Guest Column

Change depends on eradication of corruption

2019-03-13 11:49
Solly Msimanga PHOTO: Deaan Vivier

Solly Msimanga PHOTO: Deaan Vivier

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Change hinges on our ability to eradicate the biggest obstacle to service delivery, namely corruption. Every cent of public money should be allocated in a fair and efficient manner, writes Solly Msimanga.

Our vision for Gauteng, is that it becomes a province that works, where people can realise their dreams in a thriving economy. That it is no longer being held back by the corruption and incompetence of an ANC government. 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has proved itself in Midvaal, where we have ensured sustained economic growth of 10% for over a decade, with the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng. We have started the turnaround in Johannesburg and Tshwane, rooting out rampant corruption and looting, and we are ready to roll out this Change across the province. Change that will allow every resident to prosper in freedom and security, with a job in every home. 

We will ensure integrated, city-led growth that reverses the legacy of apartheid planning, with improved public transport and jobs closer to where people live.

We will achieve our vision of Change by focusing on five key areas namely creating jobs; professionalising the police service; fighting corruption; controlling immigration and speeding up service delivery in the areas of health; education; housing and land; transport and social and cultural development. Targeted changes in these areas can affect real change that substantially alters the lives of Gauteng's residents. 

But having a compelling vision is not enough, it needs to be accompanied by an implementable plan; and it is this which sets the DA apart from the ANC. For us, success is judged by the size of the impact made, rather than by the number of empty promises. 

Our pledge for example, to ensure a job in every home, is underpinned by a solid plan of action with an emphasis on equal access to opportunities. We will cut corruption in the economic development agencies so they can focus on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through funding, innovation hubs and partnerships. This will be accompanied by a comprehensive long-term water strategy so that economic growth is not constrained from a lack of water. However, job creation in itself is not enough. 

To ensure the sustainability of our initiatives, we will support the development of new CBDs in Soweto, Tembisa, and Mamelodi, along with business nodes in viable locations. Through this, we will bring jobs to where people live, reducing transport costs and valuable commuting time.

Economic freedom is only the first step towards true liberation. There is no true freedom if people do not feel safe in their homes, where they work, and in the streets. Although policing is a national competency, we will use their provincial powers of oversight to the full extent to ensure that police provide a professional service to effectively fight crime in every suburb in this province. 

But policing does not occur in a vacuum, therefore there should be a good working relationship between residents and the police, who should be supported with proper skills, equipment, and infrastructure to do their jobs effectively. Where the DA governs, there is greater community oversight over policing, we monitor and track dockets to ensure that they are investigated and prosecuted effectively, and we give residents access to the latest crime statistics. We have found that local control can result in the best outcomes for community safety. 

However, all Change hinges on our ability to eradicate the biggest obstacle to service delivery, namely corruption. Every cent of public money should be allocated in a fair and efficient manner so that people are able to access services which promote their health, dignity, and ability to realise their full potential. 

One of my first actions as premier would be to establish a commission of inquiry into the extent and depth of state capture in Gauteng. There are too many people that have benefitted from corruption in this province and it is time that we put a stop to these networks and expose those involved and send them to jail. We will sentence anyone found guilty of corruption to 15 years in jail while protecting and encouraging 'whistle blowers' who identify and report on corrupt activities.

Our vision may seem unachievable, but, as difficult as it was to turn the Joburg and Tshwane metros around after decades of mismanagement, through sheer political will and commitment to serving the people who voted for us, we have managed to make significant inroads.

Gauteng has the potential to be a revived centre of economic growth and prosperity for our people. And it can be revived! The DA believes in Gauteng and its people, the province of possibility and greatness.

- Msimanga is the DA's Gauteng premier candidate and former mayor of Tshwane.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    da  |  gauteng  |  elections 2019  |  corruption
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