Stick to the basics, Lesufi advised

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi is expected to outline his plans to fight crime, improve heathcare and deal with corruption in his maiden state of the province address (Sopa) today. .

Lesufi has been cautioned by opposition parties not to attempt to announce “populist plans” but instead focus on getting the basics right.

His spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said the premier’s focus would be on a plan of action and on the progress made on the Growing Gauteng Together programme.

Mhaga said Lesufi will also highlight  elevated priorities such as economic recovery and reconstruction; strengthening the fight against crime, corruption, vandalism and lawlessness; changing the living conditions in townships, informal settlements and hostels; prioritising health and wellness; and strengthening the capacity of state to deliver services.

ActionSA Gauteng chairperson Bongani Baloyi said Lesufi should not attempt to announce populist plans but instead focus on getting the basics right such regarding economic recovery, crime, and corruption.

“Premier Lesufi should also not seek to use his maiden Sopa as an attempt to separate himself from [former premier David] Makhura as he was in Makhura’s cabinet when Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption occurred; he was there when Life Esidimeni occurred where 144 died, and he was there when whistleblower Babita Deokaran was killed,” Baloyi said.

Baloyi added the e-tolls question should finally be resolved by possibly using the gantries as a traffic enforcement tool, and the spiralling crime rate in the province should be addressed by, among others, partnering with community policing forums.

Towards the end of last year, finance minister Enoch Godongwana announced the scrapping of e-tolls.

Lesufi previously said the notice to switch off e-tolls would be gazetted early this year.

DA provincial leader Solly Msimanga in his alternative Sopa said unemployment was rife, non-profit organisations weren’t being paid on time, only one new school had been opened this year, and the provincial government has still not rolled out its broadband network so that all residents are able to connect to the internet. 


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