DA highlights five years of successes in Gauteng legislature

DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga. Picture: Masi Losi

DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga. Picture: Masi Losi

Published May 15, 2024


DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga delivered a comprehensive overview of the party’s achievements in the provincial legislature over the past five years.

Addressing members of the DA Gauteng Provincial Legislature Caucus, media representatives and fellow Gauteng residents on Tuesday, Msimanga emphasised the party’s commitment to effective governance and accountability.

“We have come to the end of the Sixth Provincial Legislature and in two weeks, South Africans across the country will be heading to the polls. Our residents will, once again, be given the opportunity to vote for a government, both nationally and provincially, that is capable of ensuring effective and proper service delivery.

“To earn voter confidence, a prospective government must demonstrate a track record of effective governance. As the official opposition in Gauteng, we have meticulously documented our efforts over the past five years to enhance residents lives.”

During that time, the DA ensured caucus members’ attendance at crucial portfolio committee meetings, where issues regarding departmental performance and service delivery were addressed.

Msimanga said that through the committees, “we have held under-performing departments and entities accountable, posing over 8 000 oral and written questions to the Gauteng Provincial Government.

“This thorough scrutiny revealed the detrimental effects of load shedding in 2022, resulting in the loss of over 300 000 job opportunities and R103 million in potential gross domestic product.

“One notable achievement this year has been the formal elimination of e-tolls. Forced upon Gauteng residents in 2013, we have persistently urged the Gauteng Provincial Government to discontinue this unpopular system. Despite numerous broken assurances by the current government over the years, our efforts eventually bore fruit, resulting in the system’s termination this year.

“Our townships continue to grapple with high levels of crime and a scarcity of employment opportunities. In our efforts to address crime, we successfully advocated for action against gangsterism in areas like Westbury, Eldorado Park and Riverlea, leading to the formation of an investigative committee.”

The vitality of the township economy for job creation remained paramount. Consequently, they would consistently pressure the MEC for Economic Development, Tasneem Motara and Premier Panyaza Lesufi to enhance the conducive environment for private sector investment in Gauteng’s economy.

“We have also brought to light the consistent failure of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development to meet its job creation targets, despite enacting the Township Economic Development Act. Regrettably, there's been no noticeable improvement in the township economy.”

Msimanga said the tragic Life Esidimeni incident in which 144 lives were lost due to neglect, haunted communities.

“Despite this, the provincial government has not shown sufficient learning or accountability. The Covid-19 PPE scandal, mirroring the depths of State Capture, exposed gross misconduct by the Departments of Health and Education.

“However, there has been a lack of accountability, with no disciplinary actions or financial recoveries to date. In municipalities like Emfuleni and Sedibeng, corruption persists, depriving residents of basic services such as water and electricity. Mismanagement of funds, exemplified by excessive overtime payments, further exacerbates service delivery challenges.”

As the opposition, the DA pledged to conduct rigorous oversight inspections to uncover and address the dire living conditions faced by many residents.

“However, little has changed since our observations prior to the 2019 elections. The Department of Social Development’s inadequacy has left many residents dependent on assistance, particularly amidst economic hardships and escalating gender-based violence. Funding cuts have forced vital NPOs and NGOs to close, leaving vulnerable individuals without crucial support services.

“In our fight against corruption, we have pushed for lifestyle audits of MECs and high-ranking officials. While progress has been made, the actual audit report remains unseen.”

Msimanga said the DA was concerned about the prolonged duration of disciplinary proceedings against officials accused of misconduct.

“We are committed to ending the practice of allowing officials to continue receiving their salaries during extended hearings. These accomplishments from the past five years underscore our understanding of the needs of our constituents as the official opposition. We recognise the importance of ensuring that taxpayer money is spent accountably by holding the government responsible.

“DA track record demonstrates our competence and preparedness to govern the province. Over the past five years, we have diligently fulfilled our oversight role, and we will not hesitate to hold our government accountable once we assume office on May 29.”