Address By Gauteng Premier, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, on the occasion of the presentation of the Political Report to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
15 Jun 2012
The Chief Whip
Honourable Members of the Legislature
Residents of Gauteng
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is fitting that we present this report on the eve of one of the most significant day in the political history of South Africa. It was the day on which the voices of young Black South Africans refused to be muzzled anymore. It was the day on which the youth loudly declared for the world to heed that enough was enough of racial oppression and apartheid rule. On this day the masses of this country dared the might of the apartheid forces and took a decisive step towards freedom, equality and justice for all. Indeed, June 16, 1976 was a watershed moment in the South African history.
Tomorrow will be a reaffirmation of a month-longing commemoration and celebration of the June 16 massacre. It will be exactly thirty six years since the youth revolution took place. June 16, as the day on which the course of our history changed, will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of our people.
The month of June is also important because, we are also celebrating more than half a century of the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955 in Kliptown during the Congress of the People – the authentic one. It is this brilliant document, the Freedom Charter, which laid the foundation for a constitutional democracy that today we all cherish.
We are also celebrating a century of the existence of the oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress. It is therefore no coincidence that the African National Congress centenary torch of freedom has been presented to Gauteng and will travel to farms, township, suburbs, towns and cities of our province.
Being a member of the African family, we will, together with our fellow Africans in the continent, be celebrating Africa Public Servant Day. This is necessary because it helps to promote ethical conduct, professionalisation of public service, accountability and sound financial management practice in government.
Today, South Africa is counted amongst the progressive nations of the world. Her people who were once forcefully separated on the basis of skin pigmentation live side by side. The oppressor and oppressed, people of diverse cultural orientation and ideological inclination equally bask under the sunlight of the new constitution, the product of a protracted brutal struggle. Our constitution is world renowned and guarantees basic rights and freedoms for all. It is a supreme document that we should all commit to defend and fight for with the same vigour and valour that we displayed fighting the demon of racial segregation and oppression.
Despite the existence of the constitution, there still exist the challenges of racism and equality in various facets of our society. We still have amongst us highly conservative members of our society who utterly refuse to embrace the reality of equality of man.
Moreover, as a developing nation straddling the divide between integration and disunity, we are constantly hamstrung by the festering wounds of racial disharmony. The ghost of deep-seated racial prejudice, stereotypes and silent misplaced anger and distrust as a result of historical racial polarisation is haunting us every day of our lives. We need to exorcise this ghost in order to free ourselves from its devastating effects. We need an open and frank conversation as a nation that will heal us from these demeaning subconscious racial notions, myths and stereotypes we harbour about one another.
Our endeavours towards building a united and cohesive nation will always be obstructed as long as we fail to candidly confront concealed bigoted views of one another. It is for this reason that we support the government call for a national social cohesion Indaba. We believe it will go a long way in healing the nation by providing a space for ventilation and expression of honest opinions on matters of building a cohesive society.
When we came into office in 2009 general election, we carried the hopes and aspirations of the people of Gauteng. The residents of Gauteng in no uncertain terms gave us a very strong electoral mandate to implement. It is the mandate to build more prosperous and inclusive society as well as addressing poverty and inequality. However, we are aware of the various set of circumstances that have a real potential of hindering the achievement of this mandate.
These circumstances demand a high level of commitment, innovation and drive to achieve what we set out to achieve. Chief amongst these is the adverse impact of global recession on growth rates, employment levels, private investment and trade; the worrying decline in public revenue and growing concern over accountability, performance, service delivery levels, and lack of sensitivity and responsiveness on the part of some of our employees when dealing with members of the public as well as effective communication.
We further identified spending patterns characterised by poor financial control environment and high accruals in some departments as a matter of great concern to us. The tendency to place accent on strategy and policy development at the expense of pragmatic implementation is also an impediment. And the prevalence of a context of severe budgetary constraints and hard choices that had to be made is a serious matter of concern to us.
