DA’s ‘real state of the province address’ promises to fix Gauteng

DA leader in Gauteng Solly Msimanga will hold his party’s “real Gauteng province state of the nation address” on Thursday.

Msimanga’s address will come ahead of Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi’s much-anticipated State of the Province Address at the Johannesburg City Hall on Monday.

Msimanga said in his address, he will outline plans to fix South Africa’s economic powerhouse and accelerate service delivery. His address, which will take place in the provincial legislature’s DA caucus room, will tackle issues around unemployment, environment, investments, and corruption, which he said is perpetuated by the ANC.

Speaking to Sunday World on Wednesday, Msimanga said the DA has made several proposals to the ANC on how service delivery can be accelerated in the province.

“In terms of loadshedding, we have already written to the president [Cyril Ramaphosa] and the premier [Lesufi] in this regard requesting that an intergovernmental task team be established to address the loadshedding and water crisis in the province,” said Msimanga.

“This is because loadshedding has a ripple effect on our water supply and economy. Where the DA is governing, plans have already been put in place such as in Ekurhuleni, [where] we have already engaged independent power producers [IPP].

“Before we were removed from governing Johannesburg, we had already put plans in place to engage with IPPs. We have proposed that IPPs be engaged as a matter of urgency so that we can become less reliant on Eskom as a province.”

He also stated that his party will ensure that the wheels of the economy continue to turn without any interruption.

“This will create a conducive environment to attract investors, grow the Gauteng economy and create employment opportunities. In order to ensure that our economy grows, we will continue to push for IPPs to be brought on, so that we can have a reliable supply of electricity.

“No investor would want to bring their capital to a province that is crippled by the ongoing blackouts. Red tape will also be cut to make it easier for the private sector to do business with the government.”

Msimanga said the DA had already proposed to the ANC that infrastructure projects need to be managed by the departments themselves, and not by the Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management, outlining that the red tape regarding the funding of non-government organisations (NGOs) to access funding should also be cut off.

“This process will be streamlined to ensure that all NGOs and NPOs [non-profit organisations] who qualify get their funding on time. We have proposed to the government that consequence management takes place where officials who are implicated in corrupt activities are taken to task.

“The process cannot stop once an official resigns. We are proposing that this money that has been looted be recouped from those found complicit,” he said.

The DA has a plan to improve the lives of the residents in the province, he said. “We will be outlining all the details at our real state of the province address. We are a government in waiting and this is part of our plan to turn this province around in 2024.

Asked if the “real state of the province address” is part of its electioneering ahead of the 2024 national and provincial elections, Msimanga said it is not.

He explained: “The fact is that Gauteng residents are tired of ANC’s empty promises and the DA is the only viable and capable alternative that has experience in governance and a good track record in terms of service delivery.

“We are confident that we are going to win Gauteng by 51 plus votes and we will implement all our proposals.”

He also touched on matters of public health institutions, schools, museums and libraries, stating that these are in a terrible state due to a lack of proper and regular maintenance.

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