South African Communist Party

SACP Gauteng welcomes State of the Province Address 21 February 2022 The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Gauteng Province welcomes the State of the Province Address by Premier comrade David Makhura which announced multiple interventions to fast track the economic recovery brought to bear by the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome the 2022 SOPA as it outlined, in practical terms, that the Gauteng Provincial Government is taking significant strides, working with its social partners to bring the economy back on track following the devastation effects of lockdowns which resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods. We are particularly pleased with the progress that has been made in building Special Economic Zones in the five development corridors of the province. These strides will go a long way in alleviating joblessness, especially among the working class who are concentrated in the townships.  We believe that progress made in the Tshwane SEZ and the 3440 permanent jobs that have been created is a testament of the transformative impact that the Growing Gauteng Together vision 2030 is already showing in the province. We will keenly follow progress in other SEZ that are being rolled out. We are particularly pleased with the provincial government spend of R5.6 billion and 5.3 billion towards women and youth-owned enterprises respectively. This coupled with the R500 million that has been set aside to support businesses that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is a visible demonstration of the principled leadership of the provincial government to turn around the economy and set it for a path towards growth. Notwithstanding the fact that our economy is still export-oriented and dominated by primary products which in turn have reproduced domination by the mineral-energy-finance monopoly capitalist sector, as the SACP in Gauteng we regard the above achievements by the provincial government as a progressive realisation of driving a second, more radical phase, of our democratic transition. Furthermore, another key intervention by the provincial government that we have positively noted is the investments in infrastructure as a catalyst for economic growth and creating employment especially among women and youth in our province. We believe the urgency with which comrade David Makhura and his government have adopted in addressing youth unemployment is already showing positive signs. For instance, between 2017 and 2021, provincial government’s youth employment programme, Tshepo 1 million benefitted more than 700 thousand young people from learning, earning and entrepreneurship opportunities. This is commendable and much more needs to be done. We are nevertheless mindful that these gains have been accompanied by massive drawbacks as characterised by de-industrialisation which has been exacerbated by the hard lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, according to Statistics South Africa, manufacturing production plunged 49.4% during April 2020 when compared to April 2019. To this end, we urge the provincial government to do more towards the revitalisation of sectors such as the rail network which has witnessed wanton vandalism and looting in the recent past. We believe that such public infrastructure developments have a critical role to play in alleviating our socio-economic challenges such as employment creation. The SACP remains concerned with the levels of corruption in the provincial government. We will continue to monitor the work of the Gauteng Ethics Committee and other bodies that are in place to help combat this scourge. While we appreciate the strides that Gauteng Provincial Government has also taken in detecting, identifying and reporting corruption, we believe that these corrupt elements must face the full might of the law and pay back the people’s resources. Prevention is better than a cure. In this regard, we welcome the progress…

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SACP Gauteng welcomes State of the Province Address