Makhura confident ANC will retain Gauteng

Moipone Malefane

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is confident the ANC will retain power in Gauteng after the party’s hard work over the past few months to restore the confidence of disgruntled voters.

The ANC has suffered a significant decline in the province since 2009 partly because of the e-tolls and former president Jacob Zuma’s multiple blunders.

In an inteview with Inside Politics on Wednesday, Makhura said he was confident his party would win the May 8 elections outright – as many in the province were happy with the direction the party was taking under the leadership of president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC, he said, did not want to be in a coalition government with any political party because nothing gets done. 

The national elections are to take place on May 8 and most political parties are positioning themselves to either win Gauteng outright, or govern through a coalition. In the past elections, the ANC vote in the province had dropped.

“Research shows that the citizens don’t like coalitions. [Leaders in a coalition] never focus on getting work done, but fight. We want a decisive mandate and our mandate will be renewed because of the good work we have done,” he said.

He was confident that the ANC in Gauteng will never suffer again at the polls because of incidents that occurred under former president Jacob Zuma.

“The ANC at national [level] is in a better space. People have confidence in president Cyril Ramaphosa and that puts us in a good space.” 

He appealed to Ramaphosa to resolve the issue of e-tolls in Gauteng before the elections to minimise the impact of the rising cost of living.

“We have said it in the past that the urban tolling is not a solution. It is taxing our people because we do not have good public transport.

“It has also increased the cost of living as well as cost of doing business,” he said.

Makhura was speaking to Inside Politics after his state of the province address earlier in the week.

He gloated about how he was running a clean government – with the Auditor General giving all provincial departments unqualified reports.

“We have changed how we do things. Our open tender system that is monitored by civil societies have helped.

“I have also asked for a report on all the contracts that were given to Bosasa like I did with KPMG, and [I] will act,” he said.

Makhura said his administration has managed to turn around the apartheid education system as most parents are now comfortable to register their children in the township schools.

“We have invested in modern infrastructure at our township schools and that was paying off because parents were no longer taking their children to what we call former model C schools in town.

“Through Tshepo 1 million [which places youth in jobs or help establish businesses],  we have young people that are now running their own businesses,” he said.

The Gauteng Premier was happy that in the past five years, he managed to run a clean government, unblocked the economy to make it easy for small businesses to operate, had good programmes that have empowered youth, and improved education.

However, he was unhappy that the health department remained a challenge as well as crime not being able to get under control.

“At least now national government has given me a team of senior police officials to come help fight crime in the province. Crime is very high.

“We have also tasked them with arresting the 20 most wanted criminals in the next three months. We want the people of the province to be free wherever they are,” he said.

He said he was encouraged by the fact that, with all the challenges, the people of Gauteng knew exactly what they wanted government to do to improve their lives.

“Many want the land to build their own houses, this is encouraging to see that our people want to do things for themselves. They also want land to expand their businesses in the townships.

“As Gauteng government, we will release land to the people for agricultural use, building homes, business purposes like building factories,’ he said.

He was however facing challenges from some municipalities who did not want to release land after he announced rapid land release project – which aims to make provincial land and buildings available for human settlements and urban agricultural projects.

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