State Of The Province Address – 21-02-2011

Madam Speaker

Deputy Speaker

Members of the Executive Council

Honourable Leaders of Political Parties

Mayors

Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature

Councillors

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Distinguished guests

The people of Gauteng

We are sixteen years into our democracy and since 1994 we have been given the opportunity to drive the agenda for the total emancipation of our people. (through the mandate that was bestowed upon us). The first term of government was based on the manifesto whose theme was “Proud of our past and confident of our future’ In the second term of office in 1999 the mandate was based on the theme of “A Better Life For All”. Once more after the landslide victory during election of 2004 “The peoples contract to create work and fight poverty” became our clarion call, Our people continued to show confidence in the leadership of the African National Congress(ANC) in 2009 by casting their votes in support of the rallying Manifesto call of “ Working together we can do more”.

It is on the basis of these calls that the mandate to transform our society remains  unchanged. In line with our current 5 year mandate, the year 2011 is the year of job creation, through visible delivery, effective implementation of our plans as well as being solution orientated.

The realization of job creation is dependent on having short, medium and long term solutions for a better Gauteng. It is on this basis that the work we do is geared  towards  achieving our long term goal of a globally competitive city region. In our endeavor to realize the goals of a competitive Global City Region we would want to commit ourselves to a long term vision for the development of Gauteng.

In this regard we have been working tirelessly in developing a framework for Gauteng Vision 2055. We now have a base document for the development of the kind of Gauteng we envisage between now and 2055.  It is the path that all of us must walk, embrace and help to shape so that Gauteng can be in the league of  the best Global City Regions of the world. Through vision 2055 we envisage to propel the growth and development of Gauteng to new and greater heights.

Gauteng remains the most critical location of the economic life of South Africa. We remain the beacon of hope for multitudes of people from different strata of our society. The profound effect Gauteng has is not only limited to South Africa but permeates the lives of the African people and the entire continent. We therefore cannot afford to be mediocre in our thoughts, plans and operations because we hold the promise of a better world for our people all over the Continent and the world over. To realize this commitment, Gauteng will require the maximum utilization of its capacity in all various forms through partnerships.

Notwithstanding the inequalities of the past and the present realities of poverty, Vision 2055 requires a paradigm shift away from the immediate to strong emphasis and focus on long-term planning and development. A commitment by all to the promise contained in Vision 2055 is a prerequisite.  Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to claim their stake in the Vision so that it becomes a people’s Vision, driven and owned by all. It is with this in mind that we will release the Gauteng Vision 2055 base document for broad public participation and consultation.

Our view has been, and still is today, that our global competitiveness should be based on internal co-operation within Gauteng, between different spheres of government, the private sector, as well as civil society. In essence, the maintenance of our leadership role in matters of development is dependent on our ability to plan within a long term horizon, tolerant of diverse views and with consideration of alternative solutions. This vision seeks to guide how we can create and sustain a Gauteng that is:

  • Livable
  • Equitable
  • Accessible
  • Sustainable
  • Prosperous and competitive

Vision 2055 has to be a multiyear plan for general growth and development for Gauteng. It seeks to improve the manner in which we approach the business of development, nation building and social cohesion.

Vision 2055 finds expression in our short and medium-term plans. The major instruments to help us achieve our vision include amongst others:

  • Long term infrastructure planning and provision;
  • Our Spatial Development Framework;
  • The creation of sustainable, well located and compact human settlements and addressing the apartheid city structure;
  • Globalization as well as the global competitiveness of our industries;
  • Management of our natural resources, including the impact of global warming and climate change;
  • Renewable energy sources and environmental management;
  • Our linkages and entrenchment in the African continent.

Vision 2055 will also assist us in identifying the character of the ideal Gauteng resident that we aspire for. We will strive to remain a leading Province in being the economic hub of South Africa, the gateway to Africa, the struggle heritage and the melting pot of diverse cultures.

We have since established the Gauteng Planning Commission to coordinate and drive the implementation of Vision 2055. Key to the functioning of the Planning Commission, will be the setting up the Gauteng Advisory Council by the end of March 2010 to provide a platform to facilitate consultation, strategic advice and sectoral expertise from key sectors of our society.

Honourable Members and the residents of Gauteng

It is of paramount importance that we do the right things now. It is only when we do the right things that we can build a proud, united and self-respecting nation. Our actions today should be such that they not only benefit the present but also honour the past and benefit future generations. Those who marched and were imprisoned, exiled and assassinated sacrificed so that South Africa could be free. These are, amongst others, the unsung heroines of the 1956 Women’s March. The heroes of the Sharpeville anti-pass campaign. The brave young lions of the June 1976 rebellion. They all fought and died so that we can take our proud place as a united and democratic nation amongst the civilised nations of the world.

We owe it to all those who stood up against divisive and racial policies to foster unity and promotion of social cohesion. It is such selfless fighters who ensured that as the country and people we embrace new and progressive national symbols that reflect our unity in diversity.

Any self-respecting nation will hold its national symbols in high-esteem; and ours cannot be an exception to this universal norm. The time has come for all of us to stand up and protect our national symbols. The time is now for all of us to show unfettered patriotism by teaching our children at schools, workers at the shopfloor level and farms to show pride and love for our national symbols.

It is disconcerting that at this stage of our democracy, we still have people who want to take us back by arrogantly displaying those symbols we fought to change or continue to show disrespect for all that represent the new nation. We need to help such people, rehabilitate them and make them understand the value of a united nation.

It is in this context that we empathise with the act of highly-conscientised patriots such as radio personality, Mr Bob Mabena, who expressed disgust at those who insult our national symbols.

