Hon Bonginkosi Dhlamini, MPL
Gauteng Provincial Legislature,
04 July 2019
Honourable Speaker, Honourable Premier, Honourable Members of the Executive and Honourable Members of the Legislature; it is a pleasure for the IFP to congratulate all political parties who made it in the Sixth Democratic Legislature, following an election that was a watershed in our country and our province. It is also an honour for us to congratulate the Honourable Premier, the MECs and Honourable Speaker and all Presiding Officers on their appointments.
Honourable Speaker, the people of Gauteng have faith in the future and potential of this province; hence amid pain, adversity, disappointment and despair, they paused to listen to the Honourable Premier’s address on the state of Gauteng. They were hopeful that the Premier would use this opportunity to present a concrete plan with tangible action plans. What they got, however, was an emotionally charged address filled with catch phrases such as back on track, new dawn, kuzoshuba [things will get tough] and siyabangena [we are equal to the task], amongst others.
Although these phrases were enough to evoke emotions and garner applause in the Chamber, you will agree with me now that the dust has settled, that two important questions still need to be addressed; when and how the grandiose projects and plans announced by the Premier are going to be implemented.
Therefore, while we are happy that the Honourable Premier has emphasised the need to tackle some of the stubborn challenges confronting our province with urgency and transparency, we are equally concerned that the people of Gauteng have to wait for yet another 100 days to learn about how and when the Premier and his cabinet plan to solve the prioritised problems, such as the economy, education, human settlements, safety and social cohesion.
Of course, Premier, the IFP shares the dream of a Gauteng province where nobody goes to bed hungry, the economy reflects the full diversity of our population, etcetera, but how do we even begin to imagine this becoming a reality when the party you lead, Honourable Premier, has broken so many promises in the last term of office? How do we even begin to fathom that this time around you will get the basics right and serve the people of Gauteng from their Goliath of their lifetime which is crime, unemployment and homelessness?
Accordingly, I am encouraged to hear that the province plans to absorb young people with no skill- artisan skills to be able to find work in the maintenance of government buildings, rather than putting the work out of tender. I am equally enthused to note that the Welfare-to-Work Programme, which seeks to train young women dependent on child grants, will create 100000 jobs, and thank you, Premier, for recognising that the youth are the indicators of a political and economic climate of our province.
Madam Speaker, we also welcome the commitment made by the Premier that all township businesses and SMMEs contracting with the government must now be paid, not only within 30 days but with[in] 15 days, thus we support this move and commend the Premier on his pledge to eliminate the rampant culture of kickbacks and impunity which has for so long stifled township businesses.
Poor people hate corruption. What defines corruption to them is not always a lack of income but their helplessness to resist demands and bribes from civil servants. Such corruption generates a profound sense of powerlessness and exclusion.
Honourable Speaker, like the Honourable Premier, the people of Gauteng are intolerant to government failure and bureaucratic incompetence. They seek [a] government that honours its commitments. For this reason, I can assure you that they are discontent that in the entire five years, the government has failed to make the Department of Human Settlement work. To understand the leadership who is surrounding this department, one needs only to consider the fact that three MMCs led this department with three different HoDs, two of which were on acting capacity during the last term with very little success. While some were at the very least cooperative, others were simply arrogant and out-of-touch with the human settlement challenges confronting the citizenry.
My hope therefore, is that the new incumbent will draw from the lessons of his predecessors and adopt a new approach, with your support appoint a full-time HoD, capacitate the hostel development unit with a proper budget and deal with all officials who are deliberately sabotaging and frustrating this programme which looks at hostel upgrading. It cannot be that we allow bureaucratic riches and personal feelings to affect service delivery meant for those that we shamelessly claim to represent. Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to quote Professor PLO Lumumba who teaches us the following about service, and I quote:
“Man may be a political animal but there comes a time in a person’s life where true service must be the ultimate goal. In the history of our country, this is the time. The tiger does not shut its tigritude, you see a skeleton of an antelope and you know that some tigritude has emanated.”
Akubashubele, Premier, bangene abangafuni ukusebenza [Those who do not want to work must account; Premier; please take them to task]. I Thank you.