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Opposition parties describe Lesufi’s SOPA as plethora of empty promises

todayFebruary 20, 2024 16

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Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s State Of the Province (SOPA) has been met with much criticism and mixed emotions from opposition parties.

 

Lesufi delivered the province’s last SOPA under the 6th administration at the Nasrec Expo Centre on Monday evening.

 

The EFF in Gauteng says the address failed to provide a tangible and systematic plan to improve the lives of residents in the province.

 

The DA says Lesufi has not offered the residents of Gauteng any real solutions to better their well-being.

 

ActionSA has also weighed in, rejecting the Premier’s SOPA as proof that his administration is disconnected from reality.

 

New Kid on the block, Rize Mzansi, says Lesufi did not deliver any meaningful outcomes for the province.

 Below are some of the Premier’s remarks on contentious issues:

 

1. Illegal mining:

 

Lesufi says the province is constantly breaking the back of zama zamas who have rocked Gauteng in the past year.

 

“Between April and December 2023, 439 persons were arrested for illicit mining activities in Boksburg, Dobsonville, Kagiso, Khutsong, Krugersdorp, Primrose, Randfontein, Tarlton, Westonaria, Benoni and Springs,” he explained.

 

2. Crime Prevention Wardens:

 

“We are increasing the number of Crime Prevention Wardens to over 12 000. The current recruits who will be military veterans will remain on a two-year contract.”

 

 

3. Gender-based violence and femicide:

 

“We rolled out 23 Green Doors, the Victim’s Empowerment Centres (VECs) at police stations, and shelters, to support survivors of GBV to just under 500 000 households. We unleashed 34 sexual offence unit cars to respond to gendered-based cases speedily.”

 

4. Economy:

 

“Our province has attracted more than R68 billion in investments from 261 foreign companies and created about 23,000 direct jobs in our economy. These investments cut across the ten high-growth sectors of our economy.”

 

5. Township Economy:

 

“In the past year, over 4 000 township retailers have been trained in enterprise development and are now capable of operating successful businesses.”

 

6. Unemployment:

 

“To expand our integrated school health programme, we will appoint two thousand (2 000) unemployed social workers and retired nurses across Gauteng schools.”

 

“We are targeting 40 000 young people on the Nasi Ispani database to take advantage of the 333 opportunities in the labour activation programmes to be launched in April 2024 by the Department of Employment and Labour. “

 

7.e-Tolls

“From where we sit as the province, we remain confident that we should be able to end the E-toll by March 2024.”

 

EFF’s provincial head of elections, Naledi Chirwa-Mpungose, says it’s clear that Gauteng has lost the battle against crime under the leadership of the ANC.

 

“Our schools have become violent crime scenes, with learners shooting teachers inside school premises. There hasn’t been any sustainable programme initiated by the government of the ANC in Gauteng that primarily bases efforts on prevention and formulating systems that will provide victims of Gender-based violence with justice,” she adds.

 

 DA leader in Gauteng, Solly Msimang, says while they welcome the training of unemployed youth, the Nasi Ispani programme is not a solution to creating sustainable jobs.

 

“There are over 2.5 million unemployed people in the province, and the training of 40 000 unemployed youth from the township as artisans is a step in the right direction.

 

“However, the jobs that they will be given are not sustainable jobs and wouldn’t solve the bigger problem of unemployment in the province.”

 

On the other hand, lobby group, OUTA, has welcomed government’s decision to scrap e-tolls. However, the organisation is worried about the maintenance of the province’s roads.

 

Outa’s CEO, Wayne Duvenage, says it remains to be seen whether the complete scrapping of e-tolls will come to fruition.

 

The controversial e-tolling system has been a bone of contention since its inception in 2013.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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