Nation-building and developing a national identity is fundamental in our young democracy. We need to invest resources in building our heritage for the future generation so that we become a proud nation. A programme to distribute the national flag, other symbols and national orders to all schools, libraries and other public buildings will be implemented to promote patriotism and an understanding of the meaning of our national symbols.

We reiterate our commitment to the establishment of a desk in government that will focus specifically on the matters of the Military Veterans. In this regard departments within the Gauteng Province are being engaged to identify services that they can provide to meet the needs of the Veterans in line with national processes.

We will put in place a Heritage Legislative Framework that will guide the protection, preservation and promotion of heritage in the Province. We will also develop a monument to celebrate the life of OR Tambo in partnership with the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.  A Women’s Monument at the Union Building will be developed in conjunction with the national Department of Arts and Culture

Honorable Members

As Gauteng, we were humbled by the support and patriotism displayed by our people during the hosting of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Once again we proved to the world that we have the capacity and ability to organize and host events of international stature. Once again Gauteng earned its mantle as the Gateway to Africa and the Home of Champions.

We also hosted the 2010 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Championship, which was a success. This was, again, made possible by the ever-supportive people of Gauteng and South Africa in general.

Moreover, Gauteng broke new ground by hosting the first Rugby Tournament held in Soweto at Orlando Stadium. Our people, Black and White, were united in support of the championship.

Recently Gauteng hosted the South African Open Tennis Championship in Fourways, where one of our own, Mr Kevin Anderson, lifted the coveted trophy. In his absence, we are honoured today to have amongst us the CEO of SA Tennis, Mr Ian Smith as our special guest.

In keeping with the spirit of Gauteng being the Home of Champions and the leader in hosting major sporting events, we are committed to host the finals of the Vodacom Challenge in July 2011, when Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs look to conquer the guest team, Tottenham Hotspurs.  This will give us an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the FIFA 2010 World Cup legacy in style.

Through sport we have been able to unite the nation and build common national pride and identity. Let us continue to show unity and respect for one another in and outside the sports arena.

Madam Speaker

The popular mandate given to us by the masses has not changed. But as a government which constantly seeks to improve the lives and conditions of its people; it is our responsibility to think and plan ahead. This will not only enhance our capacity to work for meaningful change; but will help us to remain a leading Province in all critical areas of development. We are determine to stay in the lead because it all starts here and nowhere else. We are the Cradle of Humankind, the Gateway to Africa and the economic hub of our country and a province of rich diversity.

In pursuit of the mandate as expressed in our strategic priorities for 2009-2014 presented to this House, we have made considerable progress.

We have made effective interventions in our efforts to improve the quality of learning and teaching across the schooling system in Gauteng. However, in the previous year we went through difficult and challenging times. The country was engulfed by massive public sector strikes which adversely impacted on learning and teaching in our schools. Despite this, the class of 2010 was able to make us proud. One such story of hard work and hope is that of Skhumbuzo Selby Nkutha, who achieved six distinctions. Today, Skhumbuzo is the deserving recipient of R40 000 funding, which is part of the R58 million bursary scheme offered by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

For the first time in the history of Gauteng, we are proud to occupy the number one spot in the Matric results in the country.  We achieved a 6,8% increase in the matric pass rate, which rose from 71,8% in 2009 to 78.6% in 2010.

In 2011, our intervention programs will continue to target learners in Grades 10-12, focusing on subjects such as Geography, History and Business Studies, in schools where performance was poor. With the involvement and support of parents, educators and learners, we are on track to achieve our goal of an 80% pass rate by 2014.

We have expanded access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Grade R, with 448 ECD sites across the province and the training of ECD practitioners.  A total of 442 Grade R classrooms were delivered to sites across Gauteng in 2010. It is through investment at this level that we can begin to prepare and produce dynamic Matriculants of the future.

We successfully expanded the School Nutrition Programme to all no-fee paying secondary schools. The total number of primary and secondary school learners that benefited from the nutrition programme during 2010 is was 795 785.

We have taken important steps in improving public health care this year.  In response to calls from our communities, 21 Community Health Centres (CHCs) now provide a 24-hour services in Gauteng and have reduced waiting times for patients.

We now have fast queues for chronic and old-age patients and dedicated queue marshals.  The availability of essential medicines has improved, with dedicated vehicles to assist with emergency medication deliveries to the health institutions.

We have taken school health services to 1431 public schools, with a focus on Grade R, 1 and 7.

We are all too aware of the devastating impact that the death of even one baby, child or mother has on a family. The reduction of maternal and infant mortality has been a top priority and is at the heart of our work to improve public health services.

Preliminary figures indicate that the maternal mortality rate has decreased from 154 to 139 deaths per 100,000 from 2009 to 2010.

Among our key interventions to reduce infant and child mortality is to protect children against diseases that can be prevented through vaccination. Our immunization programme has proven to be effective.

The availability of neonatal ICU beds is crucial in reducing infant mortality.  Steps have been taken to improve the neonatal wards at Charlotte Maxeke, Dr George Mukhari and Natalspruit hospitals with additional neonatal ICU beds and dedicated nurses.

We have made good progress in fulfilling our commitment to deal effectively with HIV and AIDS and TB.  By the end of 2010 we were providing over 357,000 people with anti-retroviral treatment against our target of 400,000 by the end of the financial year.

Madam Speaker and Honourable Members, I wish to thank all those, including members of the public who came as volunteers and private companies, especially Mediclinic, Life Hospital group and Netcare, who came to our aid during the public sector strike last year. Their support and interventions helped save the lives of many of our patients, including about 80 innocent babies. Above all, a special thanks goes to Netcare for donating 30 incubators to Charlotte Maxeke and Natalspruit hospitals.

This is a demonstration of what we can achieve through strong partnerships.  We will seek to build on these partnerships in the new year to provide better services to our people.

