Ramaphosa will announce decision on e-tolls soon, says Makhura
In his State of the Province Address (Sopa) at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa, Tshwane, Makhura revealed that a decision on the e-tolls had already been made, and all that was left was for Ramaphosa to publicly announce it.
He described the decision on the future of the e-tolls as “imminent”.
“As the executive council, we made a strong and persuasive case to the national government on the e-tolls. I have been assured by the president that a lasting solution has been found, and an announcement by the president is imminent,” Makhura said.
On Monday, DA Gauteng caucus leader Solly Msimanga demanded that the e-toll saga be put to an end.
“The people of Gauteng deserve to be free of this unjust system of taxation that was foisted on them,” Msimanga said.
In July, The Star reported that the National Treasury had warned that the termination of e-tolls would force the state to pay R11.1billion in unguaranteed debt, and also be responsible for guaranteed debt of R19bn.
Makhura’s administration is also to roll out lifestyle audits of public office bearers and government officials, a process being spearheaded by the Presidency.
But Msimanga was critical of Makhura’s lengthy SOPA speech, describing it as “same old rehashing of old plans under a new guise of Growing Gauteng Together (GTT2030).”
“In fact some of the things we heard here today we heard 10 years ago,” he said.
Makhura announced his administration’s ambitious plan, GTT2030, through which he hopes to grow the province’s economy to contribute R2 trillion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), up from R1.59 trillion and deliver 3.1 million jobs in the next decade.
The provincial government has identified 10 high growth sectors it will focus on in the next decade: from safeguarding Gauteng’s energy supply to the industrialisation of cannabis including agro-processing for medicinal purposes, health and skincare products.
Makhura also announced a looming comprehensive review of the provincial government’s agencies and entities to ensure that they play a key role in the implementation of GTT2030.
“Decisive action will be taken in agencies that have degenerated into a playground of rogue and corrupt officials,” he warned. According to Makhura, some agencies are not focusing on their mandates but are riddled with divisions. During his second term as the province’s first citizen, Makhura has undertaken to tighten the ethical screws in his administration.
“I will not appoint officials who failed vetting in the Gauteng provincial government,” he said.
Makhura said all heads of departments were vetted last year.