid the foundation for clean governance,

In Johannesburg:

  1. We have turned around a city on the brink of financial collapse.
  2. We have fought corruption and prosecuted those stealing public money.
  3. We handed over 5145 title deeds and built 1089 new houses.
  4. We have increased the Metro police force by 1500 additional members leading to 20 000 arrests and the opening of 1920 cases of corruption.
  5. We have opened five drug rehabilitation centres.
  6. We have extended the operating hours of 13 of our clinics to reduce waiting times and increase the number of patients that can be assisted.

In Tshwane:

  1. We have reviewed our EPWP policy, now known as Gata le Nna to make job opportunities more accessible to a wider audience than just a few politically connected individuals. Since its adoption by Council last year 20 000 new participants have been afforded work opportunities. Through this programme we have registered more than 120 00 job seekers on our database.
  2. In the first nine months of our term of office we attracted R2.29 billion in investment
  3. The City of Tshwane has the fastest growth in employment of all metros at 7.6%
  4. We have sold the Mayoral mansion for R5.1million. This money has been used to build 40 homes for our people.
  5. We have handed over 4 417 title deeds.
  6. Through fiscal consolidation we have saved millions of rands by cancelling ill-considered contracts.

In Midvaal:

  1. We have received clean audits for four years in a row.
  2. We have achieved the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng – 12%.
  3. Through the Kgatelopele Youth Development Programme, 250 young people will receive entrepreneurial training to build businesses and have access to 100 hectares of land for farming.
  4. Over the next 4 years, township suppliers will receive a sizable portion of the municipality’s R2 billion local spend.
  5. The DA has proved itself in Midvaal, where we have sustained economic growth of 10% for over a decade, with the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng

The DA’s plan for Gauteng

Under a DA-led government in Gauteng, we will bring change that will:

  • End corruption
  • Create jobs
  • Fix the Police Service
  • Combat drug abuse
  • Speed up the delivery of basic services

I pledge to the people of Gauteng to:

  1. Bring economic growth and Change now

In Gauteng, we will:

  • Ensure fair access to EPWP jobs through a lottery system;
  • End corruption in economic development agencies and focus on actively supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through funding, innovation hubs and partnerships;
  • Make it easier to do business in Gauteng by cutting red tape and rolling out the red carpet for entrepreneurs;
  • Revitalize and expand industrial parks in townships to provide jobs where people live;
  • Promote business and leisure tourism as important job creators;
  • Roll out job centres throughout the province to supply information and provide support for job opportunities;
  • Promote skills for jobs and apprenticeship programmes for young people to gain valuable skills and work experience;
  • Provide space for informal traders to conduct business;
  • Pay all suppliers on time within 30 days;
  • Support the development of new CBDs in Soweto, Tembisa, and Mamelodi, along with business nodes in viable locations;
  • Expand jobs in agriculture through technological innovation, urban farming, and develop a programme to build meaningful partnerships between established and emerging farmers;
  • Pursue green energy initiatives and waste-to-energy schemes;
  • Develop a comprehensive long-term water strategy so that economic growth is not constrained by water shortages; and
  • Pursue city-led growth through effective coordination of job creation initiatives and an integrated urban development framework in three large Gauteng Metros.
  1. Honest, Professional Police

We want people to feel safe in their homes, places of work, and in the street. There should be a good working relationship between residents and the police, who should be supported by the provision of proper skills, equipment, and infrastructure to do their jobs effectively.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Lobby for daily policing to be given over to the province and metros to address local needs
  • Push for the return of specialised units, such as those which combat gang violence, hijacking, rural crime, and organised crime
  • Appoint a Provincial Police Ombudsman to resolve complaints and ensure effective community oversight over policing
  • Increase road safety by making traffic police an essential service so that they are available at all hours, and run road safety campaigns
  • Push for speedy discipline and prosecution of corrupt police officials to ensure a professional and honest service
  • Fix delays at Gauteng forensic mortuaries to ensure the speedy handover of bodies to families and quality evidence that can stand up in court
  • Decisively tackle gender-based violence through dedicated programmes and victim support centres
  1. Fight corruption

We want to eliminate the corruption which oppresses all South Africans. Every cent of public money should be allocated in a fair and efficient manner so that people are able to access services which promote their health, dignity, and ability to realise their full potential in society.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Fire corrupt officials and blacklist them from future public employment
  • Implement a truly transparent and accountable Open Tender System and procurement process at all levels
  • Establish a high-powered Anti-Corruption Unit in the Premier’s Office
  • Appoint a Commission of State Capture in Gauteng
  1. Controlled immigration

Gauteng will benefit from highly-skilled immigration which is effectively administered by Home Affairs. Immigration laws must be firmly enforced so that illegal immigrants are deported, and all immigrants are properly documented. Gauteng’s population has more than doubled since 1994 to 14.5 million, with annual in-migration of 300 000 people.

Where the DA governs, we recognise the importance of immigrants with scarce skills to grow our economy and create jobs. The DA will seek to recover hospital and school costs from foreign embassies and will push for deductions from the SADC Customs Union.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Promote programmes to attract immigrants with scarce skills to help create jobs
  • Push for Home Affairs to do their job in documenting migrants and preventing illegal immigration
  • Ensure that the police arrest, detain, and deport those who repeatedly enter our country illegally
  1. Speed up service delivery

5.1 Health

We want every resident in Gauteng to have access to person-centred, quality healthcare. There should be a greater focus on primary healthcare and health education, and hospitals must be given greater independence and responsibility for the delivery of healthcare services.

