Address by Gauteng Premier, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, on the occasion by Tb63Y3

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									SPEECH


ADDRESS BY GAUTENG PREMIER, Ms NOMVULA MOKONYANE, ON THE
OCCASION OF THE POLITICAL REPORT PRESENTATION AT THE GAUTENG
LEGISLATURE, JOHANNESBURG

30 NOVEMBER 2012




Madame Speaker

The Chief Whip

Honourable Members of the Legislature

Residents of Gauteng

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen




I really appreciate the honour and opportunity to present this report to this
august House at the tail-end of the penultimate year of this administration. The
journey has, indeed, been arduous, riddled with all sorts of impediments.
However, the resilience and ebullience demonstrated by the members of this
government in dealing with all the challenges is testimony to the character of
men and women who toil day in and day out in the service of the residents of
Gauteng.




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When we came into office in the 2009 general election, we carried within
ourselves the unquenchable burning desire to transform the lives of the
people of Gauteng. That desire has not abated, at all!

We remain a caring government that strives to deliver services to its residents,
at all material times, based on the mandate they have given to us.



Honourable Members,


We meet today five days into the campaign of 16 Days of Activism for No
Violence Against Women and Children that was launched on the 25th
November, and will go on until the 10th December. It is also worth noting that
the 25th of November is a significant date on the calendar of many who are
passionate about turning the tide against the seemingly wanton abuse of
women and children of this province. Internationally the 25th of November is
officially recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence
against Women. It is therefore instructive that the day has been designated as
the official start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women
and Children.


These 16 Days of Activism include other significant dates such as 3rd
December – the International Day for People with Disability; World Aids Day
on the 1st December and the International Day for Human Rights on the 10th
December.


As we are gathered here today, we call on all men, young and old, to
specifically stand up and be counted in their active support and participation in
the relevant programmes during this period. Men should say in a loud voice:
“Not in our name.” Every day, for 365 days, should be a day of Activism on No
Violence Again Women and Children.



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In the same breath we do understand that there are men, both young and old
who suffer violence. Men have been socialised to bottle-up matters and not
open up emotionally when they need help. Men who experience violence in
their homes are mostly unlikely to report the incidents to the law enforcement
agencies for fear of being regarded as not being man enough. Additionally,
such men would shun going to the available of places of shelter due to
societal pressure. On the 1st December 2012 Gauteng will be launching a toll-
free number to assist men who may find themselves in this predicament.

We observe this campaign this year against the backdrop of encouraging
crime statistics, suggesting that our police are – albeit slowly – making inroads
in the battle against crime. Yet, the big concern we have is that we have not
managed to make a big dent on crimes related to violence on women and
children.

We will continue to push for a serious reduction in crimes against women and
children. In this regard, we have adopted a three-pronged approach in
mitigating this challenge; namely, the improvement of detection and conviction
rates through better implementation of the Domestic Violence Act; the
provision of victim support services; and lastly, the promotion of awareness of
violence against women and children.



Madame Speaker,


The report on the 2011 Census was released recently. The third since the
advent of Democracy in 1994, Census 2011 paints a picture of socio-
economic trends that have become evident in Gauteng over time. It also
shows the challenges as well as the strengths and opportunities inherent in
the country’s most populous and urbanised province.


Gauteng’s significant population increase of 2.9 million people between 2001
and 2011 presents us with challenges and opportunities of equal measure.
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The population increase is a result of natural growth as well as significant in-
migration from other provinces and around the world. This is evidenced by the
fact that only 56% of its population was actually born in the province, whereas
the figure for KZN is 92% and 72% for the Western Cape.


The figures therefore demonstrate rapid urbanisation; a phenomenon that has
become evident across the world. Whilst cities play a crucial role in fostering
economic productivity and innovation, they need to be properly planned and
effectively managed. In this respect, Gauteng; including its metros and
districts will be working with key national government departments            in
developing a national Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) . This
will ensure that Gauteng remains the country’s key economic node that is
environmentally-sustainable to meet the socio-economic needs of its people.


Rapid population growth also places an immediate and severe burden on
public services such as health, safety and education. Our responsibility is to
provide quality access to education and health, including social services, for
all residents of the province with the available resources. Our view is that
national government should take steps to allocate financial resources in
accordance with the needs.



