SA’s economic engine, Gauteng’s focus will be on delivery, accountability: Makhura

Gauteng, Africa’s richest province and the economic engine of South Africa is a place of hope. It is a place where many come to escape poverty and seek enormous opportunities. These are the words of Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who was speaking at the release of the province’s Midterm Report, which highlights its performance from May 2014 to November 2016.

But for many living in the province it has become a place associated with crime, drugs and corruption. A province of acute unemployment, where citizens take the law into their own hands. Makhura in his keynote address discussed ways to fix this, the findings of the report, highlights and challenges of the Transformation Modernisation and Re-industrialisation Programme, which was introduced by the current administration.

Gauteng’s premier also outlined what his administration plans to do in the final two years of its term, see full list below of its priorities. He stressed that the province’s focus will be on enhancing capacity to deliver on every mandate it has set itself in its ten-pillar programme for transformation, modernisation and reindustrialisation.

To further enhance transparency and public accountability, the Premier said he will sign delivery agreements with executive council members and release these publicly so that citizens can hold public office bearers and senior departmental officials accountable.

MECs will also make public, performance agreements signed with heads of departments, which make clear their targets and measurable goals for the next two years. These agreements will be posted on the government’s website and other public platforms, so that the people can follow as government report on progress.

His address was followed by a panel discussion during which researchers and academics gave their views on what the province needs to do to ensure delivery happens and happens now.

UJ’s Pamela Mondliwa argued that implementation is important; IRR’s Kerwin Lebone emphasised collaboration between departments. For example he suggested that community safety and human settlements should collaborate against crime in the Joburg CBD like they did in 2010 when South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup.

Prof Modimowabarwa Kanyane from the HSRC reckoned you should put municipalities into the thinking of the province on issues of service delivery.

Abdullah Verachia from GIBS surmised that growth opportunities that drive economic growth need to be established that will achieve the province’s vision.

A full list of the priorities are listed below:

Build an inclusive economy

  • We continue to engage directly with business leaders to unlock the employment and empowerment potential of key sectors in our Province; Together with our partners we will work towards a target of 400 000 jobs;
  • We will increase the number of jobs created in the manufacturing and services sectors and to build SMMEs especially township based enterprises through targeted public procurement of goods and services;
  • We will work in partnership with economists from all Gauteng-based universities and research institutes to make Gauteng the leader in innovation, research and development and the knowledge-based economy;
  • We will promote the growth of the automotive, aerospace and defence, agro-processing and agribusiness, innovation, research and development industries;
  • Together with municipalities we will prioritise the renewal of the Johannesburg inner-city, regeneration of Sedibeng and West Rand Districts economies and the building of new mega human settlements and post-apartheid cities;
  • We are now implementing the ‘second wave’ of empowerment which will ensure that Black businesses and township enterprises become more sustainable;
  • To further drive radical economic transformation, in partnership with key industry leaders we are assisting Black firms and township enterprises to get involved in localisation and manufacturing initiatives to produce goods locally and sell them to domestic and foreign markets;

Upscaling Youth Empowerment programmes

  • We will further expand and enhance the Tshepo 1 Million programme focusing on creating opportunities for young people to enter the labour market and access skills and entrepreneurial development;
  • Working with various partners in the private sector, we are confident that we will reach the new target of empowering one million young people by 2019;

 Investing in economic and social infrastructure

  • We will roll out a massive infrastructure investment programme worth over R42 billion over the next three years will contribute to more than 100 000 direct jobs;
  • Our infrastructure investment will support the priority economic sectors and help to redress spatial imbalances in the five development corridors to spread the benefits of reindustrialisation, employment and empowerment equitably across Gauteng;
  • We will work with all municipalities to deliver state of the art infrastructure in the following areas:
  • Public Transport and Logistics;
  • Mega Human Settlements;
  • Renewable Energy and other energy projects;
  • ICT and Broadband;
  • Government precincts;
  • Water and Sanitation;
  • Healthcare facilities; and
  • Libraries and other social amenities.

Roads and Transport

  • We will Improving transport system to benefit all citizens with a particular focus on travel efficiency and reliability by 2019;
  • We will establish the Transport Authority to improve planning and improve passenger information system;
  • We will build 9 strategic new roads to reduce congestion and improve linkages between various economic nodes and development corridors;
  • Road maintenance will be improved through 90% of Daily Road inspections and 100% of potholes repaired within 72 hrs;
  • More than 250 km of road network will be resurfaced cumulatively by 2019 as part of the preventative maintenance programme;
  • Our Driver Learner Testing Centres (DLTCs) will be mordernised to reduce queues and waiting times;
  • We will Improve efficiency of public transport system with a special focus on the bus services and minibus taxies;

Human Settlements

  • We will continue the other spheres of government and the private sector to deliver on the concept of the integrated human settlements, which will include social and community facilities, that are close to economic opportunities, while ensuring security of tenure;
  • Through the increase in the construction of Mega Human Settlements projects, 31 projects being launched by 2019, creating more than 200 000 housing opportunities;
  • We will fast track the handing over of title deeds to households and communities to give the people security of tenure;

