Gauteng Premier David Makhura delivered his State of the Nation Address at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Monday, 26 February 2018. In his speech Makhura began by congratulating Cyril Ramaphosa on his appointment as the new President of South Africa. “The election of President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa on the 15th of February 2018 heralds the new dawn of hope, renewal and change for South Africa,” he said.
The speech placed emphasis on a range of subjects including education, service delivery, crime, youth unemployment, township economy, entrepreneurship, technology and improving the lives of the people of Gauteng.
Makhura believes that through education young people will be empowered to contribute meaningfully to society and pursue their dreams regardless of their circumstances. He says Gauteng continues to excel in education and statistics prove this. “Gauteng has consistently been among the best performing provinces on basic education. Our throughput rate is above 70%. In the 2017 Grade 12 results, Gauteng came second after Free State, while seven of our districts were in the top 10 nationally,” said Makhura.
The Premier also added that with regards to basic education, Gauteng runs the second largest public education system after Kwa-Zulu Natal, with enrolment having grown from 1.3 million in 1994 to 2.3 million in 2018.
Makhura has acknowledged the fact that youth unemployment continues to be a burden to the youth of South Africa. “In Gauteng, there are close to 2 million young people who are neither in employment, in education nor in training. In response to youth unemployment the Gauteng government launched Tshepo 1 million, since 2015 nearly 460 000 young people have benefited from Tshepo 500 000 flagship programme. This programme has now been upgraded and rebooted into Tshepo 1 Million so that we can change the lives of many more young people in our province and give them hope”, Makhura said.
Great steps will be taken to continue building the township economy as it is the heartbeat of Gauteng. “If Gauteng is the hub of South Africa’s economy, the townships are the heartbeat of Gauteng. I dream of the townships being spaces where there is a vibrant culture and dynamic local economies underpinned by state-of-the-art infrastructure,” said Makhura.
The Life Esidimeni saga has tormented the society of Gauteng and the families of the deceased. Makhura took full responsibility as head the provincial government and has condemned the disaster and the province has taken it upon itself to redress the problems within the public health department. “The people of Gauteng, I would like to reiterate that the death of 144 Life Esidimeni mental health patients is a tragedy that has left deep wounds and pain in the collective memory of our democratic nation. It is something that should have never happened and should never happen again, said Makhura.
All in all the Gauteng government is dedicated to accelerate the following programmes:
- Addressing the problem of youth unemployment Through Tshepo 1 Million, in partnership with private sector and the youth;
- Strengthening the partnership with the private sector, labour and civil society to unlock inclusive growth, greater levels of employment and empowerment as well as structural transformation and reindustrialization of the Gauteng economy;
- Increasing support of the revitalization of the township economy;
- Harnessing the opportunities provided by the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, by modernizing key sectors of the economy and the state;
- Speeding up the delivery of new infrastructure and pay attention to the maintenance of existing infrastructure across the Gauteng City Region;
- Upholding ethical leadership and integrity by intensifying the fight against corruption, collusion and mal administration, working in partnership with civil society;
- Reconnecting with communities and unlocking their energies, for them to become the primary drivers of renewal and change;
- Lastly, changing the culture of the public service so that we treat citizens with dignity and serve the people with compassion and professionalism.