“If we don’t deliver, there is no reason for you to vote for us,” was the strong message from Gauteng premier David Makhura to residents of Sharpeville in the south of Johannesburg.
Makhura visited the area on Tuesday to commemorate Human Rights Day, formerly called Sharpeville Day.
On March 21, 1960, 69 people were gunned downed by apartheid police amid an anti-pass demonstration at the old Sharpeville Police Station.
The premier’s speech had lots of promises to residents, chief among them were that the Gauteng provincial government would give residents annual delivery reports, without long political speeches, on March 21.
Makhura did not mince his words when acknowledging that a lot of work needed to be done to improve the lives of Sedibeng residents.
“If the premier does not do what the people want, that premier is not supposed to be the premier,” Makhura said to a applause from residents who attended the Human Rights commemoration at the George Thabe Stadium.
Makhura was adamant that the mistakes of the Life Esidimeni tragedy should never be repeated. Commenting on service delivery issues, Makhura said much had been done for the three Gauteng metros, Tshwane, Joburg and Ekurhuleni.
He stressed that the time had come to shift the focus to Sedibeng and the West Rand.
“We have done a lot when it comes to education in those three metros,” he said.
“It’s now time to pay attention to education and economic transformation in Sedibeng and the West Rand.”
Makhura, who laid wreaths at Phelindaba cemetery, said “young people need opportunities”.