Excerpt from Premier David Makhura's 2018 State of the Province Address
Honourable Members, we have also launched a campaign that draws the attention of the nation on the plight of young women and girl children.
Through this campaign, we are galvanizing a multi-disciplinary response to the multiple and complex challenges facing girl children and young women.We will act together to tackle high levels of violence and femicide against young women, increased rate of new HIV infections amongst young women, high pregnancy rate and school drop-outs among girl learners, stigmatization, attacks and killing of members of the LGBTQI community.
Patriarchy and unequal gender relations are at the heart of the problems facing young women and girl children in our society.
Our response must be comprehensive, multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary to combat crimes against women and girl children.
A key focus of this response is the empowerment of young women and girls through education and creating economic opportunities in order to enhance their economic independence and reduce their vulnerability.
We have also introduced a programme which focuses on equipping young mothers with the necessary skills that will transition them from depending on child support grants to sustainable economic opportunities. Since 2014 30 000 young mothers have been empowered to live independent and sustainable livelihoods.
In addition, we must ensure that the girl child stays in school. For this reason, we have provided 1.1 million girl learners with dignity packs and sanitary towels over the past three years. We have up-scaled this programme in partnership with civil society and the private sector to reach an additional 1 million girls over the next 12 months.
Our response will also include ensuring greater coordination between the criminal justice system, civil society and other stakeholders.To this effect, I have appointed a Special Cabinet Committee that is coordinating our response. We call on communities to lend a hand and join the fight against crime.
Our programmes on women empowerment are comprehensive and integrated to address social, economic, political and institutional impediments to gender equality.
Currently the Gauteng Provincial Government spends 23% of the goods and services budget on women owned businesses. We would like to achieve a target of 30% by 2019.
Over the past three years, 108 000 women have also benefitted from employment opportunities in our public employment programmes, and 2 600 women have benefitted from business opportunities in the infrastructure, hospitality, tourism, cultural and creative industries.
Women are also the primary beneficiaries of housing delivery, social security, health, and educational programmes of our government. For instance, this year 54% of our bursary allocation has gone to female students.
As we celebrate the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu, we shall continue to place the struggle for gender equality and women’s emancipation at the centre of our programme for Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation.
Madam Speaker, the central tenet of our vision for Gauteng is to build a province with integrated, safe, liveable, green, sustainable, economically viable and culturally vibrant communities.
Since 1994, Gauteng has delivered more than 1.2 million RDP houses, which constitutes 30% of the national houses stock.
Over the past three years, we have delivered 60 430 housing units and 28 000 serviced sites.
However, the high rate of urban migration has led to the dire situation that that the housing backlog still remains at 540 000.In order to deal decisively with the backlog and transform spatial patterns, we introduced a new approach of post-apartheid cities and mega human settlements.
A total of thirty-one new mega settlements projects have been approved for all the five development corridors of City Region. These projects will yield more than 700 000 housing opportunities over a five year period.
To date, we have launched seven new mega human settlement projects in Ekurhuleni (Leeuwpoort, Daggafontein and John Dube), West Rand (Motrose and Elijah Barayi), Johannesburg (Riversands View) and Tshwane (Rama City). This will be followed by Vaal River City and Lanseria City development projects whose planning is quite advanced.
The mega human settlements and post-apartheid cities have already attracted private and public sector investment of more than R100 billion which will also contribute to Gauteng’s provincial economy.
We are also paying attention to completing legacy projects that are spread throughout the province. These are smaller projects which come with problems that have been there for over a decade.
Our country needs a fresh approach to the resolution of the land question which has been at the heart of the struggle against colonial conquest and racial oppression.We welcome the resolution of the governing party’s 54th National Conference on the expropriation of land without compensation.
As an urban province, the land question is particularly pressing when we seek to overcome apartheid spatial and economic injustice through integrated and sustainable human settlements, security of land tenure,support of urban agriculture production and food security, industrial development, and township economy revitalisation.
We are going to work with municipalities, national government departments, state owned enterprises to release land in state hands for productive use. There is also significant land that is lying fallow, underutilised or abandoned by absentee land lords, which will be expropriated and allocated to our people for their own advancement.