I believe that our endeavours will be fully comprehended, if these variables and their context are appreciated. With this insightful understanding, there is no doubt in my mind that the often rush and emotional conclusions that we sometime draw about the government performance will be avoided. Instead, in its place relevant and objective tools of analysis will be used and inevitably resulting in meaningful, balanced and insightful statement of conclusion.
This year, the current administration is almost two years away from the end of its term of office. The three years in office have been used dutifully to fulfill the mandate given to us by the people of Gauteng. As I indicated, this mandate which derives from the 2009 election Manifesto of the ANC forms the basis for the provincial government’s strategic outcomes that we seek to achieve. These outcomes, which I believe are well known in this house, are worth mentioning as follows:
- Creating decent work and building a growing, inclusive economy
- Promoting quality education and skills development
- Better health care for all
- Stimulating rural development and food security
- Intensifying the fight against crime and corruption
- Building cohesive and sustainable communities
- Strengthening the developmental state and good governance.
It is these outcomes that assist us to stay on track as we execute our tasks. Even when we conducted our midterm review we sought to establish how far we are from the expressed goal of attaining the outcomes, the mandate and the public commitments. Based on the evidence and analysis of the review process we have used the findings to effect the necessary adjustments aimed at improving performance to 2014. In fact, the review process has helped us to promote project reviews and implementation as well as identifying areas for policy review.
Having done this, we now understand which areas require special attention and what type of intervention mechanisms should be applied.
As we look back at the ground we covered during our journey since we came into office, it becomes crystal clear that the journey has been fraught with challenges and hard-earned successes. But it is the challenges in the main that kept us on our toes and gave us the drive to work tirelessly for tangible change in the lives of our people.
Every day of our work and wherever we go we are constantly reminded of the stark reality of misery still experienced by our people. This reality which keeps men and women who are servants of the public awake is nothing compared to the swollen face of an abused woman, the desperate cry of a hungry child, the distressed figure of the unemployed and the anguish of the homeless. The trust and hopes of the poor are pinned on the honourable members who are gracing this esteemed house.
We therefore shall not dare neglect our responsibility and commitment because that will be an unforgivable betrayal in the eyes of our people. And we shall not dare stretch the patience of our people by continuing to conduct ourselves in a manner that is self-serving and does not advance their cause. If it is the public respect and admiration we desire, we must show the same energy in the execution of our duties as the energy shown in canvassing for their votes. It is therefore incumbent upon us to continue to serve with honour, respect and zeal that our duties demand of us.
In the three years of our journey, beside the challenges mentioned earlier, we also had to deal with an increasing demand for housing, an ever increasing number of people entering Gauteng and overwhelming demand for public primary health care. With the slump in the economy, many people lost their jobs adding more into numbers of the unemployed. This exacerbated the challenges of hunger and poverty in our communities leading to a myriad of social ills.
Regardless of the constraints imposed by limited and overstretched resources, we have managed to pull through our journey in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We have, in a nutshell, registered reasonable progress in the attainment of our strategic priorities.
We therefore would like to present the record of work reflecting the progress we have made in bringing closer to reality a dream of a better life for all.
From the onset, let me share with the house and the general public the findings of the Quality of Life survey which we conduct every second year through the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO). The GCRO is a collaborative between the University of Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand, Gauteng Provincial Government and organised local government in Gauteng. In 2011 the survey had a sample of just less than 17 000 residents of Gauteng, the largest social survey of its kind. This allows us to analyse many findings at ward level.
The questions cover a variety of issues ranging from values and attitudes, transport and demographics, migration and decent work to many other critical areas. In terms of the findings of the survey: 95% of the sample had water at RDP levels and 92% have clean water piped into their dwelling, or onto the site of their dwelling. This has far reaching implications for health, safety and dignity for our people. In a province growing at nearly 3% a year, to have caught up with the backlog in this way is remarkable.
On housing, 80% of respondents live in brick or concrete structures on their own plot. Some 12% of sample respondents live in dwellings below RDP standards indicating that we still have challenges to meet as a result of in-migration that occurs on a daily in Gauteng. Over time, density will become a key concern for us. We live in the province with the smallest surface area but with the largest population numbers. Densities are currently restricted to either city-centres or apartheid-era townships. Medium density suburban living is key to future development so that we do not see the urban edge continually sprawl and eat into the green spaces that are so key to the Gauteng City-region.