Migration statistics show another striking similarity between GCRO’s Quality of
Life survey and the 2011 Census. The majority of migrants into Gauteng are
from Limpopo province followed by KwaZulu Natal and the least are from
Western Cape and the Northern Cape. The GCRO’s Quality of Life survey,
furthermore shows, that although Gauteng face numerous challenges,
generally the quality of life of the people of Gauteng has improved.

Gauteng, the smallest of the country’s provinces, has a land area of 18 178
square kilometres. This gives it an average population density of 675 persons
per km2, compared to just 42 per km2 for the country as a whole. This means

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it now has a population density roughly equivalent to the average across all 90
metropolitan regions in the OECD MetroDatabase (672 per km2), and similar
to cities such as Barcelona, Brussels and Copenhagen. Projecting forward at
current growth rates it will have 859 km2, which will give it a density on par
with current Los Angeles and New York. Not only is the population trend high
for Gauteng compared to national, but it is actually on an upward trend and
this may mean more pressure on service delivery.




Madame Speaker,

As part of our long-term planning project, the Gauteng Planning Commission
(GPC) is leading the formulation of Gauteng 2055 (G2055), which is a
visioning process that allows us, in line with the National Development Plan
(NDP), to determine our future as the people of Gauteng.


The G2055 Discussion Document was launched in May this year. Since then,
a number of consultations and engagements have been held with various
stakeholders – among them youth, women, business and municipalities.


Alongside the consultation work, the commission is busy with research work to
inform the kind of choices we have to make. Based on this current work, I will
table the “Gauteng 2055 Vision and Plan” to the people and stakeholders of
our province early in the New Year. It is this plan that must inform our
programme of work in the future.


The GPC is also responsible for ensuring effective Performance Monitoring
and Evaluation (PME) in the province. A number of key PME initiatives have
been implemented since the beginning of the financial year.


The total number of Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring (FSDM) visits to
date, totalled 121 out of the annual target of 150 visits by October 2012. Visits
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were undertaken in partnership with DPME in the Presidency to public service
sites in a range of sectors.


Honourable Members,


The key ingredient of any successful government is how it manages its fiscus.
I dare say that through better systems and tighter financial management, we
have ridden the storm of fiscal stability challenges, fairly well.

Financial prudence is a strategic imperative to the province and will go a long
way towards dealing with all the financial challenges the province has faced in
the past. As part of ensuring that there is proper governance in departments,
the Provincial Treasury has facilitated and co-ordinated the process of
ensuring that the MECs meet with their Audit Committee Chairpersons. This
process ensures that the MEC is aware of potential challenges that might
impact on the achievement of the departments and also ensure that they are
also instrumental in monitoring the process of mitigating some of these critical
risks.


In working towards our vision of obtaining clean administration as part of
Operation Clean Audit 2014, a framework was developed to enhance the
review of the quarterly and annual financial statements. This review has
resulted in significant progress made in terms of clearing the material
adjustments finding raised by the Auditor-General in the previous financial
years.

The Province has adopted prudent cash management measures to ensure
that departments’ spending do not exceed funds allocated, including meeting
obligations related to conditional grants.

What is critical is for all departments is to pay their suppliers within the
stipulated legislative period – within 30 days. Over the past year, we have
paid particular attention to addressing this challenge and are making
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significant headway. But we will not rest until we have fully turned this
situation around.




Honourable Members

When we came into office in 2009, we made a commitment that ours would be
a government that will work with and deliver better for Gauteng communities.
We further committed ourselves to be regularly reporting back to the Gauteng
communities on the mandate they have given us through this platform of the
Gauteng Legislature. Today is an important day for our communities to hear
for themselves how we are executing the mandate they have given to us. It is
also important to realise that such a platform gives government the
opportunity to receive feedback to ensure continuous improvement on the
delivery of service.

The Office of the Premier as the political nerve centre of the provincial
government has the responsibility, amongst others, to pull together and give
strategic thrust to the efforts of different departments for the achievement of
government strategic priorities, by ensuring the implementation of the
Outcomes-Based Approach.