During our interaction with communities through Ntirhisano, the people have been making calls to us to make land available to them so they can build their own houses and embark on productive economic activity.
We also need land in well located areas such as key economic centres which must be expropriated in the public interest, in order to build new integrated human settlements and post-apartheid cities.
The land question requires us to work together as political parties, civil society and business to redress the historical injustice visited upon our people.
One of the unacceptable practices in the provincial government departments and municipalities is the underspending on allocated infrastructure budgets, the terrible consequence of which is to forfeit the money back to the National Treasury. This is a grave injustice for which there shall be consequences.Honourable Members, our work to usher in a modern, integrated, reliable, safe and affordable public transport system is progressing well.
We are working together to roll out the BRT system, expand the Gautrain, and integrate the taxi industry into the mainstream of a modernised transport system which will be operated under a single transport authority.
Honourable Members, we all know that the e-tolls have added to the cost of living for many motorists and public transport users in Gauteng.
The new dawn must also bring a solution to the protracted and unresolved problem of e-tolls. It is loud and clear for all to see that e-tolls have not worked.
Accordingly, I will engage President Ramaphosa in order to find a new and more equitable funding model to support the continued expansion of Gauteng’s road network and public transport system. Please send me!
Madam Speaker, climate change is a reality. It is amongst the dominant trends that trouble our world today, together with rapid urbanisation and fast-paced technological change.
Risks posed by climate change need a comprehensive global and local response. We have to change our lifestyles in order to protect our planet and its finite resources as part implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In this regard, the most urgent and pressing challenge for the Gauteng City Region is to guarantee the security of supply of both water and energy. A recent study by the Gauteng City Region Observatory suggests that we are more vulnerable as the economic engine of South Africa.
Urgent action is required if we are to avoid the crisis that has befallen the Western Cape. We have no luxury of waiting and shifting the blame later. We have to act now.
In this regard, next month I plan to meet with all the Mayors and water experts to discuss our comprehensive plan as the Gauteng City Region.
We call upon communities, government and businesses to use water sparingly. In this regard, we need to harness new technologies to address a range of issues such as, water treatment, waste water management and sanitation, rainwater harvesting and aging infrastructure which leads to huge water losses.
With regard to energy security, clean and renewable energy solutions are the only way forward. There can be no turning back. Our provincial government and municipalities have to push forward with far greater determination in implementing our jointly agreed energy projects for the Gauteng City Region.
Madame Speaker, the Gauteng provincial government and its cities were honoured to be elected Co-President of Metropolis, World Association of major metropolitan regions and cities, at the 12th World Congress in Montreal.
Our participation in the Metropolis will help us to benchmark our performance among the best of our peers in the world with regard to managing urbanisation, building inclusive economies and liveable cities, promoting social cohesion and implementing the seventeen sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
In August this year, we will host a meeting of the Board of the Metropolis which will be attended by more than 130 governors and mayors from major cities, metropolitan areas and city regions across the world. The meeting will give our province the opportunities to add its voice on we address global issues facing our time such as climate change; rapid urbanisation; rapid technological change; improving access to quality education and health as well as tackling growing inequality and poverty.
Gauteng make take a lead again on many of these global and continental issues.
Gauteng must also assert itself more strongly on issues affecting the people of our province.
Honourable Members, I hold a strong view that, often times, we have allowed a situation in which Gauteng gets a raw deal. For instance, the size of our provincial Legislature has remained fixed at seventy-three seats, whilst Kwa-Zulu Natal stands at eighty seats.
This is so despite the fact that Gauteng’s population has experienced the largest population growth in the country since the 2011 census. Even with the equitable share, we have not received our fair share. We are yet to receive our fair share.
Honourable Members, let us all stand up for the people of Gauteng.
I would like to call on all Mayors in our province to work together with us to represent the interests of the people of province, regardless of the political party in charge.There are mayors who find it very difficult to work outside the prism of partisanship.
If we are to deliver a better life and enable all Gauteng residents to live their dreams, let us pursue a common public interest for the people of our province. We must stop being prisoners of our own party political affiliations. Gauteng needs mature leaders who can work together without worrying about the next elections.
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