Sanitation is an area where we still have work to do, with 80% of respondents having their own RDP-level private sanitation, but the remaining 20% have to share their sanitation facilities. Many of these delivery and development challenges are more pronounced municipalities such as Westonaria. However, levels of satisfaction with a range of services – energy, water, sanitation, roads and amongst others are all around the 80% mark for the province as a whole.
Transport reflects another set of challenges and successes. Public transport access in Gauteng is reasonably good. Almost three-quarters of households live within 10 minutes’ walking distance of a public transport service, and 95% live within a 30-minute walking distance. Overall, cars and taxis carry equal numbers of people to work in Gauteng. However, mode use varies across municipalities: cars dominate in the higher-income municipalities of Midvaal, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Mogale City, while taxis dominate elsewhere.
Travel times vary slightly across metros: commuters in Tshwane travel longest to get to work, but shortest to shopping places. Johannesburg residents take longest to get to shopping. Non-metro areas seem to fall into two groups: areas with longer travel times, including Randfontein, Emfuleni, Lesedi, and areas with shorter travel times.
Satisfaction with transport, in general, is highest in Midvaal, Merafong, Lesedi, and Randfontein municipalities, despite having below average public transport coverage and travel times. Satisfaction is lowest in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, and Mogale City. Expectations might be different in metro and non-metro areas. When public transport users were asked for the main problems they experience, people in the metros were more concerned with the high cost of transport, rude drivers and passengers, and unreliable service. In non-metro areas, problems with unroadworthy vehicles, reckless driving, and rudeness dominate, consistent with high taxi use. Most people do not consider crime and security as a major problem. This is key, since these are all problems that can be solved, and fairly easily.
About half of trips to school are made on foot, car, taxi and bus or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) of decreasing importance. Transport conditions require many children to leave home very early: more than 40% of children using taxis and buses leave home more than an hour before the bell.
Safety and security have improved. In 2009, almost half of respondents told us that crime was the main problem facing their community. In terms of the official statistics this has dropped to 35%.
However, on the negative side, drugs and alcohol are rising rapidly on the list of main problems facing our communities, and we need a far more proactive strategy to address both these societal poisons.
The economy is still growing, and creating jobs. Inequality is dropping which is a remarkable progress in a developing country going through a recession. However, poverty remains a problem. Almost a fifth, 17%, of respondents in 2009 but reaching 20% in 2011 had to skip a meal in the year before being interviewed due to lack of money to buy food. In 2009, 13% of respondents had no money to feed the children in the household and this rose to 18% in 2011. In simple terms, every fifth person you walk past may be unable to feed their children tonight. This is an affront to all of us.
The residents of all races, ages and sexes overwhelmingly agree with the statement that ‘corruption is the biggest threat facing our country’. Dissatisfaction with all three spheres of government is very high 37% with national, 44% with provincial and 48% with local government. We have to work hard to win back popular faith in politicians.
A feeling of alienation and mistrust of politicians is high. Attitudes are hardening too, with an absolute majority, about 55%, reject abortion under all or any circumstances such as where the baby is the result of incest, while over a third of respondents told us all ‘foreigners’ should be repatriated immediately.
The quality of life in Gauteng has risen from 6.24 to 6.25 over the last two years, using our multivariate measurement tool. Randfontein has overtaken Midvaal as the municipality with the highest quality of life and Westonaria with the lowest. Of the great cities making up the Gauteng City-Region, Tshwane and Johannesburg are performing extremely well, but Ekurhuleni is not, not least because of the impact of the global recession on its local economy.
Gauteng remains a great place to live, work and recreate. Quality of life is high for the majority of citizens. Many of the negatives of 2009 such as crime, service delivery challenges have been dealt with, but we are still in a global recession, unemployment remains stubbornly high especially if you are young, black and female. Consequently, politicians are bearing the brunt of hostile attitudes on the ground.
