Gauteng service delivery protests show dramatic drop – Makhura

2016-02-22 19:25

Johannesburg – Service delivery protests have declined dramatically over the past year, Gauteng premier David Makhura said on Monday.

"Service delivery protests in Gauteng have decreased from 21% to 15% in the past 12 months, the most dramatic decline in the past decade and a half," he said during his State of the Province Address (SOPA) at the Saul Tsotetsi Sports Complex in Sebokeng. 

Makhura also focused on job creation, interventions needed to stabilise the economy in the province and the provincial government's plans for a modern and innovative Gauteng.

"We are already working together to transform, modernise and re-industrialise our provincial economy," he said. 

"Despite the tough global and national economic conditions, Gauteng has maintained it's position as the economic powerhouse of the economy... Our economy has consistently been growing above national average at 42%," he said.

Makhura said in 2013 Gauteng had the poorest performance regarding employment targets for people with disabilities, achieving only 0.7%.

“This has improved... Gauteng is now the best performing province, achieving 1.6% employment equity out of the target of 2%. We are well on our way to surpass the 2% target during the term of this administration," he said.

Poverty decreased

He added that while poverty had decreased by more than half from 10% in 2001 to 4.8% in 2011, government continued to face significant levels of urban poverty, particularly in townships and informal settlements.

He said since 2014 the number of people on social grants in Gauteng had increased from 2.2 million to 2.4 million.

Makhura said Gauteng faced problems due to rapid urbanisation. 

“Between 2011 and 2016 one million people moved into Gauteng. An average of 200 000 people moved into the province,” he said.

Makhura said he was particularly proud of the province's successful basic education system that caters for 2.2 million learners. He said a total of 77% of learners who started grade 1 in 2004 in public schools reached matric in 2015.

“This represents the highest through-put in the country,” he said.

Clean audits

Makhura said 19 of the province's departments received clean audits except the department of health. He said that despite this, there was significant improvement in its finances and service delivery. 

DA Gauteng leader, John Moodey, said after the speech that Makhura offered residents old ideas packaged as new initiatives.

“In an attempt to address the challenges of sluggish economic growth, high rates of unemployment and tardy government performance, Makhura has used his provincial oversight visits... as a way to communicate that this administration has a good story to tell,” Moodey said.

EFF Gauteng leader Mandisa Mashego claimed Makhura’s speech was based on lies.

“The biggest misleading fact was [that] the number of protest has decreased. Of course the number of protests are going to decrease if every time you take policeman that [is] paid by tax that citizens are paying, and you used [the officer] against them... there is a level of suppression from the community,” she said.

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