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By Lunga Simelane


Lesufi aims to attract private investment for Gauteng’s future

Lesufi said his Sopa was well received and that afterwards companies, organisations and institutions wanted to partner with his government.

While it remains to be seen if the ANC will retain Gauteng after this year’s general election, premier Panyaza Lesufi seeks to bring private investment to fulfil the many commitments made in his State of the Province Address (Sopa).

Speaking at a briefing yesterday, Lesufi said his Sopa was well received and that after the speech, many companies, organisations and institutions wanted to partner with his government on several programmes.

WATCH: Water bottles fly as chaos erupts before Gauteng Sopa

“This is also heart-warming because we believe that we cannot do these things alone. We need partners, institutions and formations that can advance our wishes as quickly as possible,” he said.

“More would be discussed in the province’s upcoming budget speech next week.”

In his Sopa, Lesufi said to date, Gauteng’s revenue enhancement strategies had netted R32 billion. He said Gauteng was the first province to collect that amount from its own revenue streams.

“This proves we are not reckless in our financial management,” he said. Lesufi added in regards to the capacity of the state, they are committed to a clean and accountable government manifested by enhancing compliance with legal requirements “to prevent unnecessary, irregular, and wasteful spending”.

“In the 2022-23 financial year, the province obtained six clean audits – from the Office of the Premier, departments of education, economic development, e-government, finance and Cogta [cooperative governance and traditional affairs] and a further 11 clean audits from various 18 provincial entities,” he said.

“Eight departments achieved an unqualified opinion demonstrating that where this ANC governs, we govern better.” Reacting to Lesufi’s Sopa, ActionSA Gauteng chair Funzi Ngobeni said the premier used his speech to deliver empty promises, made false proclamations of progress and his administration was disconnected from reality as millions of Gauteng residents continued to suffer.

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Ngobeni said the upcoming general election offered a real chance of unseating the “uncaring current government” and charting a new path of prosperity.

“The harsh reality is that, since his last Sopa, premier Lesufi, just like his predecessor, has failed to respond decisively and deliver on his promises to improve the declining living standards of many in Gauteng,” he said.

“South Africans are fed up with empty promises.” The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng said they accepted the address as “a way for the ANC to bid the people of Gauteng farewell”.

In its statement, the EFF said that Lesufi continued to “lie to the people of Gauteng”.

“It is evident that this year’s Sopa resembles last year’s, characterised by a plethora of empty promises and a lack of a tangible and systematic plan to improve the lives of Gauteng’s inhabitants,” the EFF said.

“The EFF will participate in the Sopa debate to expose Lesufi’s empty promises and blatant lies.”

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