Considering the totality of the findings, the survey shows massive gains in the fight against crime, service delivery, and quality of life. As the servants of the people our job is to listen to people, hear their complaints, and make sure our budgets and our plans are geared to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and who are driving this bustling, exciting economy that contributes 34% of national GDP.
In the last state of the province address, we announced various flagship projects geared at promoting development and growth in Gauteng. We are making progress since most of these projects are at different levels of development.
On the maize triangle revitalisation whose aim is to improve food security, reduce poverty and create jobs, we have provided 150 small holder farmers with production inputs such diesel, seeds and fertilisers and 21 farms received infrastructure support. As a result 1488 hectors of maize fields were planted in Gauteng by small farm- holder.
Technical support and training through twenty extension officers and eight mentors is also provided. In Agro-processing the construction of Feed milling plant has been completed in Ekandustria and 250 tons of yellow maize has been delivered to the Super Grand Feed Milling plant. Five tons of animal feed produced per day and sold to farmers and cooperatives. We have secured an export market in Zimbabwe with a supply of 32 tons per week and we are currently negotiating contract to supply in Mozambique.
In order to make broadband widely available and accessible, we have embarked on the G-Link project. To date, a Transaction Advisor has completed the core components of the initial phase of the project, including the logistical, regulatory, technical and financial considerations of a project of this nature. This will enable the accelerated implementation of this project.
Together with the Department of Communication, we have developed a project on the concept of a Smart City, which is part of our endeavor to drive Gauteng economic development through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The Smart City will be a multi-sector development that will leverage on the high capacity network that was commissioned for supporting the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) used for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The facility will house a number of ICT initiatives to attract foreign trade and investment. These include amongst others, a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Centre that will see multinational co-operations migrating their operations into the centre. This will also lead to the establishment of a data centre service that will ensure that i-cloud computing becomes a reality; a multi-media centre; a film centre and a telecommunication exchange centre.
The Constitutional Hill project is also progressing very well. Plans to expand the complex further have been developed. These will include the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Heritage, Education and Tourism Centre. To date spatial planning and financial feasibility have been concluded and a development agreement signed.
National government has proposed a Durban-Free State-Gauteng freight and logistics corridor to ensure the effective movement of goods and services across the three provinces. In Gauteng, we are linking to this key initiative by developing a number of freight and logistics hubs in our province. In the short term, we are working to strengthen the City Deep terminal and are moving with deliberate speed to develop the Tambo Springs hub. In this regard, a master plan has been completed to enable provision of bulk services. Engagements with Transnet are underway to establish the necessary rail links. Feasibility studies for the West Rand and Sentrarand logistics hubs have been completed.
On Mixed Housing development which is geared at building more inclusive communities, there are 26 903 stands that have been completed and 23 293 houses that have been constructed. This includes both Metro and district municipalities. The breakdown of delivery is as follows:
City of Johannesburg
- 2433 stand completed and 1192 houses completed in Lufhereng
- 9895 stands completed and 9950 houses completed in Cosmo City
- 2843 stands completed and 2843 houses completed in K206
300 stands completed in Obed Nkosi
963 stands completed and 873 houses completed in Chief Albert Luthuli
- 3204 stands completed and 1170 houses completed in Thomtree View
- 5970 stands completed and 5970 houses built in Olievenhoutbosch
- 725 stands completed and 725 houses completed in Chief Mogale
- 570 stands completed and 570 houses completed in Mohlakeng.
The Sedibeng Regional Sewer scheme which deals with the construction of a new sewer plant and upgrading of the existing network has been approved and the feasibility study has also been completed. Some government departments have already been approached for funding and the value of confirmed committed funds include R1.29 billion by DWEA, R400 million by National treasury and R500 million by Provincial treasury.
Coming to Gauteng Green Economy Programme, the wide scale gas distribution for household and industry is underway. We identified 260 taxis for conversion into gas use and trained 12 technicians. Solar Off-Grid Power generation at Winterveldt with 50 homes of indigent having benefited is operational. We are planning Waste-to-Energy using clean technology with the first pilot in the West Rand.
