In order for the province to thrive in becoming micro economies, with mixed industries that can provide employment for the millions who reside in all apartheid townships and labour dormitories, it must be reimagined and re-planned, the newly appointed Rise Mzansi Gauteng premier candidate Vuyiswa Ramokgopa says.
“For Gauteng to be prosperous and to power the South African economy, we must enable families to have access to quality infrastructure, dignified homes, public spaces and places of care for children and the elderly.
“Leaders and residents, this will not be easy. Some may call us dreamers. Some may say we don’t belong in the ‘political space’. They say this because they know the impact we are already making in communities.”
Ramokgopa outlined her plans in Joubert Park, Johannesburg, on Tuesday morning.
She said the path of development and making the province thrive needed new leadership, adding that her party’s manifesto was a roadmap to that journey.
“Making Gauteng prosperous starts by removing the current unethical and uncaring leadership that is responsible for the deep crisis our province is in because of politicians whose yellow, blue and red T-shirts are only seen in communities when they want something from you.
“Rise Mzansi has worked with communities across the province to nominate new, ethical and caring leaders, accountable to the people, who have the capability to solve our province’s problems.
“We promise no miracles. Building the Gauteng we all deserve will be hard and involve difficult choices.”
The premier candidate said that if Rise Mzasi were elected, she would implement a mass re-skilling programme that would focus on technical and vocational skills as well as developing new industries.
One of the things that would make that possible, Ramokgopa said, would be an investment in infrastructure and working with the relevant agencies and authorities in an effort to tackle violent crime and economic crimes head-on.
“You cannot be expected to run a business or live in a place that is unsafe. We will enable more people to own their own businesses and become employers by supplying low-cost capital to black and women owned businesses.
“We will provide structured support to businesses in the informal sector. Second, we must stop corruption and arrest its actors; fix government finances; and spend responsibly.”
She said her party would digitise public procurement and ensure greater levels of transparency so that every cent of taxpayers’ money was accounted for.
Ramokgopa said that for decades, the provincial government had buried its head in the sand, removing itself from any responsibility in ensuring municipalities governed effectively and delivered good services.
“Now is a good time to show that co-operative governance can work to make coalitions successful in our metros.
“We must modernise our education system and ensure that all children in Gauteng are equipped with the skills and capabilities to compete in a global modern economy.”
She said the government needed to ensure that no child was left behind and to secure the safety of children at schools.
Ramokgopa said Joubert Park held a special place in her heart as she had spent the first six years of her life living in a two-bedroom flat on Smit Street, which was few metres away.
“I attended crèche just around the corner from here. As a child, I felt safe and cared for around here. As an adult, I feel vulnerable, unsafe and somewhat displaced. The place of my birth has lost its innocence and caring spirit.”