Premier Makhura on crusade to revive quality in public service

Monday, February 26, 2018

Premier David Makhura says he will meet all senior managers across the Gauteng provincial government on Wednesday to set the tone for renewed commitment in the public service. 

The Premier on Monday delivered his State of the Province Address (SOPA) in the Legislature, where he underscored initiatives to build integrity, improve accountability and fight corruption. 

Premier Makhura said Wednesday’s meeting will mainly discuss renewal of the public service, especially in the aftermath of the Life Esidimeni tragedy. A pledge will also be signed to recommit to Batho Pele principles and values. 

“The citizens are getting a raw deal from public servants and public officials. We need a new and fresh approach to enforce accountability and delivery. Passing the buck or blame shifting is not acceptable,” the Premier said.

Premier Makhura yet again apologised for the Life Esidimeni tragedy, saying it has exposed deep institutional problems within the public health system.

“I’d like to reiterate that the deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni patients is a tragedy that has left deep wounds and pain in the collective memory of our democratic nation. It is something that should never happen again.”

The Premier said he has met with the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to ensure that all outstanding cases involving officials in the Gauteng government are speedily concluded so that where necessary, criminal prosecutions can ensue.

“It is unacceptable that many forensic investigations are instituted by departments, but there are no consequences on the part of wrongdoers.”

Commitment to clean governance

Gauteng is the only province that has championed and introduced the Open Tender System as part of efforts to fight corruption and maladministration.  

This year, Premier Makhura said they will introduce a Bill on the Open Tender System in the Legislature.

The Premier has also appointed a civil society-led Ethics and Anti-corruption Advisory Council as its own watchdog on clean governance.

The council is already helping to crack-down on corruption.

“As a province, we have been outspoken and consistent in the fight against corruption. I want to lead a province that is underpinned by high standards of service delivery, accountability, integrity and ethics,” said Makhura.

Crime

Working with the South African Police Service (SAPS), community policing forums and other law enforcement agencies, Premier Makhura said they have set a target for station, cluster and provincial commanders to reduce crime by 50% in the 40 high priority police stations and 12 clusters.

With the help of national government and municipalities, the province has added an extra 1 266 police personnel and 859 high performance vehicles to improve police response and visibility.

The province has also reintroduced the specialised police units to focus on priority crimes such as gender-based violence and trio crimes (carjacking, house robbery and business robbery).

Funding for road network

The Premier announced that he will engage President Cyril Ramaphosa in order to find a new and more equitable funding model to support the continued expansion of Gauteng’s road network and public transport system.

“The new dawn must also bring a solution to the protracted and unresolved problem of e-tolls. It is loud and clear for all to see that e-tolls have not worked.”

Addressing water problems

The Premier plans to meet with all the mayors and water experts to discuss a comprehensive way of dealing with the water crisis.

“Urgent action is required if we are to avoid the crisis that has befallen the Western Cape. We have no luxury of waiting and shifting the blame later. We have to act now.”

Premier Makhura called on communities, government and businesses to use water sparingly.

Working the land

Premier Makhura said the province will work with municipalities‚ national government departments and State-owned enterprises to release land to the State for productive use.

“There is also significant land that is lying fallow‚ underutilised or abandoned by absentee landlords‚ which will be expropriated and allocated to our people for their own advancement.” - SAnews.gov.za

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