Waste beneficiation with funding of buy-back centres in City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and West Rand established, 51000 Moringa trees planted in Moloto area and planning for the Climate Innovation centre is being finalised. The promotion of investments in renewable energy through independent power producer and Bio-fuel development and processing is currently underway.
In terms of the Tembisa Renewal plan there are four specific developmental nodes that have been identified. These are Civic, Laralla Station, WInnie Mandela and Oakmoor Station nodes. One of the projects identified as part of relocation of Madelakufa is the Esselen Park extension 3 housing project and to date we have installed water and sewer reticulation and upgraded the bulk water and sewer lines. The development of 1428 houses has commenced, of which 764 have been allocated to beneficiaries and 341 houses are now at final completion stage. The first 400 houses were allocated to approved beneficiaries from Madelakufa 2, as per the agreement with Ekurhuleni Metro.
During the first half of our term of office, we placed strong emphasis on institutional reform to improve service delivery, strengthening of finance regime and monitoring and evaluation. Regarding the institutional reform aimed at maximising the effective and efficient utilisation of resources to help achieve outcomes, we have revised the political portfolios and completed the GPG reconfiguration including the management of labour relations issues. In the beginning of our term we made an undertaking that Gauteng government agencies will be reviewed in order to ascertain their value and role in the pursuit of our mandate.
In this regard, we have completed the review, and the implementation of a new and slim structure is underway. The implementation of revised delegations and procurement systems in GSSC is being implemented. In addition, we have also reformed the Cabinet System to locate the Premier’s office as the strategic nerve centre of government.
In strengthening the finance regime, we had to take the unpopular decision to bring a halt to wanton wasteful expenditure and other related matters. Through Operation Bhadala, we have reviewed most of the contracts and prioritised the payment of SMMEs. With the introduction of cost-cutting and austerity measures by our activist Treasury, we have curbed on unwanted runaway accruals and achieve remarkable improvement in audit outcomes.
We also indicated that the notion of short-termism in planning will be a thing of the past. We are in a business of building a brighter, bigger and smarter Gauteng for generations to come. Consequently, long-term planning is now the inherent part of our operations because we realised that for Gauteng to be amongst the best economic regions of the world we have to effect change in area of planning and implementation. The reality points to the fact that countries and regions that have focused on long-term plans and their rigorous implementation are reaping the benefits. In line with this fact, we have established the Gauteng Planning Commission and the Gauteng Advisory Council to drive the issues of future development and growth.
If Gauteng and the wider GCR is to fulfil its promise, we must embark on long-term planning that is owned and driven by all of us. Planning for our collective future requires the input of all, as full participants in this journey. To this end we have launched the G2055 discussion document and we encouraged public participation in shaping the Gauteng vision they wish for. This process will be rolled out in full scale before the end of this year.
We made a commitment that education will be a priority and therefore our efforts will be directed towards improving the state of education in this province. Today, Gauteng has the highest percentage in the world of girls attending school. In our schools we had a gross enrolment ratio of 84% in primary and 83% in secondary schools by 2010. In the year 2000 a total of almost 106 000 learners started Grade 1 and 79 000 of these learners reached Grade 12. We have to date awarded 1335 bursaries to deserving learners and the number of people who matriculated in Gauteng increased by 10.22% from 2009 to 2010.
Our plan to universalise Grade R by 2014 is on track. We have over 88% of public primary schools with at least one Grade R class. In fact the delivery of Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites has increased. We have registered almost 350 000 sites for ECD and trained about 3000 practitioners since 2009.
The number of teachers trained in foundation and intermediate phases has increased and the emphasis is on mathematics, science and technology. Owing to the decline in language proficiency and literacy, we have implemented a strategy targeting 792 schools and the results are slowly beginning to show. Over 1 million learners are benefiting from our nutrition scheme and more than 1000 no fees schools operating in Gauteng. The school safety strategy is being implemented in numerous schools and linked to police stations.
