The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng is looking forward to the State of the Province Address (SOPA) to be made by Premier David Makhura on the 23 February 2021. We expect the Premier to provide a report on the programs and projects he announced in the 2021 SOPA. Part of the progress we want the Premier to be clear on are on the following seven key priorities:
· Economy, jobs, and infrastructure.
· Education, skills, and healthcare.
· Sustainable human settlement, new cities, and land release.
· Security, social cohesion, and food security.
· Building a capable, ethical, and developmental state.
· Sustainable future for all; and
· Building a better Africa and better world.
While we understand that COVIC-19 interrupted and disrupted many programmes, there is still a need for people to account. COSATU in Gauteng expect the Premier to take the people of Gauteng into confidence and tell them of a clear roll-out of vaccination, taking into consideration the rollout interruption caused the efficacy of Astrazeneca. Further to this, it is our expectations flowing from reasons given for not using Astrazeneca that our health system is based on cure as opposed to prevention as such the Premier should outline plans which will lead the health system in Gauteng to prevention based.
Economic Recovery and Job Creation
The economy of Gauteng lost almost 660 0000 jobs in the second quarter and this number might have escalated. In this regard, we expect the Premier to outline an economic recovery plan that will put a high premium on job creation, accelerated revitalization of the township economy, and re-industrialization.
In terms of fighting corruption and malfeasance, COSATU is looking forward to hearing the Premier give feedback on the SUI investigations which were commissioned four years ago. Fighting corruption should not be through words but through action. The SUI has proved to South Africans that it is capable of concluding investigations within a short space of time as they did with PPE tender corruption. Whilst we appreciate the work done by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, we are noting that focus been given to provinces except for Free State. In this regard, we expect the Premier to speak on the possibility to institute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate corruption in the GPG and its state-owned entities because of the high levels of corruption in the province. The fight against corruption should no longer be a slogan but an action that will focus on all corruption-related matters without exception.
Gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide has reared its ugly head and requires a formidable and solid plan to deal with GBV. Whilst a report back is expected on the promises made by the Premier on this area, we further expect the Premier to announce a body in the province that will be dedicated to deal with GBV.
Safety and Security
The people of Gauteng are no longer safe on the street and in their homes. Criminals own the streets of this province. Gauteng is one province that boasts multiple security services in the form of the South African Police Services and Metro Police. This being the case, we are looking forward to hearing the Premier announce clear strategies to confront crime in the province.
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