The 2012/13 POA was developed using the outcomes-based performance
management approach, which was adopted by government to improve its
performance.     The POA was adopted by EXCO in March 2012 and is
structured according to the eight provincial outcomes:
      Quality basic education
      A long and healthy life for all south Africans
      All people in South Africa are and feel safe
      Decent employment through inclusive economic growth
      Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities contributing
         towards food security for all

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         Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household
          life
         Responsive, accountable, efficient and effective local government
          system
         An efficient, effective and development oriented public service and
          empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship




On the education front, Census 2011 also came up with some interesting
findings, amongst which were that there has been a considerable
improvement in education levels in Gauteng over the last decade and a half.
In 1996, 9,7% of residents 20 years and older had no education. This had
declined to just 3,7% in 2011. By contrast, 9,9% had a post matric higher-
education qualification in 1996. By 2011 this had almost doubled to 18,1%.
The figures from the census are roughly consistent with that from Gauteng
City Region Observatory’s (GCRO) 2011 Quality of Life Survey.

What the Census 2011 reflects was not obtained by luck; as Gauteng we have
continued to invest in education at the foundation stages as we believe with a
strong grounding, many children stand a better chance of doing well in later
years

Over the past year, we have intensified interventions to improve the quality of
learning in literacy and languages, as well as, numeracy and mathematics.
This has been in response to poor learner performance across large numbers
of schools across the province.

Since     2011,    the   province   has   successfully   implemented   innovative
interventions into the foundation phase to improve the quality of teaching and
learning in literacy and numeracy in targeted schools. Through the Gauteng
Primary Language and Mathematics Strategy (GPLMS), which has been
rolled out across all grades, the province has introduced a coaching


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programme to support teachers in the foundation phase – unprecedented in
the South Africa.


During 2012, the province intensified the SSIP interventions into Grades 10
and 11 which we initiated in 2011. The programme, which is similar to one for
Grade 12, focused on support materials, holiday programmes and camps in
ten high-risk subjects. We know, based on the past experience that this
programme will yield a great harvest.


We have made unprecedented education support interventions, aimed at
increasing access to schooling and addressing the context of poverty that
limits children’s access to schooling. Over 60% of the schools in GPG are no-
fee paying schools; testimony to our commitment of making education
accessible to all, both poor and rich. We have also made scholar transport
available to ensure that no learner travels over 5km to school. Additionally,
over a million learners receive a hot meal every day.



As part of the province’s efforts to address skills development, the provision of
bursaries and placement of learners in learnerships and internships is in line
with projections.


Considerable work has been undertaken for the year to date in respect of
training for GPG employees, including: training for executives, SMS members,
supervisors, junior and middle managers, as well as ABET and learnership
programmes. Developing skills for the economy is being addressed.


We continue to work on improvements to school infrastructure, including
school maintenance and efforts are being made to fast-track infrastructural
developments such as Magaliesburg and Fochville boarding schools.




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Madame Speaker,


With regard to a Long and Healthy Life for all South Africans, performance on
interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality is largely on track. This
includes performance on immunization coverage for children under 1, severe
malnutrition in children under 5, mothers and babies who receive postnatal
care within 3 days of delivery, etc.


Performance in relation to targets for HIV/AIDS-related interventions is
generally fair. Reasonable progress is being made to reduce the burden of
disease from TB. Targets in relation to HIV positive TB patients on Anti-
retroviral treatment, reduction in Multidrug-resistant TB cases, improvement in
the pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) cure rate and reduction in the PTB defaulter
rate have shown good progress for the year to date


The aforementioned paints a good picture of the performance on three of the
four Outputs under the Outcome: A Long and Healthy Life for All South
Africans, namely, Reducing maternal and child mortality, Combating HIV and
AIDS and reducing the burden of disease from TB. On the fourth one:
Strengthening Health Systems Effectiveness, a lot of work still needs to be
done to ensure that we respond adequately to the challenge.
In response to the challenges encountered in the Health system, we have
implemented the Health System Turnaround Strategy.              Interventions have
shown promising results in some areas.             For example, the Department of
Health reports good progress in relation to targets for the payment of pre-April
2011/12 accruals and funds recovered from other provinces. As a province,
we are keen to ensure there is no back-tracking to a situation where there is
an accumulation of unpaid invoices, which we realize could pose a threat in
relation to the disruption of critical supplies.