Visible policing in the province has improved and joint operations continue under the command of the South African Police Services. The leadership role played by SAPS under the new provincial commissioner has demonstrated that through integrated plans and sharing of resources, we can combat crime more effectively.

We have strengthened the partnership in crime prevention and have begun to build on the legacy of the World Cup where the criminal justice system was swift and effective.  Specialised courts and sectoral policing are yielding good results.

We are on course in implementing the Gauteng Employment Growth and Development Strategy, through which we will contribute to job creation.

With regard to the development of vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security, we have worked with development finance bodies to help emerging farmers access finance.  Technical and advisory support has been given to 131 farmers to help them become viable entrepreneurs.

As part of food security we have provided tools, seeds, compost, materials and equipment for the development of 977 gardens in areas such as Randfontein, Germiston and Tshwane.

Under the programme of human settlements, spatial development and land management, we have delivered 664 952 housing units in the Province since 1994.  So far this financial year, we have delivered 21 028 units and 21 470 serviced sites, yielding 51 392 jobs. Gauteng remains a leading province in the development of sustainable human settlement, albeit the minimal resources at our disposal and the high cost of land development in our province.

Through the Alexandra Renewal Programme, the province, together with the City of Johannesburg has invested more than R2 billion in infrastructure development. We have concluded 18 projects, delivering 7 460 housing units, 4 schools and new roads.

The rehabilitation of Jukskei River banks and the recreation parks is ongoing. A state of the art police station was built in partnership with Vodacom, as well as the Pan African Development Mall.

As part of the Evaton Urban Renewal we are building new houses and upgrading old ones. The Mafatsane Thusong Service Centre has been completed. Work in Evaton will continue with the installation of solar powered street lighting, the development of the commercial precinct and the eradication of the dehumanising bucket system and improved waste management services.

Efforts to ensure energy efficiency by rolling out solar geysers have seen Ekurhuleni installing 500 Solar Water Heaters (SWH) out of 1000 units targeted. They have also signed an agreement to install 300 000 SWH in collaboration with the Central Energy Fund. The City of Tshwane in partnership with Eskom has also committed to install 15 940 Solar Water Heaters by the end of April 2011.

In support of the development of a responsive, accountable and efficient local government system, we have provided training in scarce skills for 1500 municipal officials.  We have worked with municipalities on municipal debt recovery management. We share the concerns raised by the affected households on billing issues in the City of Johannesburg and through joint efforts we will find a lasting solution that is in the best interests of the City and the residents.

OUR MOVEMENT TOWARDS 2014 AND VISION 2055

Madam Speaker, the mandate that we derived from the people of Gauteng remains unchanged.  Our approach is more outcomes based and performance driven. The outcomes that we announced last year in this house, remain the objectives that we seek to achieve. In his State of the Nation Address, the President enjoined us to make this year, the year of job creation through infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism as well as an effective and reliable public service.

The Provincial Government plays an important role as a major contributor to job creation, employing in excess of 180 000 people. We have agreed that all funded vacant positions in the entire GPG must be filled within six months.

Our efforts to create jobs are taking place against the backdrop of the devastating global and domestic recession that has resulted in significant job losses in Gauteng and the world over.

In improving the efficiency of the economy and its capacity to create jobs, we will pay particular attention to the freight logistics sector. We will establish three freight logistics hubs in Rosslyn, the West Rand and at OR Tambo International Airport. In addition, our plan is to transform the economy of Gauteng from a predominantly mining to a diversified and modern economy. This transformation will place emphasis on the industrial policy framework which is underpinned by areas that include metals and minerals beneficiation; clothing and textiles; leather and footware; tooling and foundries; business process outsourcing and off-shoring; transport; capital equipment; tourism; the green economy and alternative energy.

Job creation will be our main area of emphasis in the year ahead.  By investing in economic and social infrastructure delivery, we will create jobs whilst improving the development of the Gauteng City Region and our communities.  Our new infrastructure programme will create at least 130,000 jobs this year through the construction and maintenance of education and health infrastructure.

The quality of school infrastructure remains a major challenge. Despite the investment over the years in new infrastructure, existing infrastructure is dilapidating rapidly.

We will deliver 4 new schools during 2011 for the 2012 school year and will initiate plans for the building of 13 new schools to be delivered in the 2012/13 financial year.

A total of 30 schools will be renovated. While we have a backlog in new infrastructure and budget constraints, we have commissioned work on alternate financing to eradicate the backlog in new schools. We are investigating public-private partnerships and will seek donor funding from the business sector. In addition, we will review the current school admission policy to ensure optimal utilisation of public schools.

Through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), we will create over 175,000 work opportunities of 100 days each as well as 88 379 full time equivalents targeting one individual per poor household. The Community Works Programme, which provides a jobs safety net, will be rolled out in six sites this year – one in Metsweding, three in Ekurhuleni, and two in Tshwane. These sites are based in the 50 poorest wards in the province. This programme will generate a minimum of 6000 jobs, with 40% of the jobs being reserved for young people.

Young people will also be targeted through the youth employability programme, which will provide the necessary support, training and placement of 2128 post-matric learners in both private and public sector jobs. Further, the National Youth Service will equip some 4000 young people with skills that empower them to gain entry into the workplace. As part of our commitment to investing in people, the Accelerated Artisan Training Programme will this year be expanded to accommodate 500 artisans. Furthermore, we will be training 100 young people in the tooling industry, in collaboration with the FET colleges in KwaThema and Eldorado Park.

