Johannesburg - In line with Independent Newspapers’ Face/Off series, IOL asked both the ANC and DA to provide short pieces on why Gauteng should vote for them. The ANC is yet to respond. Below is the DA’s reply.
There is no denying that Gauteng is a better place to live today than it was in 1994; we’ve come a long way since Apartheid. In comparison to governance collapses in other provinces, Gauteng does have a better story to tell but it is not the best story. Even the Presidency’s own reports put DA governance ahead on key factors like service delivery and clean administration.
Multi-billion rand budgets in Gauteng can and must deliver more than what we are getting out the moment. Losing R6-billion a year to corruption in Gauteng is simply not acceptable. Most of all we need a bigger vision on creating jobs and ensuring clean government.
Unemployment stands at 35 percent in Gauteng and young people are losing hope. Public Works job opportunities and small internship programmes will never be enough to fix this problem. I know that the people of Gauteng are full of innovation, hungry for opportunity but they need more support to make this a reality. Graduates must benefit not just from a far bigger internship programme, but also targeted recruitment into government so that we can professionalize the civil service.
A DA government would roll out big support for entrepreneurs through subsidies and equipment for their businesses. We are also committed to building an Academy for Entrepreneurs. Public Works can reduce unemployment, but our plans would expand the number of jobs created, as well as increase skills transfer and long term benefits.
Cutting corruption is another vital key to ensuring clean and efficient government in Gauteng. To do this, a DA-government will open tender committees to the public so that decisions are transparent. We will also ensure that officials can’t do business with government. Third, politicians will not be able to serve in office with corruption convictions. And fourth, we will scrap the Ministerial Handbook and introduce a new one to curb abuse and spending on luxuries.
Furthermore, if elected Premier I would call a referendum so that people can say “yes or no” to e-tolling. Then we’ll take the fight and might of the people of the great province of Gauteng right to the door of national government. There are better ways to upgrade roads than e-tolling and we’ll make sure they listen.
Urban land reform is also a priority for a DA-led Gauteng, particularly as we live in a province that is over 90% urban. In government our mantra will be “Title deeds for All”. People must own the land they live on, otherwise we will never deal with Apartheid’s sin of depriving black South Africans of property.
A DA-government will bring job creation and clean governance to Gauteng if elected to do so this year. On 7 May 2014, bringing change to Gauteng through the ballot box is possible.
DA Gauteng Premier Candidate
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.