The DA has called on Gauteng Premier David Makhura to secure his own source of energy to mitigate against load shedding, party caucus leader Solly Msimanga said on Monday.
Msimanga was speaking at his alternative State of the Province address (Sopa) ahead of Makhura’s own address at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa near Pretoria on Tuesday.
He said Gauteng residents could not endure another Sopa of “half truths and empty promising”, adding that Makhura must focus on delivering workable commitments.
“The introduction of private producers will, in fact, be a way to get Eskom to do what needs to be done, and that is to get their act together.
“You have companies who are saying we want to come here, we want to invest here but if you do not guarantee a steady flow of electricity, which is what is required, then we’ll not be able to invest here, which will ultimately lead to job losses.”
During his 2019 Sopa, Makhura said Gauteng had attracted R199bn in foreign direct investment, which created over 30,000 jobs.
Msimanga, however, said Gauteng was a ship heading for an iceberg, adding that while the province’s challenges were enormous, it was not insurmountable.
The DA identified eight key objectives it said Makhura must address as a matter of urgency.
These included an end to e-tolls; Gauteng securing its own energy source to mitigate against load shedding; economic reforms which include establishing special economic zones; criminal prosecution of corrupt public servants; establishing a provincial police ombudsman; roll out of broadband and WiFi; fixing the ailing health department and fast-tracking human settlement projects.
“If he chooses to take up the issues we have repeatedly brought to his attention and addresses them with vigour, Gauteng will be well on its way to prosperity.
“Gauteng will have functional Makhura cities which are safe and free from gangs and drugs. Gauteng will attract investors and have more business growth that leads to the creation of hundreds of thousands of much-needed jobs.”
Last year, Makhura promised to continue rejecting e-tolls, saying it had no future in Gauteng.
E-tolls became a point of contention in the ANC during its election campaign. Makhura went head to head with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who insisted that the scrapping of e-tolls would present a financial difficulty for the South African National Roads Agency.
Msimanga said he did not believe the people of Gauteng would see an end to e-tolls under the ANC government.
“I can guarantee you the e-tolls are not going anywhere. Minister Mboweni has hinted a number of times that he is going to dig in on the issue of e-tolls.
“What the premier is doing is actually just kicking the ball around and hoping the people of Gauteng will forget and begin to pay but the people are very adamant – we are paying enough,” Msimanga said.
He added that the fuel levy was sufficient for the maintenance of roads infrastructure.