DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg -

The Gauteng legislature’s opening on Monday turned into an election battleground.

The DA fired the first salvo when its premier designate, Mmusi Maimane, launched his election campaign outside the legislature - hours before the Gauteng premier was due to deliver her State of the Province address.

The ANC waited until 2pm to use a song to vent its anger at Maimane.

A few minutes after Nomvula Mokonyane spoke, ANC MPLs - led by the MEC of Community Safety Faith Mazibuko - broke into song, mocking Maimane.

The lyrics in Zulu went: “A cow would first give birth to a human being for Maimane to take over Gauteng.”

Virtually all the ANC MPLs, including Mokonyane, danced to the song, while Maimane sat in the public gallery.

Afterwards, Maimane told the media that Mokonyane had failed to tell Gauteng residents how she would deal with corruption and create jobs.

“With multibillion-rand budgets in Gauteng, we should be doing far more to create opportunities for all. Job opportunities through Public Works cannot be front and centre of the government’s plans. We need to create real jobs, not just work opportunities.

“We must expand not just the EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme), but also increase the rollout of internships, entrepreneur support and apprenticeship programmes,” Maimane said.

He said unemployment was at 35 percent in South Africa and that thousands were without work in Gauteng, especially the young.

“Corruption in government also kills opportunities to support job creation. Gauteng loses over R6 billion a year to wasteful and irregular expenditure and, according to Corruption Watch, 38 percent of all corruption in South Africa takes place in Gauteng.

“And yet the premier offered nothing new on cutting corruption,” Maimane said.

Cope in the Gauteng legislature was also not impressed with Mokonyane’s address.

Cope spokeswoman Tersia Wessels said Mokonyane, like the ANC she represented, was eloquent with words but fell short on service delivery.

“For the past five years, the premier has promised service delivery. Cope acknowledges achievement, but unlike the ANC, we do not close our eyes to the failures. The ANC can run away from the voters but they cannot hide. That is a lesson they learnt in Bekkersdal,” Wessels said, alluding to violent protests there. - The Star