Gauteng Premier David Makhura says corruption allegations and irregularities related to COVID-19 procurement in the province have delayed some of the health infrastructure and also revealed substantial governance weaknesses.
He delivered the State of the Provincial Address (SOPA) on Tuesday.
Makhura reiterated his call that those involved in the PPE corruption must be brought to book and all monies must be recovered by the state.
“The irregular and corrupt practices exposed by the Auditor General and the Special Investigating Unit constitute a serious dent in the progress that has been made in the past five years on clean governance and integrity. We must and we will set an example with all those involved in malfeasance, both in the public and private sector,” says Makhura.
He added that the coordination and collaboration with various sectors, departments and agencies have helped a great deal when the pressure was high during the peak of the first and second waves.
“Close interactions and collective interventions with trade unions, business, the faith-based sector, civil society and the ward-based war rooms also helped to raise awareness in hotspots and ensure compliance; and address teething problems of PPE supply,” the Premier says.
“As policy makers, we understood the specific trajectory of the pandemic in our province and further enhanced our Covid-19 response in dealing with hotspots and in communicating key messages to the public. We are very proud of the Gauteng-based universities and academic hospitals which have world-class researchers and clinicians who have been giving cutting edge leadership and breaking new ground about the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Makhura.
He says the country’s response to COVID-19 has demonstrated that it has enormous scientific and industrial capabilities. – Report by Voice of Wits reporter, Mmangaliso Khumalo.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is set to deliver the State Of the Provincial Address following a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption scandals.
PPE corruption scandals rocked the province, which saw the Health MEC Bandile Masuku being axed before the end of his term.
Makhura was also implicated but later cleared by the SIU.
He will highlight the provincial government’s service delivery action plan for the year ahead.
His speech will focus on the strategy to defeat Covid-19, reigniting Gauteng’s economic reconstruction and recovery and providing support and relief to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and GBV.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Solly Msimanga, has urged Makhura to allocate a budget for COVID-19 vaccines to help the province reach herd immunity sooner.
Msimanga says the province should directly engage all available suppliers to get more vaccines.
He was discussing the performance of Premier, David Makhura’s government over the past year ahead of the State of the Provincial Address (SOPA) on Tuesday.
Msimanga says the DA has formulated a few solutions for each provincial department to implement, that can help make service delivery more functional.
“We as the DA have formulated a few solutions for each provincial department to implement, that can help make service delivery more functional, considering the disastrous performance of this government during 2020. We call it the Getting Gauteng Back on Track Pack, that should help the province start getting back to some form of tangible functionality as we hope in the next 1-2 years, South Africa will be able to almost fully enter a post-Covid world,” says Msimanga.
He says Makhura should implement all the Auditor-General’s recommendations to ensure efficient and effective spending without corruption.
For the departments, Msimanga says the Department of Community Safety must make the Gauteng Traffic Police a 24-hour service.
“Ensure more coordination action between SAPS and the Metro Police to tackle gang crime throughout Gauteng such as Boko Haram in Tshwane and others. Work to reduce gender-biased violence through a multidisciplinary approach,” he says.
Msimanga has called on the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation to appoint a permanent CEO of the Gauteng Film Commission to avoid further internal hostilities that result in irregular decision-making.
“Cut wasteful expenditure on unnecessary celebratory events. Implement consequence management where officials are failing to meet targets or where they are found to be acting in either a corrupt manner or wasteful manner against the good practice of public service,”
The opposition party also wants the Department of Education to immediately place all Grade 1 and 8 students who are yet to be allocated schools for the 2021 academic year.