Education

  • We will improve teaching and learning conditions in all Gauteng schools and provide learners with opportunities to get access to post schooling education and training;
  • We will roll out e-learning infrastructure to 3300 Grade 11-12 classrooms in no-fee paying schools;
  • We will work towards achieving a 90% pass rate for matric with a 50% bachelor pass rate;
  • We will also provide bursaries to deserving learners and provide learnerships as well as experiential learning opportunities for the youth;

Health

  • Following the Life Esidimeni tragedy we have initiated a review of the health system in the Province;
  • In addition to implementing the 18 recommendations of the Health Ombud Report, we are working hard to restore confidence in our public health system;
  • A wide-ranging inspection and assessment is being instituted at all centres that care for the most vulnerable, including the elderly, persons with disabilities and children;
  • We are committed to improving experiences of citizens, patients and their families across all public health facilities;
  • We will reduce Accident and Emergency and Out Patient waiting times at health facilities as per national standards, improve staff attendance and ensuring 99% of essential and vital medication is available at hospital and district pharmacies;
  • We will also introduce an electronic patient management system to improve patient care;

Deepening social cohesion and nation building

  • We will continue to work together across race, class, gender and political affiliation and build partnerships for social cohesion;
  • We will continue to combat racism and xenophobia in all its forms;
  • A Provincial Migration Desk is being established to provide services and advice to migrants;
  • Sports, arts and culture will remain priorities in deepening social cohesion. This includes continuing to build Gauteng as the home of the creative industries and competitive sports;
  • We will continue to build partnerships with a variety of sporting bodies and the private sector in implementing a shared vision and common programme to make sport accessible to all and to nurture talent and excellence in sport;
  • We will further host major national and international sporting events which provide opportunities to showcase our talent and to bring sport-related tourism to the province;
  • Community sports, recreation and cultural facilities and activities will be enhanced, including the construction of new libraries and the upgrading of libraries with ICT infrastructure and connectivity;
  • We will continue to promote the creative industries and arts and culture including major events such as the Gauteng Carnival to celebrate our rich cultural diversity;

Eradicating urban poverty and hunger

  • We will upscale the number of participants in our Welfare to Work programme to 30000 by 2019 as part of our efforts to eradicate poverty;
  • Young women who dependent on child support grants as their only source of income will be equipped with skills and decent employment opportunities;
  • We will continue to roll out the War on Poverty programme, reaching 788 000 of the poorest households by 2019;
  • We will continue to work with communities to develop food gardens and identify land for urban agriculture projects and other forms of food relief to reduce hunger and support sustainable livelihoods;

Community Safety

  • We will work with the police and law enforcement agencies reduce crimes such as carjacking; robbery – residential and commercial (trio crimes) by 50% in 40 high crime areas;
  • Together with the SAPS we will ensure that police officers are high profile crime areas supported by appropriate equipment including patrol vehicles;
  • We will improve law enforcement in crimes related to alcohol and drug abuse (driven by taverns & shebeens) in high crime areas including ensuring that 100% of taverns and shebeens in high crime areas close at 2am and there is a 50% reduction illegal shebeen and tavern operation.
  • Our focus is also on 50% reduction in pedestrian road fatalities (an equivalent of 567 fatalities; cumulatively until 2019);
  • A range of interventions will be implemented to reduce and eradicate gender-based violence and these will include focused interventions in rape ‘hotspots’ and improving conviction rates, through improved forensics, forensic social workers and the provision of support for complainants within the criminal justice system;
  • We will expand quality services for survivors through women safety desks and psycho-social support services and enhance Green Doors and Victim Empowerment Centres.
  • We will also further enhance the Men as Safety programme and build the campaign to mobilise men and boys against abuse and monitor implementation of the Domestic Violence Act through police stations;

Improving Public Finance Management, Transparency and Probity

  • We will ensure public confidence in the management of public finances and leverage public procurement to promote and support the township economy revitalisation programme;
  • We will strive to obtain clean audit outcomes across all departments and entities in the province;
  • We will also ensure that all competitive bidding for goods and services are conducted through the open tender system and ensure that all invoices are paid within 30 days.

Fighting corruption and promoting clean governance

  • We will continue to act against maladministration, incompetence and corruption and will take steps against those found guilty of financial misconduct;
  • To further strengthen integrity, promote clean governance and administration, we will implement approved anti-corruption and integrity guidelines and appoint a civil society-led Integrity Promotion and Anti-Corruption Advisory Committee;
  • We will further implement measures to detect and prevent public servants from doing business with the state and take action against those found guilty of fraud and corruption;

Responsive and caring government

  • The Ntirhisano Rapid Response System and Service Delivery War Room introduced in 2014 will intensify its work with communities to resolve ongoing day-to-day and service delivery challenges and continue to bring government closer to communities;
  • Ntirhisano service delivery teams will pay periodic unannounced visits to all facilities that provide services to our communities to ensure that early interventions are made where citizens are receiving substandard services;
  • Other interventions include the further development of the War Room network across the GCR, proactive household profiling and responding to service needs at a household level, continuing the integration of community workers within the Ntirhisano system.

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