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The provincial government is also committed to fast-tracking delivery on a
number of health infrastructure projects and we have made fair progress in
relation to certain developments, including at Zola Jabulani and Natalspruit
hospitals.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


The reduction in crimes against women and children is a key priority of the
province and an area in which we will continue to monitor and intervene as
required.    With respect to awareness and promotion to prevent Violence
against Women and Children (VAWC), there is a noticeable progress, yet
much still needs to be done.


As part of Social Crime Prevention, under the provincial School Safety
Programme, we made strides in key areas such as the establishment of
school safety desks and the number of patrollers deployed.


Initiatives aimed at strengthening the effectiveness and integration of criminal
justice system (CJS) through the CJS Coordinating Committee in the province
needs to be strengthened. We have committed ourselves to improving
forensics as a critical area in which resources needs to be invested toward
significantly increasing the province’s capacity.


In an effort to reduce Priority Crimes, the number of TRIO crimes-related case
dockets analysed and police stations assessed has exceeded expected
levels.


Efforts to reduce crime and corruption by reducing the number of Learners
and Drivers' Licences fraudulently issued by the Driving Licence Testing
Centres (DLTCs) in the province and reducing the number of roadworthy



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certificates fraudulently issued by the Vehicle Testing Stations (VTS’s) in the
province, yielded positive results.


As part of our efforts to reduce road fatalities, interventions aimed at improving
vehicle fitness, for example through intensifying road safety education and
enforcement through awareness campaigns (at taxi ranks, schools, shebeens,
roadblocks and hazardous locations, etc) were generally on track in terms of
their targeted reach.



In respect to infrastructure development, we have developed the Infrastructure
Delivery Management Systems (IDMS) that should result, among other things,
into an effective and efficient delivery of infrastructure; and also provide clear
delineation of accountabilities and responsibilities in terms of the infrastructure
delivery value service chain between the departments and the implementing
departments.



On the issue of the capacity of the state to deliver on infrastructure, we are
faced with dire shortage of various engineering disciplines and artisans, which
in turn, poses a challenge to the delivery of service, on time and within budget.
To this effect, we have committed ourselves to build capacity within
government to obviate the over-reliance on consultant engineers in this
particular area.


We would, furthermore, like to urge that these specialised institutions be
transformed to provide the newly qualified engineers and artisans the
opportunity to be part of the mainstream profession.


Overall, performance on strategic economic infrastructure is on-going, with
projects at various stages. Work on the Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct is



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progressing steadily. The 5-year Integrated Transport Master Plan has been
completed and launched and work is underway on the 25-year plan.


As part of the Rail Revitalisation we should ensure that manufacturing is
localised and that we support the local manufacturers as the anchor of
developing capacity in this particular area.


Concerted efforts are being made to fast-track progress on projects that are
part of the OR Tambo Industrial Development Zone (IDZ). These include the
development of the Aerotropolis roadmap, completion of OR Tambo
International Airport Cargo Terminal, establishment and operation of the Craft
Emporium and integration of the IDZ and Cargo network, as well as Freight
and Logistics Hubs. On the other hand, we would like to reiterate that we are
fully behind and actively participating in the SIP2, that is the KZN-Free State-
Gauteng Freight and Logistics Corridor.


We also have concern about contractors’ inability to deliver, including financial
difficulties they encounter that accounts, at least in part, for under-
performance in these areas of key infrastructure delivery. This is an area
which we have noted and is a key focus of our interventions to improve and
unblock infrastructure delivery.


Honourable Members,


As a province, we are committed to building an innovative and knowledge-
based economy to drive competitiveness and economic growth. We are
closely monitoring work on key initiatives such as the Smart City and the G-
Link as a way of opening up investment doors as well as making the
broadband easily accessible.




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Some progress is noted in relation most Green Economy interventions, but we
remain focused on ensuring progress is accelerated toward tangible delivery.


As part of the Gauteng Employment, Growth, Development Strategy,
Sustainable Employment Creation remains a critical area for the province.
Performance on job created shows under-performance on permanent jobs,
which is receiving our urgent attention. Through the Department of Economic
Development we have successfully launched the Township Enterprise Hubs.
As we speak now 17 co-operatives have been registered under this
programme to enable them to participate in the Hubs.