In terms of school infrastructure we earmarked 36 schools for opening and to date we have opened 28 of which 5 were brick and mortar and 23 were mobile schools. This includes 789 laboratories provided in under-performing schools. Clearly, this proves our unwavering commitment in providing quality education in public schools. However, it must be pointed out that the attainment of this goal is dependent largely on the nurturing of a healthy partnership amongst all the role players in society.
On the health front, a turnaround strategy has been implemented as agreed with the national Ministers of Finance and Health. The interventions adopted by the Gauteng Provincial Government to normalise the situation in the Department of Health has started to bear fruit. A significant increase has been realised with outstanding payments to service providers and we are continuing to improve payments so that our liability towards service providers stands at zero, except in cases where there are outstanding queries.
I am also pleased to announce that engagements with Medical Supplies Depots (MSD) resulted in an increase and consistent supply of essential medicines to communities. We will continue with the turnaround of the Department of Health with our primary focus being on reducing accruals, and improving financial management and supply chain management principles. We will also focus on processes to reengineer the Medical Supply Depots.
Towards the achievement of the outcome of a better health for all, the maternal mortality rate is at 144 per 100,000 live births, showing good progress towards Millennium Development Goal target of 100 per 100,000 live births by 2014. We have recorded 71% of mothers and babies who receive post-natal care within 3 days of delivery, against 25% set target and Prenatal Problem Identification Programme (PPIP) implemented in 54 of a total of 58 institutions.
As a result of intensive and well-coordinated educational campaigns against AIDS and HIV driven by government and its social partners, the rate of AIDS deaths has dropped from 38.5% in 2009 to 35% in 2011. The Anti-retroviral treatment (ART) facilities delivered has increased to 310 with a total of over 500 000 people registered on ART. Since the introduction of dual therapy mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been further reduced from 15% to 5.2%. This is as the result of 100% uptake of Nevirapine in neonatal units. The target to reduce TB defaulter rate to 5% has been achieved and TB cure rate is 81.4% against the 82% target.
Since we extended the operational hours of Community Health Centres (CHC) and Clinics, there is an increase in the number of people who are now accessing services rendered by these clinics and centres. All of the CHC have a resident doctor dedicated to the provision of high quality services.
Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen
Gauteng, for some time now, has been known as the haven for all kinds of criminal elements. Our image has been tainted as the result of such a perception reinforcing a sense of insecurity and vulnerability amongst our residents. As government we resolved that we must do everything in our power to change this perception by fighting and combating crime wherever it shows its ugly face. We resolved that we have to tear into its body like the birds of prey do to a carcass.
This was achieved, amongst others, through the strategy of deploying our law enforcing agents in all the street corners, byways and highways of our towns and cities; the incidents of serious crime has reduced. Police visibility brought back some level of comfort and security amongst our people. We are now focusing on the use of technology around monitoring and law enforcement by forming partnerships with various bodies. Over 90% of Community Policing Forums are operational in Gauteng. Patrollers have been deployed at schools and Tourism Safety Ambassadors at Cradle of Humankind and Dinokeng. We are providing support to 114 identified ‘problem schools’ to rid them of substance abuse and other forms of delinquency.
In order to deal with the scourge of violence and abuse against women and children, we are rolling out safety havens similar to Ikhaya Lethemba in numerous communities. We have instituted 20 local Green Door sites and local overnight reception site for women and children who are victims of domestic violence whilst they await referral into alternative placement. The Men as Safety Promoters programme has been significantly expanded.
The road safety campaigns are conducted frequently at taxi ranks, community centres, schools and factories. Through the implementation of Integrity Strategy, we have achieved 35% reduction in hotline complaints in a period that spans 2009 to 2011. The initiative to strengthen forensic services is underway. Regarding other priorities such as the establishment of single police service and municipal courts we have made limited progress.
In Gauteng, we have grown the economy, rolled out infrastructure projects that rival those of our global counterparts, and addressed a significant portion of the backlogs in basic goods and services that we inherited in 1994. Our province is described as the economic heartland of the nation – contributing 34% of national GDP, while the wider GCR within which our province falls contributes approximately 43% of national GDP, reflecting the value of this wider space for national prosperity. With approximately 41.9% of our 11.3 million inhabitants originating from beyond our province, we are blessed with great diversity, and a population of people with varied talents and unique perspectives. This is the potential of the GCR.
