FILE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura. PHOTO: ANA

Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday said there was a need to look at VAT - which was increased last week to 15 percent - with a view of zero-rating more foodstuffs and basic necessities.

The premier made his remarks during his State of the Province Address in which he acknowledged that the price of food, electricity and transport has been sky-rocketing "placing enormous stress on family finances".

He said this has increased the incidence of urban poverty and food insecurity "in our province. Our approach to dealing with poverty has to change". 

Makhura added: "It cannot be business as usual. It is necessary to look at VAT zero-rating of more foodstuffs and basic necessities."

Earlier the premier said he sincerely believes President Cyril Ramaphosa is the kind of leader that South Africa needs at this moment, given the nature of the challenges the country faces. He said the Ramaphosa leadership was a new dawn.

"Let us all support him across party-political affiliation and ideological divide," implored the premier. 

"We in Gauteng are deeply humbled and highly encouraged that much of what the President outlined in his State of the Nation Address constitutes the core of our programme for radical Transformation, Modernisation and Re-industrialisation."

He said emboldened b  Ramaphosa’s call for renewal and change, "we shall act with greater determination" to increase momentum on the following programmes:

* Addressing the problem of youth unemployment through Tshepo 1 Million, in partnership with the private sector and the youth;

* Strengthening the partnership with the private sector, labour and civil society to unlock inclusive growth, greater levels of employment and empowerment as well as structural transformation and reindustrialisation of the Gauteng economy;

* Increasing support for the revitalization of the township economy;

* Harnessing the opportunities provided by the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, by modernising key sectors of the economy and the state;

* Speeding up the delivery of new infrastructure and pay attention to the maintenance of existing infrastructure across the Gauteng City Region;

* Upholding ethical leadership and integrity by intensifying the fight against corruption, collusion and maladministration, working in partnership with civil society;

* Reconnecting with communities and unlocking their energies, for them to become the primary drivers of renewal and change;

* Lastly, changing the culture of the public service so that we treat citizens with dignity and serve the people with compassion and professionalism.

African News Agency/ANA