We will in the coming year continue to pay attention to improving women’s access to job opportunities within the framework of the Gauteng Employment Growth and Development Strategy.  Women will benefit from access to government jobs, tenders and support for small business and cooperatives as well as employment in key economic sectors.  By the end of the current financial year, over 34,000 women will have benefited from EPWP jobs.  In addition, over 200 women’s cooperatives will continue to benefit from opportunities in the agricultural sector and the production and supply of linen, clothing and school uniforms.

Our roads construction and maintenance programme will create a total of 5357 jobs. The programme includes the expansion of the R55 between Tshwane and Midrand, the K15 in Johannesburg and the Sefatsa Street, Road 2 extension and Road 9 in Sharpeville.

Infrastructure development contributes to job creation while making our economy more efficient and competitive.  It also provides an opportunity for us to partner with the private sector in delivering infrastructure.  Key projects include the William Nicol (K46) extension between Fourways and N14, Pinehaven Interchange (P126) and Adcock Road (K15 phase 3), as well as the renovation of Sebokeng, Kalafong, Jubilee, Yusuf Dadoo and OR Tambo memorial hospital through alternative funding mechanisms and will be implemented in the 2011/12 financial year.

Furthermore, we will create 200 jobs through the development of the Driver Licence Training Centre in Kliptown, as well as the construction of taxi ranks in Bophelong and Zandspruit.

Last year, we initiated the Maize Triangle project to stimulate growth in the agriculture sector, which has immense potential to promote food production and agribusiness in the province. While focused mainly in the Sedibeng area, the project will have a province-wide reach and impact. In the coming year, we will pay attention to support for emerging farmers in the area, including the provision of extension services.  A feasibility study on the establishment of a milling plant in the area will also be undertaken.  Metsweding and the West Rand will be the immediate areas where the rollout of the project will take place.

Our agriculture programmes, which include the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme, agri-businesses and farm mechanization will produce 1880 direct and in-direct jobs. We are proud of the way that Gauteng’s Rural Youth Service Corps has been developing opportunities for young people in the rural areas. This year this programme has already had an intake of 1064 young people who are already participating in the programme.  Gauteng’s intake in this programme is the largest in the country, even though only 4% of our province is rural.

Over the years South Africa has been and continues to import goods much needed in the health sector. We will seek to promote local production of pharmaceutical and medical goods and services. Foreign direct investment is on course with companies from different parts of the world wanting to create industries to supply not only Gauteng but also to use Gauteng as a gateway for Africa.

We are proud to announce that the OR Tambo Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has been approved to attract both local and overseas companies. This development will generate diverse economic activities, amongst others, the jewellery precinct that is already taking shape and the beneficiation of key minerals.

We also plan to expand the Gauteng Tooling Initiative, in partnership with the tool, die and mould industry, through establishment of the tools and mould cluster. A benchmarking exercise has been conducted for toolrooms. We are now conducting a match-making exercise to link our export ready toolmakers with overseas clients.

Through positioning Gauteng as a premier tourist destination, we will create an estimated 15,000 jobs through Culture and Heritage Tourism, Nature-based and Adventure Tourism, Business Tourism, Wellness and Medical Tourism and Sport Tourism.  We will also market Gauteng as a destination for major events to attract both domestic and foreign visitors.

Key activities will include the Pale Ya Rona Carnival 2011, which will be hosted in September. This year will see the growth of the Carnival into a successful international event. Soweto will be the permanent home of the Carnival.

We will also market our key tourism destinations such as the Constitution Hill, Cradle of Humankind, the Dinokeng All of Africa in one day game reserve and the Vaal Waterways.

We will continue to tap the significant job creation potential of the creative industries with a focus on craft, music, performing arts, visual arts, fashion and film.

We will identify untapped talent in partnership with local radio stations, individual artists and cultural organizations so as to develop and promote local music especially kwaito, jazz, hip hop and house.  We will also support emerging artists with access to professional development, facilities and markets.

As the country’s economic hub, we believe that Gauteng must play a leading role in the development of the green economy in the country. We will therefore in the next six months finalize our Green Economy Plan which will include the promotion of light  industries to manufacture green products; the waste sector including rolling out buy-back centres for waste recycling.  This is part of a larger programme aimed at ensuring that we Reduce, Re-use and Recycle our waste. We will be rolling out initiatives to sort waste at source. Working in partnership with the private sector we will ensure that our removal and management of waste creates job opportunities.

We will continue to interact with experts in the field of renewable energy on projects related to gas, solar power and biomass. We are working towards creating capacity for the big public hospitals so that they can generate their own energy supply sourced from recycling of medical waste using new technology. This will help reduce reliance on coal to generate steam. We will further pursue energy saving and the use of renewable energy in our public institutions such as schools, clinics  and other  government buildings.

The promotion and development of co-operatives remains of strategic importance. We will expand this programme into other services, to give more people access to sustainable livelihoods and address poverty and inequality in the province.  Particular attention will be paid to help cooperatives access finance and support them in becoming viable and sustainable.  We will promote the procurement of locally produced goods and quality goods produced by local cooperatives.

Through the SMME development programme we will support 3000 small businesses in our priority sectors.

It is important to acknowledge the increasingly important role played by the informal business sector in providing employment. Therefore, we will expand our township business programme, creating business precincts to support a variety of informal businesses including automotive, repair hubs, the enterprise hubs comprising car washes, hair saloons and internet cafes. as well as industrial hubs focusing on metalwork, creation of light industries and carpentry. We will prioritise the following townships, linked to our CBD regeneration programme urban regeneration programmes:

  • Munsieville and Kagiso linked to Krugersdorp;
  • Katlehong and Tokoza, linked to Germiston;
  • Sharpeville and Sebokeng, linked to Vereeniging.