Support to SMMEs and cooperatives will continue to be prioritized. Any
country that ignores this sector does so at its own peril. Through the Gauteng
Enterprise Propeller (GEP) we have developed a new Youth Entrepreneurship
Programme, an internally managed programme that replaces the Youth and
Graduates Entrepreneurship Programme (Y-AGE).



Madame Speaker,



The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has made 72
tractors available to farmers through a three-tier system mechanisation policy.
Fifty nine co-operatives have benefitted directly through leases of these
assets, which will collectively cultivate 6000ha and 611 beneficiaries stand to
benefit.


Agri-Parks such as Onverwacht Agri-Park have attracted greater investment
from mines with more hydroponics infrastructure which have benefitted 65
people who are seasonally employed in the farm.




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The household food security project is key to the alleviation of poverty and
hunger. Fifty five community food gardens, 11 000 homesteads food gardens
and 50 school food gardens will be implemented in the 2012/13 financial year.
The program will target youth, female and people with disabilities in the 50
poorest wards and the twenty six priority townships.


The Department’s objectives of ensuring productivity of large scale
commercial farming and small-holder agriculture farming will be undertaken
through roll out of the Maize Triangle Programme. Farmers and cooperatives
will be supported with production inputs such as mechanisation services and
implements, seeds, pesticides, diesel and fertilizers. Two feed milling plants
will be constructed within the Maize Triangle to the value of R4 million and the
Department of Roads and Transport has committed R2 million towards a plan
for revitalization of rail infrastructure in 2012/13.


The co-hosting of the 2nd African Farmers Expo exposed at least 500 farmers
to new agricultural technologies and services they can benefit for the
development of their enterprises.


With regard to the Pilot project on passive Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), we
have recognised that proactive interventions are required to ensure more
comprehensive solutions, which will be pursued in partnership with national
government and other stakeholders.


Honourable Members,


The number of households is arguably more important than the population
because it gives a more accurate sense of the number of units that
government needs to provide with shelter and service infrastructure
connections. According to Census 2011 Gauteng has 3,9 million households.
This represents a growth of almost 1,2 million households between 2001 and

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2011, an average annual growth rate of 3,6% (in general all large cities and
urban regions see faster household growth rates than population growth
rates).

In 2001, Gauteng had 24,4% of the total households nationally and by 2011
this had grown to 27,1%, more than the province’s share of national
population.   At current growth rates Gauteng will have some 5,4 million
households by 2020, representing a doubling of household numbers over the
two decades from 2001.

Although as a province we have registered significant progress in relation to
housing delivery, we have noted the limited progress on some projects, and
have focused our efforts on addressing these shortcomings. We also recorded
good progress on the Tembisa Urban Renewal Programme; and the Inner City
revitalization strategies for Germiston and Mogale City are on-going.


As a bold step to expand access to housing to thousands of South African in
the gap market, we have approved the implementation of the Finance Linked
Individual Subsidy Programme commonly known as (FLISP). The primary
objective of the FLISP Programme is to reduce the initial mortgage loan
amount to render the monthly loan repayment instalments affordable over the
loan repayment term.


This programme is targeted at anyone earning between R3 501 and R15 000
and has never owned a house before or benefited from any government
housing subsidy programme before. Largely, these would be people like
teachers, nurses, security guards, factory workers, and so on. For the first
time, people in this income group will enjoy assistance from government,
which will make sure that they too can afford to have a home.

FLISP is one of the elements of a broader strategy to improve the property
markets by facilitating the increased supply of affordable housing finance. For
now we have a few accredited FLISP projects in Gauteng, and these are in
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the following areas: Cosmo City, Botlhabela, Fleurhof, Jabulani, Lady
Selbourne, Nellmapius and Botlhabela Borwa.

We are planning for more sites like these throughout Gauteng, and over time
we will come to place nearer to you.


We are inviting qualifying South Africans who previously could not afford to
own a home to use this wonderful opportunity; you now have a chance of
building your own home that will make you proud residents of this great
province of Gauteng. This is the time for you to enjoy the fruit of democracy;
the fruit of electing a government that cares for you.


