I won’t mind sitting 'in the opposition benches' - Makhura

2016-12-09 11:39
David Makhura (File, Netwerk24)

David Makhura (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – Gauteng Premier David Makhura has resigned himself to a possible future on opposition benches, even if his government delivers on key projects and clean governance.

"I don’t mind that we may end up in the opposition benches… not because we stole money, not because we did wrong things. We may end up in opposition benches because the people of Gauteng wanted someone else," Makhura told journalists on Thursday.

He delivered his political report for 2016 on Tuesday. He said his government would intensify the fight against corruption in the public sector.

While opposition parties continued to taunt them with defeat in 2019, they would not go down without a fight.

"I won’t allow the DA to rubbish our government because they want us to look bad so they can win the elections. That is what politics is about. We will fight tooth and nail, politically and ideologically, to preserve the credibility of what we are doing. We will not allow mud to be thrown at us so that we can look so bad."

The ANC in Gauteng had been on a sharp decline since the 2014 national and provincial elections, winning by only 53%.

'ANC will sort itself out'

The trend continued in the August 3 local government elections. The party lost the coveted major metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Mogale City in Gauteng. It needed to go into a coalition with smaller parties in Ekurhuleni to govern that metro.

The loss was largely blamed on Gauteng voters’ unhappiness with national ANC politics and scandals involving President Jacob Zuma, e-tolls, and corruption.

Makhura was reluctant to talk about ANC politics.

"It [the ANC] will take care of itself. It’s an old organisation. It will sort itself out. What we have responsibility to do is to ensure we have a government that works."

The party was not preoccupied with winning elections at all costs, as this could be dangerous. Instead, the ANC wanted to deliver projects with long-term benefits, including clean and transparent governance, open tender systems, an integrated transport system, improved education, mega housing projects, and better infrastructure.

Their new aim was "deliverology".

Working together

All 12 Gauteng provincial departments and public entities received clean audits for the 2015/16 financial year, a first for the province in 13 years.

Although it was painful accepting that the ANC had lost control of both Tshwane and Johannesburg, it was important to take advantage of new opportunities, Makhura said.

There was an understanding that both parties in the metros needed each other to deliver services to people.

Some of the mayors had assured him they would not change anything. In some areas, one could not tell which political party was running the municipality.

Despite the changes, there had been commitment from both sides to work together, something that was causing battles in his own party.

"Sometimes we sit with ANC municipalities and agree on something but they never implement it. They frustrate you till the chickens come home.

"Something which we were struggling with in ANC-led municipalities, I can tell you will happen much quicker now," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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