This year we will develop a 25-year transport master plan that will be aligned with our Vision 2055 and integrating different modes of public transport in Gauteng including Gautrain.  The Gautrain will be fully operational as of the 1st of July 2011. We believe this project will lend a lot of expertise, knowledge and experience to other major infrastructure projects, including the proposed speed train between Johannesburg and Ethekwini.

We have noted with concern, possible inefficiencies in the construction of our roads. We will soon be announcing initiatives to ensure that we optiomise value for money, quality and better maintenance of our road network.

We have observed with serious concern the announcement on the implementation of a tolling strategy which has been made in isolation from a comprehensive, viable,  public transport plan including lack of consultation in aprticular with the Gauteng Provincial Government.  Whilst we are not opposed to the idea of tolling as a cost recovery mechanism, we are concerned at the manner in which it is intended to be implemented.  This will impact negatively on the poor working people and the economy of our province. In light of these developments we will be  meeting with the Minister of Transport on the 22 February to explore alternative options in the best interests of commuters and the state.  We support the need for public consultation and the need for an affordable, reliable and safe public transport system.

Madam Speaker

In the area of human settlement development, various Mixed Housing Development projects are being implemented in all regions of the province. Working together with the private sector we will continue to invest in this programme. This will yield over 150 000 different housing opportunities over a period of five years. The 14 projects are located in Cosmo City that accommodates the Zandspruit communities and neighbouring informal settlements including middle income and bonded houses, Lufhereng, which accommodates the relocation of Doornkop, Protea South and Soweto, Chief Mogale for informal settlements as well as backyard dwellers and those that have long applied  from Kagiso; Chief Albert Luthuli, which accommodates Daveyton and surrounding informal settlements;  Legae Phase Two, that accommodate informal settlements in the South and housing beneficiaries from Soweto; and Clayville that will accommodate Winnie Mandela, Tembisa and Strydom Land for Madelakufa and other parts of Tembisa.

These are multi-year projects which are at different stages of developemnt, while Through human settlements development programme, we will create a further

15 000 jobs in the coming financial year.

The primary objective of the Bekkersdal was and still remain the relocation of 15 000 people whose informal houses are on dolomitic area. To this end a construction of 1000 houses has begun in Mohlakeng Ext 11. We will be building more houses on a portion of land in Westonaria south in the next financial year. On the formal part of Bekkersdal infrastructure development has taken place and all the projects handed over to the municipal.  We have acquired one more portion of land in Semonye Ext 2 and are following processes of township establishment.

Winterveldt is part of those areas that were incorporated into Gauteng from North West Province. This is a seven to ten year programme intended to make a dent in the lives of people in this area. The end yield should be 36 000 units, roads, storm water drainage, sewer, electricity and other social amenities. This is a joint programme with the city of Tshwane and together we intend to mobilize private sector to join us in this effort.

To date we completed 1 850 houses on the phase one of the project. In the next financial year we will do 2 496 houses to complete the first phase of the project.

We have learnt good practices that have emanated from the City of Johannesburg,in upgrading and further development of Soweto.  To this end we have developed a Tembisa Master Plan with 16 project areas including housing development, roads construction, storm water drainage, beautification and development of commercial and public precincts. We will link this area with the development of the OR Tambo IDZ.

The relocation of Madelakufa to “Strydom Land” is part of the Tembisa renewal project. This project will produce 1416 serviced stands and the construction of the first 500 houses will start in April. The Ekurhuleni Municipality has appointed a contractor for laying bulk water, installation of sewer systems and roads.

In view of the reincorporation of Merafong back to Gauteng, a new relocation plan will need to be developed to ensure that residents are located on well-located land closer to economic opportunities within the areas of Randfontein and Krugersdorp.

Last year we committed ourselves to reviving the central business districts of Germiston, Vereeniging and Krugersdorp. The frame work has since being approved by the Executive Council.

For Krugersdorp the plan has been developed to focus on the Central Business District (CBD) which has eleven precincts with 23 projects that warrant revitalization and regeneration, falling under housing, infrastructure, commercial and retail. Work will also include the taxi rank, refurbishing of dilapidated streets, formalization of street trading areas and heritage tourism initiatives.

The Germiston Inner-City Strategy has been developed and approved by the Ekurhuleni Council. The plan intends to transform the total Germiston Inner city in a coordinated and integrated fashion, to align multiple projects into a modern city that will have good quality life, housing; transport; employment; arts and culture and good governance.

In terms of the availability of land for the establishment of human settlements our province is the most disadvantaged. The sheer land space our province occupies is a mere 1.2% of the total South African land space. Furthermore almost a quarter of that land space rests on dolomite. Of the remaining potion, the better part of it is in private hands. This is the environment under which we must continue to acquire more land for human settlements.

In this financial year, R220 million for acquisition of 52 land parcels from private owners has been spent. Included in these land parcels is land procured for the development of Sweetwaters. A further R252 million will be secured to acquire 30 new land parcels critical to human settlement development in Gauteng.

Madam Speaker

In 2011/12 we will complete the construction of committed social infrastructure in 20 priority townships, including two Early Childhood Development Centres in Protea Glen and Sharpeville; five Day Care Centres for the aged in Duduza, Tsakane, Protea Glen, Munsieville and Sharpeville; two New Homes for the Aged in Tembisa and Mohlakeng; and a Secure Care Centre in Soshanguve.

We will deliver four new schools during 2011 for the 2012 school year and will initiate plans for the building of 13 new schools to be delivered in the 2012/13 financial year. A total of 30 schools will be renovated.

Honourable Members

We will in the coming year make the provision of better public health care services one of our top priorities.  Our key areas of focus this year will be on strengthening primary health care and improved hospital management.