Madame Speaker,



Developments are on-going in relation to the training of local government
officials in critical and scarce skills, and support to municipalities in the
implementation of the Performance Management system (PMS) and other
management interventions. We will continue to work with municipalities to
ensure these interventions are implemented in line with projections.
Developments were also on-going as municipalities continued to be supported
to   implement    OPCA     and   the   Revenue     Enhancement   and   Debtor
Management, in a bid to increase their Administrative and Financial
Capability.
Performance needs to be enhanced in relation to Access to Basic Services,
including access to Basic Water, Sanitation and Refuse removal, monitoring of
the implementation of basic services and approved norms and standards.


Rand Water has now taken over the project management of Sedibeng
Regional Sanitation Scheme and it is hoped that the project will now find
satisfactory traction.



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We should all not forget that Gauteng is the only province that has three
Metros within its boundaries; and thus making the implementation of Inter-
governmental Relations (IGR) framework very relevant and imperative. In this
regard, the province has, for example, provided institutional support to City of
Tshwane to manage the merger with Metsweding and implementation of a
single tier municipality for the West Rand.


Service Delivery Quality and Access is a key focus of the provincial
government in the current term of office. Satisfaction levels are continually
being monitored through the Quality of Life Survey and responsiveness to the
public, actively tracked through the Public Liaison hotline.


Performance on Human Resource Management and Development reflects
some progress on vacancy rates and finalization of disciplinary cases.


The case of under-expenditure has been an albatross around our necks as a
result of high vacancy rate. Ratification of the proposed structures has been a
serious challenge on the side of Department of Public Service and
Administration (DPSA). We are now happy to report good progress in this
regard.


Interventions aimed at tackling corruption are on-going. This includes
resolution   of   cases   from   the   National   Anti-corruption   Hotline   and
implementation of the resolutions of the Anti-corruption Summit. We continue
to be vigilant as a province in pursuing initiatives aimed at stemming the tide
of corruption as we have demonstrated by our actions in Lenasia South
recently.


Fair progress is being made in relation to provincial initiatives aimed at
strengthening nation building and national identity, including the hosting of



                                        18
commemorative days and the hosting of izimbizos as part of increasing
citizen/public participation and access to government services.


However, some challenges have been experienced in the construction of
some monuments: Kagiso Memorial Park and Sports Centre, Women’s
monument and efforts are being made to unblock developments there. Good
progress was made in relation to the Boipatong Memorial and Youth Centre
and June 16 Memorial and Youth Centre.


The GPG’s performance shows overall improvement in relation to some
indicators and targets for the quarter. However, in key areas, performance
remains low, posing a risk to the likelihood of attaining annual targets.


Through    the   PME    branch    of   the     Gauteng   Planning   Commission,
implementation of the 2012/13 intergovernmental Programme of Action (POA)
is monitored on a monthly and quarterly basis and progress reported on to
EXCO.     This mechanism of monthly and quarterly reporting allows the
Executive to be timeously informed of progress in relation to priority areas of
government, and to highlight key areas in which intervention is required.
Departments are now also required to develop intervention plans to address
areas of sustained under-performance as identified in the reports on progress
in relation to certain priorities expressed in the Programme of Action.


The consolidation of democracy in South Africa and overcoming the divisions
and social exclusion of the past requires that further attention is paid to social
inclusion of all South Africans and continuing efforts to develop a shared
national identity.     This includes extending public spaces for citizen
participation and expression; nurturing democratic practice, norms and values
and building democratic social capital.




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The provincial government has made a point that sport, arts and culture
remain a vital cog on its agenda to build a nation state that is united, non-
racial, non-sexist and democratic. In delivering on this mandate, we are
implementing a number of flagship projects aimed at promoting social
cohesion and nation building. These include the repositioning of the annual
Gauteng Carnival as an international premier event. Gauteng Carnival 2012
involved participation of other provinces in the country as well as participation
of neighbouring countries and created 2549 jobs over a period of four months.

Heritage is also widely recognised as having a critical role to play in nation
building and social cohesion. The province has identified flagship heritage
projects which have been prioritised for implementation. These include,
amongst others, the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct in Ekurhuleni and the
Women’s Monument in Tshwane at the Lillian Ngoyi Square. These will have
to be developed into iconic structures for the country and the local community,
in particular, to acknowledge; honour and celebrate the contributions made by
the heroes and heroine of the South African liberation struggle.



