Gauteng opposition parties have nothing to offer - so says Premier David Makhura.
On Friday, Makhura came out guns blazing in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, attacking the opposition, particularly the DA, for apparently failing to “dispute” the success of the ANC during his tenure as premier of the province.
He was replying to some of the criticisms levelled against him by the main opposition of the EFF, DA and Freedom Front Plus, who described his government as a failure, saying he had failed the people of Gauteng by not scrapping e-tolls.
According to Makhura, apart from the criticism about e-tolls, the parties have failed to provide an alternative to his State of the Province address (Sopa). “Listening to the debate in the house, I could hear that there are those who are bitter when Gauteng is working better and turning around. There are those who worry that when the people are optimistic and the mood is positive, their political careers will be fading.
“They ignore facts and data - favour political hyperbole and ideological prejudice. They are worried that if they seek truth from facts, they will betray their parties,” he said.
He maintained his party was in possession of a plan aimed at dealing with the challenges facing Gauteng, particularly poverty and unemployment.
Among the opposition, Inkatha Freedom Party’s sole member of the Gauteng legislature, Bonginkosi Dlamini, was the only one who survived Makhura’s onslaught.
Makhura extended an olive branch promising to rope him in when addressing the housing crisis facing the former hostel dwellers.
DA’s Jack Bloom and party leader John Moodey were firmly in Makhura's cross-hairs.
On Thursday, Bloom insinuated that Paul Mashatile would never bring change in the government and that irked Makhura.
“Bloom, your approach to political debate places you in the same ranks of the EFF. You may not like them, but objectively, you behave like them - insulting and personally attacking your opponents without dealing with real issues.
“You attack MEC Mashatile. You resort to rumour and gossip, the pastime of mean-spirited and little people. You resort to petty, pedantic and pedestrian polemics and hyperbole, because you are small in vision,” he said.
He was equally harsh against Moodey saying his contribution was uninspiring and lacklustre.
“I thought a leader of your standing and stature would honestly acknowledge the objective and evidential progress we have made in job creation; township economy revitalisation and giving the youth hope through Tshepo 500.”
Makhura sought to create wedges in the DA leadership, saying he thought Mike Moriarty would have done a better job.
”I missed Moriarty in the debate. He offers more incisive and well-thought-out criticism. Even if I may not agree with him,” Makhura said.
The EFF, despite the shenanigans, was praised. Makhura praised EFF provincial leader Mandisa Mashego for bringing the plight of steelworkers to the attention of government.
“Mashego, I take the point you made about the need to intervene and protect our steel industry due to its catalytic role in industrialisation.”