Currently we do not have the correct balance between tertiary and primary health care.  Our primary health care services and our referral systems are not strong enough and many of our people still lack confidence in localised health care services.  In some cases, primary health care facilities are under-utilised while hospitals are over-burdened by health needs that do not require hospitalization or high-level medical care.  For example, some of our people still prefer to travel long distances to a hospital to collect chronic medication which could be provided closer to where they live.

We therefore need to re-engineer our primary health care system and take better quality primary health care services closer to where people live.  Linked to this, we must become more effective in intervening to prevent ill health and disease, including detecting problems at an early stage and encouraging our people to adopt healthy lifestyles.  This will help reduce the need for curative services and see to it that more of our people indeed live long and healthy lives.

One of our most important interventions will be the establishment of a network of localised Health Service Posts across the province.  These will provide a range of dedicated health and social services to a block of a few hundred households and link individuals and families to the broader public health system.  It is envisaged that each Health Post will be serviced by a range of health and related professionals, including a doctor, professional nurse, social worker, pharmacy assistant, working with community health workers and social auxiliary workers.

Practitioners will provide community based services, including outreach services and door to door services.  The Health Posts will be supported by clinics, Community Health Centres and Community Development Centres. People requiring higher levels of care will be referred to the nearest district hospital or specialists assigned to particular areas.

The first phase of implementation of health posts will focus on the 50 poorest wards in the 20 priority townships in Gauteng.  In the 2011/12 financial year we will establish 15 such health posts in Orlando and Zola in Johannesburg; Thokoza (Phenduka and Andries Raditsela) in Ekurhuleni; Atteridgeville in Tshwane; Boipatong, Mamello, Sharpeville, Bophelong in Sedibeng; Bekkersdal, and Kokosi in West Rand and Kekana Gardens and Ekangala in Metsweding.

During 2011/12, clinic and Community Health Care Centres operating hours will be further extended. The number of Community Health Centres operating 24 hours a day will be increased from 21 to 30 while 18 more clinics will have extended operating hours including on Saturdays, bringing the total number of clinics with extended hours to 100.  The further extension of hours at clinics will be based on assessment of utilisation and evidence of community needs and preferences.

To further improve the quality of Primary Health Care, we will pay attention to placing more health professionals, including doctors and GPs, at this level.  We are looking forward to the first group of close to 200 mid-level professionals – clinical associates – who will graduate from Wits and Pretoria universities in 2011/12 and who will work in the district health services under the supervision of family physicians.

Increasing numbers in our society have adopted unhealthy lifestyles. This has an impact on high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and numerous other health problems which place an increasing burden on the health system. We cannot just keep trying to treat these problems once they have occurred but should be focusing on preventing illness, especially self-inflicted illnesses and promoting quality health.

The introduction of multi-dose therapy to Prevent Mother to Child Transmission of HIV has resulted in a marked decrease in children born with HIV.

Some of our hospitals have experienced particular challenges around maternal deaths in 2010/11, and we have appointed a team to project manage the turnaround of these three institutions in 2011/12 by identifying challenges that can be rectified and focus on avoidable deaths. Some of the areas to be investigated include neonatal ICU capacity and staff availability, infection control, equipment, and management and monitoring of overtime.

In further reducing maternal mortality in 2011/12, pregnant women will be encouraged to book for antenatal visits before 20 weeks. Currently the percentage of pregnant women who book early is low, and changing this practice is a challenge that will require education and communication interventions.

We will in the year ahead give more attention to family planning and women’s reproductive rights, including the prevention of high teen pregnancy rates and reducing the number of unwanted babies.  This should go beyond the distribution of condoms and include civic education and awareness.

Madam Speaker

An important campaign in reducing the spread of HIV has been the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) Campaign launched by the President in April last year.  Since then, more than one million people in Gauteng have been tested. We will continue to encourage the people of Gauteng to know their HIV status and to take appropriate measures, depending on their status.

Access to anti-retroviral treatment has been extended to primary health care facilities and is provided at 206 public health facilities across Gauteng.  By the end of November 2010, more than 357 000 people were on ART and in the coming year we plan to extend this even further with 366 facilities reaching 520,000 people.

Good progress is being made in improving Gauteng’s TB cure rate, which stood at 80.7% by November 2010.  We will in the coming year prioritise interventions to reduce TB even further.

In improving the effectiveness of the health system, we will focus on improving clinical hygiene and strengthening infection control measures.  This includes the clean hands campaign, which will be strictly monitored through the Office of Standards Compliance.

We have appointed competent CEOs and managers in all our hospitals and will in the coming year hold them accountable for the effective management of their institutions.  We will continue to focus on ensuring that all our critical health posts are filled.  This entails prioritising the allocation of resources to clinical posts and those at the frontline of service delivery, particularly in enhancing Primary Health Care Services.

Honourable Members

The provision of quality education does not only refer to producing young individuals who can read, write and think on their feet. It also encapsulates the development of our scholars’ physical well-being too. In effect, the Gauteng schooling system should not only aim to produce smart young minds; we should also be developing our learners’ physical and creative abilities too.

It is for these reasons that we are excited about the re-introduction of Schools Sport as well as visual and performing arts in our Province.

We have 350 schools participating in the School Sport Mass Participation Programme and this will be increased to 470 in the next financial year.

Madam Speaker

Over the last few years sporadic disruption of schooling has compromised the provision of education in the greater Soweto region. The education of the African Child can no longer be compromised and in response the Provincial Government plans to host the Soweto Education Summit in March 2011. This Summit will contribute to mobilising and organising civil society towards our outcome of quality education for all.  With Soweto’s rich history, we cannot allow it to lag behind in terms of the culture of learning and teaching.  The Education of the African child must be everybody’s business and concern.

