Give 2010 guests warm welcome - Mokonyane

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pretoria - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has called on the province's people to work together with the government in ensuring that guests arriving for the 2010 FIFA World Cup spectacle have a pleasant stay.

Tabling her State of the Province Address on Monday to officially mark the opening of the Gauteng legislature, Mokonyane said the implications of hosting the World Cup were very huge for Gauteng.

"As government we have done everything to ensure that fans, players, officials, organisers, sponsors and everybody else who will be part of the World Cup are able to stay and move freely and safely within Gauteng," she said.

She said people need to mobilise and market Gauteng to the world as the preferred destination for investment, trade, tourism and competitive sport.

Mokonyane echoed President Jacob Zuma's words when she told the legislature that 2010 would be a year of action.

"It is the year for all of us to work together to speed up service delivery. Our people cannot wait any longer."

She said education was the province's top priority, adding that the poor matric pass rate was the result of wide-ranging problems within the Education Department.

"Providing high quality education to our people, especially children, will lay a solid foundation to secure a better future for all."

Mokonyane said her administration had set itself a target of an 80 percent matric pass rate by 2014.

On other issues, she said there were committees to provide better health care, curb unemployment, fight crime and improve basic service delivery like refuse, water and electricity.

Over the next few years the province is set to spend R34 billion on infrastructure developments, with public infrastructure development being one of the province's key interventions to stem the tide of unemployment.

"But this amount will not be sufficient to fund Gauteng's infrastructure needs. We have therefore decided to seek alternative funding to cater for new infrastructure projects including hospitals, schools, roads and human settlements," she said.

In this regard, the province has mandated the Department of Finance to raise R20 billion from the private sector to meet the demands.