During the current term, we attracted investment, both Foreign direct investment (FDI) and DDI, to the value of R3, 9bn, creating an estimated 6,400 sustainable jobs including 1,712 indirect jobs. Tourism revenue has grown from R21,6bn in 2009 to R26,9bn in 2010.The opening of Dinokeng Nature Reserve has yielded 4700 direct and 5100 indirect jobs.
We hosted a Food Security Summit and Food Security Strategy was adopted and is being implemented. To this end 151 community gardens, 230 schools gardens and 20 300 household food gardens have been established. Partnerships with Food Banks were established as part of the Food for All programme which benefitted 6300 beneficiaries. And we have been able to launch 4 Food Banks. With the challenges of improving rural roads still hanging, we are in the process of implementing non-motorised transport strategy. Shovakalula will distribute 3000 bicycles as a way of addressing the challenge posed by roads while at the same time indirectly promoting healthy lifestyle amongst the rural communities. We have recruited more than 1000 rural youth into National Rural Youth Service Corps Programme.
On building a responsive, efficient and effective local government, we have experienced fair progress. Tour performance in this term reflects that 98% of our households (3.2 million) now have access to safe water, already exceeding our 2014 target, and 86% and 74% of households have sanitation and electricity respectively, and 64% access to refuse removal which is below target. Through the Gauteng Integrated Energy Strategy a total of 22 000 solar geysers have been installed.
There is also plausible progress in implementing Revenue and Debt Management model in municipalities. The VAT review and compliance process has been instituted in six municipalities through the Municipal Finance Support Programme. With Operation Clean Audit, 80% municipalities received unqualified audit reports with no disclaimer or adverse opinions. This is due to the Provincial Local Government Turnaround Strategy implemented in 2010. We adopted the Gauteng Inter-governmental relation (IGR) framework to promote cooperation between different spheres of government. Metsweding has been merged with the City of Tshwane and Merafong incorporated into Gauteng successfully.
In general, there is an improved financial management and performance on audit outcomes in Gauteng. We are also beginning to see good results on effecting 30-day payments and accruals. In pursuit of clean governance and corrupt-free environment, we are instituting mechanism to fight maladministration and corruption. We hosted Gauteng Anti-corruption summit and the strategy and implementation plan was adopted.
As a result of the introduction of outcomes based planning, budgeting and monitoring we have seen improvement in service delivery performance by our units. In addition, we have introduced frontline Service Delivery Monitoring to enhance the work and services rendered by our employees. As far as communication is concerned, we are strengthening and improving on a regular basis our strategies to ensure that communication with our people becomes meaningful and effective. To this end, we have had numerous outreach programs which are sector specific.
These Public participation programmes have been intensified with Executive Authorities (EAs) visiting communities at least five times a year and senior government officials at least once a month. Also, officials from the Office of the Premier are deployed in communities three times a week as part of strengthening relations with communities and identifying early warning signs and to further give feedback on issues raised by communities during the Izimbizo programmes.
We also conducted open days to educate communities about government services and how to access economic opportunities. We have also launched the Premier’s Hotline to reinforce our communication efforts resulting in high percentage of queries being resolved at both the provincial and municipality levels.
The first half of this administration term in office has been very encouraging and difficult. But we have been able to sail through the cyclones because of the unwavering support we enjoyed from this house. It is men and women, sitting here, who tirelessly work for change and transformation in our society that help to keep us focused and determined to continue to fulfill our duties.
I would like to express the deep gratitude on behalf of the Executive Council and the team that give support to our operations on a daily basis. This team of Gauteng employees under the leadership of the Director General should be commended for holding the fort even when all seem futile and hope gives way to despair. We are truly grateful of your spirit, the spirit of no surrender.
For more information contact:
Cell: 082 373 1146
Issued by: Gauteng Office of the Premier
15 Jun 2012
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