Madam Speaker

We are committed to creating a conducive, safe schooling environment. We will implement preventative measures that will encourage parental involvement, adopt-a cop programme, school patrols by School Governing Bodies (SGBs), random searches as well as the introduction of the School Sports Programme.

This will go a long way in fighting and preventing the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse, carrying of weapons to school and vandalisation of school property. To ensure police visibility around schools, a total of 1 000 schools have been identified for participation in the Linking Schools to Police Stations programme.

Through the Department of Economic Development we will ensure that the Liquor Act is more effectively enforced to prevent liquor trading within a 500 km radius of schools and preventing under-age access to alcohol.  We will also review the selling of liquor on Sundays and the operating hours of liquor outlets.

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) is determined, as part of the electoral mandate and strategic priorities, to ensure that everywhere in Gauteng the people are and feel safe. To this end we commit the Department of Community Safety to exercise civilian oversight and implement social crime prevention programmes.

I need to emphasise that the efficacy of our social crime prevention programmes has to be measured by the extent to which we reach out to communities and launch campaigns.

We need to mobilize ordinary people within the community to take part in programmes such as the Take Charge Campaign which entails visibility, people claiming their own neighbourhoods, becoming community patrollers, setting up street committees and improving environmental design.

In pursuit of our drive to enhance the social crime prevention programme, we will train 1 000 community volunteers in an accredited social crime prevention programme that will equip them to undertake education, awareness and monitor incidents related to school violence such as bullying, substance abuse, gangsterism and truancy.

In addition, these community volunteers will be deployed at courts to monitor cases relating to young offenders and offer support with respect to diversion programmes, community service and reintegration into school life.

An effective Criminal Justice System is dependent on a strong investigation capacity. To strengthen the Criminal Justice System, there is a need to ensure that lay assessors and friends of the court are appointed and that parole boards are effective and impartial.  In addition, we will strengthen partnerships with Business Against Crime and other stakeholders and strive to ensure that every locality in Gauteng has a Community Safety Forum.

In pursuit of the social crime prevention programme, we launched 13 green door sites across the province in 2010/11 and will launch an additional 19 in 2011/12.  These green doors operate as safe reception sites for victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Furthermore, we will continue with the expansion of Men As Safety Promoters (MASP) groups in 25 areas and support to all existing MASP groups through capacity building and provision of resources to enable them to advocate, engage other men and young boys.

We have developed a framework for rural safety in the province in 2010/2011. To this end, municipalities are been assisted to determine localised rural safety needs which taken into consideration in 2011/2012. In 2010/11, 70 patrol vehicles to enhance police visibility and swift response in rural areas have been provided.

Madam Speaker

We have introduced the outcomes-based approach to planning, budgeting and improved government performance.  We have set clear targets for key services and will closely monitor these through the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Unit within the Gauteng Planning Commission.  This will assist in ensuring that, where targets may not being met, we can intervene timeously and prevent non-delivery and under-expenditure.

One of the hallmarks of successful city regions is the ability to make speedy development decisions, without compromising on the quality of such decisions. We wish to restate that ours will be development that is driven by our plans, and not just reacting to external pressures and expectations.

Elements of Environmental Impact Assessment approvals will be transferred to the Planning Commission so that we have proactive approvals and reduced turnaround times for consideration of future development plans in Gauteng.  We want to reduce the cost of doing business in Gauteng.  The Gauteng Spatial Development Framework provides an opportunity of a single province-wide plan for both future private and public development in the quest to build a non-racial, livable, equitable, accessible, sustainable and prosperous city region.

In the coming year, we will, together with other spheres of government, focus on consolidating and improving the operations of the more than 40 Thusong Service Centres in Gauteng.

We are pleased to note that the provincial government, working with the City of Johannesburg and national government, is ready to launch the first Urban Mall Thusong Service Centre in Maponya Mall in Soweto.

In the coming year we will ensure the more effective use of our newly constituted development and regulatory agencies in line with our objectives, especially in relation to the national goal to create more jobs.

Public procurement remains an important lever of the government in effecting change and broadening access to economic opportunities, especially in poor communities.  In the year ahead, we will further reform our procurement systems to better support our job creation goals and improve the efficiency of our public institutions.  Amongst other reforms will be local procurement and the acquisition of goods and services from cooperatives.

Among the problems that we have experienced in the current procurement system are long delays in the delivery of goods and services, including essential items, inflated pricing, fronting and the use of middle men and the supply of inferior products or products which are not in line with specified requirements.  This has undermined the quality of the services that we deliver to our people.  We, as government and the people of our province, deserve better.  In the coming year we will therefore continue to act to remove these obstacles to delivery.

While retaining the shared service centre model, we will be changing certain procurement delegations to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of time it takes from ordering to delivery.  Procurement relating to critical functions and essential goods and services such as in clinical care will be delegated to the line Department and/or the site of delivery so as to ensure timeous and quality service delivery.

Madam Speaker,

Corruption in the public service and within the broader society threatens to undermine the gains we have made in improving people’s lives.  The public service has complex and sometimes ineffective regulations and controls to combat corruption. What we require is simple, effective and user-friendly means that can help us to deal swiftly with this scourge.

While all senior managers in the public service are currently required to disclose their financial interests, we will in the coming year extend this disclosure of information requirement to all levels of the public service, especially in high risk areas.  Beyond this, we must improve our capacity to verify this information and act on conflicts of interests identified.  We will more rigorously implement the compulsory vetting of senior managers and clamp down on the abuse and theft of public resources by some in the public service, including the misuse of government vehicles, equipment and other services.

We must tackle corruption wherever it manifests itself, without fear or favour.  We must have the capacity to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption wherever they occur, whether in the public or private sector.  We must also improve the protection of whistle blowers and encourage more people to come forward to expose corruption.  We will work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.

