premier on right track

T HAS in many instances been shown how easy it is for people to dismantle what has been constructed over a period of time.

It is a trait similar to the one commonly found among spoilt children who tend to disassemble the most expensive toy shortly after having gratified their curiosity about it.

This normally happens when boredom sets in and attention is demanded. In essence, people are prone to destroying things even if there are no fault lines to justify their absurd latent desires.

I found elements of this habit peppered all over the opinion piece written by Thabile Mange and published in Sowetan of May 14.

Without substantiating the argument the article slides into a shallow pit of creativity and disappointingly becoming stingy with the truth.

The appalling bankruptcy of the argument is further reflected in the number of assumptions underlined by the use of such weak phrases as "word has it", "appeared to target" as well as "claims of promised ... residents ... low-cost houses".

In the realm of political critique there is no room for conjecture and assertions not backed by that which can be measured, the facts.

On the issue of Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane as the servant of the people in various roles in government, her illustrious record speaks for itself. Is she not the one who set up one of the successful programmes for abused women and children in Gauteng called iKhayalethemba during her tenure as the MEC for community safety?

This happened when many of us feigned deafness to the cries of the abused.

Is she not the one under whose stewardship the pace of housing delivery in Gauteng improved, with more people benefiting across the board? During this period the output increased to 60000 housing units a year, which had never been achieved before.

For the first time Alexandra had innovative walk-ups built that allowed the owner to generate income through a regulated rental system.

In fact, this is the Mokonyane who refused to be trapped by narrow regional chauvinistic politics.

She serves all and sundry in Gauteng. It will be wrong for her as servant of the people to pander exclusively to the interests or whims of one region as implied by Mange and his proponents in the article.

Coming to the Azaadville claims. It is very unfair and untrue to argue that nothing has been done to develop the area. Firstly, it must be appreciated that large-scale developments do not happen overnight.

Various aspects such as planning, budgeting, business plans in general, which makes development feasible, has to be attended to.

Development is a properly engineered process and not just a haphazard act. Those of us who are activists in our communities can attest to the fact that in Azaadville 765 stands have been serviced and the installation of electricity is currently under way.

This phase of the development will be completed in December. So far the government has spent R150 million on the projevt. Two contractors have been appointed and are doing thework. This information is readily available if one is seriously interested in the affairs of our communities. It does not require anyone to be a seasoned researcher to discover or learn about such valuable information.

For the first time Mokonyane, within a year in office, has been able to improve conditions at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and help a number of co-ops, whose members are ordinary women and men, to supply goods and services to a number of public hospitals.

She is the one who identified the financial strangulation that small business was subjected to and wasted no time in publicly explaining what caused the backlog in payment.

Where in the world have you heard of a privately owned television network being financially supported by government with little or no value derived? She came in with her collective and cancelled such bias contracts and saved us millions of money value.

Recently, she announced the R100million saving to be made when the merger of a plethora of agencies is effected.

Clearly, if more can be said about her work culture the prejudice and the naivety demonstrated by such articles as the one in question will be exposed.

Her reputation for making things happen and for being hands-on is known by many people inside and outside government.

As for her appointment as premier, she never went about lobbying for that position. Instead, it was the provincial leadership collective that recommended her to the national executive committee of the ANC as one of the deployees to be considered for the position of premiership.

If you nominate two or more candidates based on merit one is bound to emerge as the preferred one.

It is the culture of the ANC that decisions of the seniors and highest, the NEC, be respected.

Indeed it will be a sad day if the glorious movement of the people can be turned into an organisation for the well-heeled who are bent to use it as their wealth accumulating machinery.

What has disturbed the hornet's nest is her work culture - which has seen many of those employees who were in it for themselves and not the people jumping the ship before being pushed.

Mokonyane has never targeted any groupings or individuals because it will not be in the interests of the ANC or government to do so.

If you understand your mandate and you are determined to implement it you are bound to irritate those that are in the service for reasons other than advancing the interests of the people.

In addition, in the ANC once we deploy you into a leadership position in government, we are very clear that you are there not to serve the membership of the ANC only but the people of that region or province regardless of political affiliation, race or creed.

lThe writer is political adviser to the Premier of Gauteng