The Gauteng Health Department has been comprehensively mismanaged for many years, with dire effects that are painfully visible in the 34 public hospitals and 372 clinics in our province. There are long waiting times for consultations, medication, and surgery, babies dying from preventable illnesses, non-responsive emergency ambulances, inadequate maintenance, and supplier bills not paid on time. There is a high level of irregular and wasteful expenditure. Mental health patients still do not receive proper attention despite the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Cut queues and waiting times through better management and technology
  • Fix the emergency ambulance service to ensure speedy response times to save lives
  • Decentralise powers to hospital CEOs with strict accountability for quality health outcomes
  • Strengthen primary healthcare through the upgrade of clinics and 24hr services, and the effective use of Community Healthcare Workers
  • Make primary healthcare more accessible through the provision of more mobile clinics

5.2 Education

We want to ensure that learners are taught in safe, well-equipped environments by qualified teachers who know their subjects and are empowered to impart their knowledge effectively. No learner should leave the critical foundation phase without demonstrating mastery in reading, writing, and maths. Learners in later grades should achieve 50% as a pass, not 30%.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Ensure that no learner leaves the foundation phase without mastering reading, writing, and maths
  • Track learners’ progress through technological devices, so that proper interventions can take place and keep learners in the system
  • Effectively implement the Gauteng After-School Programme to support learners through extra classes, sports, arts, and social intervention
  • Evaluate teachers so as to establish gaps in their abilities and training, in order to provide training and classroom support
  • Audit all school infrastructure so that every learner can focus in a well-built and well-equipped classroom, and has access to dignified toilets
  • Evaluate exam markers to ensure quality in the marking process
  • Introduce biometric clock-in systems at failing schools to ensure that teachers report for duty
  • Prevent union interference that undermines teaching
  • Ensure that all learners have access to Early Childhood Development centres
  • Increase access to vocational training through technical schools

5.3 Housing and Land

We believe that housing and property rights are essential for the dignity and well-being of all people in Gauteng. With more than 1 million on the housing waiting list, people are tired of waiting and have shown that they can build their own house if the government provides land and basic services. There is a backlog in providing title deeds which are crucial to assisting people to further invest in their property and get loans for enterprise development. State property in prime locations should be identified and released to deserving applicants so that we can effectively tackle apartheid spatial planning. We are against expropriation of land without compensation, and support the Western Cape model for land reform which has seen a 62% success rate, against the national rate of 8%.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Strongly promote property ownership and title deeds with the establishment of a special dedicated unit in the Premier’s Office
  • Establish a Property Opportunity Fund to release government property to suitable beneficiaries, including structures as well as land
  • Develop an in-situ upgrade plan for each informal settlement in Gauteng, which provides residents with services and tenure security
  • A single housing waiting list must be created which is open to the public
  • Speed up the development and allocation of gap housing
  • Implement a rapid upgrade programme for all hostels

5.4 Transport

We understand the burden that the majority of residents in Gauteng face through the apartheid transport tax – spending significant amounts and dedicating long hours to reach their place of work, to learn, and to access services.

Where the DA governs, we have implemented high-quality public transport systems which are cost-effective and dependable. We believe we could run Metrorail’s trains far more effectively, ensuring safe and reliable transport for millions of passengers. We want to see the implementation of an effective integrated transport system which relies on a single electronic payment system.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Scrap e-tolls – we will declare an inter-governmental dispute with national government and SANRAL to scrap the system
  • Improve funding for road maintenance
  • Introduce a comprehensive integrated transport system which focuses on rail as the major carrier, with buses and minibus taxis focusing on feeder routes
  • Push for the provincial control of Metrorail in Gauteng
  • Upgrade Metrorail to ensure a safe and reliable system for all passengers
  • Review the Gautrain contract to reduce the R1.6 billion annual ridership subsidy
  • Fix the licensing centres

5.5 Social and cultural development

We believe that the state cannot effectively deliver all services and should partner with and support NGOs which have the capacity to deliver vital services to the residents of Gauteng. Government should support the development of sports and the arts to ensure that these important aspects of our lives continue to bring us together and provide spaces to learn, laugh, and play.

In Gauteng, the DA will:

  • Implement improved systems for tracking NGO progress, pay NGOs on time, and eliminate corruption in grant allocations
  • Promote “welfare-to-work” programmes
  • Establish Drug Treatment Centres where addicts can access internationally-proven needle exchange programmes and effective rehabilitation programmes
  • Employ more social workers and psychologists
  • Effectively implement the Gauteng After-School programme to provide children with meaningful social activities, and enable them to access social care
  • Ensure that all communities have access to well-equipped sports and arts facilities

Vote DA to bring change you can believe in.

In 2016 the DA embarked on a mission to bring change to Gauteng by taking over the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane and brought change which was impossible under the ANC. More needs to be done to undo the years of wasted opportunity under the ANC. By voting DA and giving us your support the DA will be in a better position to effect even greater change in Gauteng when we take over the government of the province.

We have proven that we can bring change by rooting out corruption and create more opportunities for people – we can bring change you can believe in.