We will work with the Department of Public Service and Administration to review the public service regulations that inhibit our ability to deal effectively with incidents of corruption, maladministration and dereliction of duty.

However, we must distinguish between maladministration and corruption, including in issues of service delivery, and should not allow perceptions to dominate reality.

We have joined hands with other sectors to fight against corruption and to build a more ethical society.  Our Gauteng Anti-Corruption Summit in November last year emerged with a joint plan of action which we will implement in the coming year with business, labour, faith-based organizations, the media, women, youth and other sectors.

Madam Speaker, the performance of public servants is central to the achievement of our goals as a province.  We would like to see a situation in future where the majority of public servants not only work for government but also share with us the desire to improve the lives of the people of the province; public servants who understand our intentions, our priorities and the mandate of the people.  We will therefore seek to forge a shared vision with them, based on an acknowledgement of our joint responsibility to deliver faster and better service to our people; to do our jobs with passion, humility and commitment to serve; to use public resources in a responsible manner; to make quality and timeous delivery a non-negotiable.  Similarly, we invite the private sector to partner with us in the supply of goods and services with integrity, quality and compliance with minimum standards as non-negotiables.

It is our strong belief that the organs of people’s power should find expression at the local sphere of government. It is at this level where organs of civil society in their different forms should be activated to mobilize locals to be actively involved in shaping their destinies if we are to give full meaning to democracy. It is also at this level that we must give true meaning to a call by our forebears that “the people shall govern”.

As part of Vision 2055, work has begun in our endeavour to create a single system of local government in Gauteng

We have made good progress in the merger of Tshwane Metro and the Metsweding District Municipality. All indications are that all stakeholders are on board and well on track to realize one Tshwane Metro a day beyond the local government elections.

In addition, the province deployed 56 senior engineers across all municipalities to strengthen engineering requirements and project management.

Since the beginning of our term of office in 2009, we have changed the structure of the provincial government based on a review of governance in the previous term of office.  We have also rationalised agencies and key systems relating to procurement, human resources and the management of our finances.  This has helped to reduce duplication, improve efficiencies and maximise the impact of public expenditure.

In our quest to promote public participation and deepening democracy the provincial government will focus on voter education and mobilization for the coming local government elections.

We would like to urge every legible voter, especially   the first time voter as well as those who have migrated to Gauteng, to use the next round of voter registration to register and verify their presence in the voters roll. The right to vote is another way of holding your government accountable.

The road towards Vision 2055 has begun and  the following are some of the projects that are linked to the vision

  • A single system of local government by 2016
  • The feasibility of the Johannesburg-Ethekwini high Speed Rail Link
  • A single roadmap for development in Gauteng through the Spatial Development Framework and effective land use management by 2012
  • The implementation of struggle heritage projects (Women, Youth and Oliver Tambo Memorials) from 2011/12
  • The construction of the Sedibeng Sewer Networkin 2011/12
  • Elements of the Green Economy from the 2011/12
  • The toll out of G-link by 2011/12
  • The implementation of 14 new mixed housing developments effective from 2011/12 financial year
  • The procurement of well-located land for the provision of current and future development, which is on-going
  • The servicing of sites and the issuing of title deeds to informal settlements on well-located land with effect from 2011/12 which is on-going
  • The implementation of the Tembisa Master Plan, which is on-going
  • The roll out of the Maize Triangle to Metsweding and the West Rand Distric, which is on-going
  • The further development of the Constitutional Hill, with effect from 2011/12
  • Development of the freight and logistics hubs 2012/13
  • Development of aerotropolis linked to the OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria by 2012/13

All these projects indicate the starting time, but will be multiple year programmes and will offer opportunities for partnership with the private sector, financial institutions and potential international partners.

Now that we have presented our plans for 2011/12 and beyond, we call on the people of Gauteng through their public representatives, the media and other stakeholders to measure our performance based on this plan.

We further urge our Gauteng representatives in the National Council of Provinces to represent  Gauteng interest on issue of policy and development.

We call on the people of Gauteng in their diversity, to join hands with us in defining our future. Ours is a common and bright destiny. It is up to us to cease this moment and define the Gauteng that our children will live in. Engage with our vision, shape it and let it reflect your aspirations. If Gauteng optimizes its development opportunities, it will not just be for the Gauteng residents, but for the country and the continent as a whole.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests

We have outlined the work we have carried out in the past financial year; we reflected on the strides made in fulfilling our mandate and we also highlighted the programmes and projects that we will implement in the future as well as the obstacles and challenges we continue to encounter. However we are encouraged by the continued support we enjoy from the people of this Province. We will always be indebted to you.

We commit ourselves to periodic scrutiny and accountability in this House and through Legislature Committees. We urge members of the House to engage us in a manner that will enhance the progrramme that we have presented before you today; we are looking forward to robust discussions and the sharing of alternative solutions in the interests of our people and our province.

Let’s give the development of Gauteng our best shot.  Together we can do it!  Re kaofela!

Kuyasheshwa: A better Gauteng is in the Making.

At this point allow me to borrow from the words of one of the world reknowned leaders, the first recipient of Noble Peace Laureate in Africa, the late President of the African National Congress, Chief Albert Luthuli when  addressing the 44th National Conference of the ANC in 1955 :

Let me close my message by drawing you away from our failures and disappointments to a vision of a Glorious Future that awaits us: A South Africa where all people shall be truly free…Let us march together to Freedom saying:”The road to Freedom may be long and thorny but because our cause is just, the glorious end – Freedom – is ours”

Dankie!Ngiyabonga! God Bless Africa!

About Abner Udali

Forget computers, let's hack into life and make it what we want it to be!
This entry was posted in In The News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s