Gauteng as the Home of Champions continues to host international events
especially after the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and we
pride ourselves to once again be hosting, at the iconic FNB Stadium, the
opening and closing of the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations taking place
in January and February.


Let me also take this opportunity to urge the Gauteng residents to once again
make us proud, as they did during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, by getting fully
behind the event, and most importantly to come in numbers and support our
national team, Bafana-Bafana.




                                       20
We should also support all campaigns leading into the event, which amongst
others include Magnificent Friday – I salute members of the Legislature who
are getting into the spirit by wearing their Bafana-Bafana jerseys today.


On the home front we launched the Gauteng Sport Challenge, which we
intend to grow in phases. In this regard, this year we launched The Gauteng
Cup where Gauteng based Professional Soccer League (PSL) teams
participated in a three game tournament in July 2012. We also launched the
Gauteng Marathon, which saw participants take part in the various races
ranging from 5, 10, 21, and 42 kilometres. These races (10 + 5km) also
formed part of the healthy life-style, social cohesion and wellness programmes
adopted by the Executive Council recently.


In the coming year, we will also be launching the Gauteng Rugby Benefit,
which will be hosted at the Orlando Stadium; and in this event we will see the
two leading unions – the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions - taking
part.


As part of development, we hosted the fourth Gauteng under 17 Future
Champions, which is an international tournament that focuses on the training
and development of future champions as well as coaches through an
international skills and development training programme. We have, also,
recently hosted the South African Open golf tournament in Ekurhuleni’s
Serengeti Golf Estate, which marked its 100 years of existence and is one of
the premier sporting events around which we are positioning Gauteng.


Honourable Members,

On the international front, the past quarter has also been spent in
consolidating existing partnerships with regions in both the People’s Republic
of China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These partnerships include
comprehensive projects in various areas relevant to the social and economic
                                       21
growth of Gauteng. They also include the automotive sector supply sector,
information and communication technology in the area of SMART City, urban
planning and design, trade and investment opportunities as well as the public
service capacity exchange programmes.

On a continuous basis, the province participates and shares experience
through sub-regional multilateral and intergovernmental platforms such as the
national BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)            Summit
process.

As we move closer to the realisation of Gauteng as competitive City Region,
we will benchmark ourselves against the best in the world. The focus on
building partnerships in these areas will be in support of our provincial targets
to further the developmental goals on integrated transport system, promotion
of effective and efficient service through information and communication
technology initiatives such as the SMART City, building the capacity of the
state and promoting the province as a globally competitive city region through
tourism, trade and investment opportunities.

As a globally competitive city region, the Gauteng province plays a key role in
regional integration initiatives and the success of partnership initiatives such
as the Gauteng-Katanga Memorandum of Understanding and implemented
projects will facilitate sustainable growth opportunities for people in Southern
Africa and the continent.




Madame Speaker,

As we move towards the twilight of our term of office, we look back with
amazement at what initially looked like insurmountable challenges akin to
David facing Goliath, yet through the relentless efforts and resilience of all the
stakeholders we managed to deal with each and every challenge head-on.



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I have to concede that the queries and debates that emanated from this
house, facetious as they may be at times, have helped make us become more
thoughtful as well as given us insight into how meticulous we ought to be in
our plans to deliver quality service for our people.

On behalf of the Executive Council, I would like to acknowledge and
appreciate the role and contribution that each man and woman sitting in this
house has made in making us become more focused and nimble in our work.
It really is an honour to serve the people of Gauteng through this august
House.

In conclusion, let me express my appreciation to the team of Gauteng
employees under the leadership of the Director General for working hard to
keep the brand of Gauteng high up amongst the best in the country; in spite of
the doom and gloom that has become so pervasive all around.



Issued by the Gauteng Provincial Government

For more information contact Premier’s spokesperson Thebe Mohatle on 082
373 1146

For media releases, speeches and news visit the Gauteng Provincial
Government's portal at www.gautengonline.gov.za;
www.facebook.com/GPPremierOffice; http://gauteng-provincial.blogspot.com/




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