Energy security will be one of the priorities that Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi will touch on as he delivers his first State of the Province Address (SOPA) to millions of the province’s citizens.
The province has plans to move the poor away from relying on Eskom for power, as Gauteng citizens and businesses continue to count the cost of load shedding. This as national government has declared a state of disaster to deal with the energy crisis.
The SOPA will provide an opportunity for Premier Lesufi to highlight the provincial government’s progress and programme of action for the year ahead.
This year’s theme is ‘Following up on the commitment to the people’. An estimated 700 guests are expected to attend the event at the Johannesburg City Hall on Monday.
Economic Recovery and Reconstruction, strengthening the fight against crime, corruption, vandalism and lawlessness, changing the living conditions in townships, informal settlements and hostels, prioritising the health and wellness of the people of Gauteng and strengthening the capacity of the state to deliver services, are some of the main points that will form part of Gauteng’s first citizen’s address.
Lesufi has big plans to migrate the province’s poorer people from the Eskom grid. This as the provincial government held an energy summit last week, to find solutions to the energy crisis.
Meanwhile, the official opposition in the province, the DA, said after taking power from the ruling party in 2024, it would establish an inter-governmental task team to look into ways of reducing the number of blackouts currently experienced by in the province.
“We need to make sure that there is a master plan for water and load shedding in Gauteng. When we are in the helm of governing in 2024, we need to urgently establish an intergovernmental task team to look into ways of reducing the number of blackouts the province is currently experiencing. Part of what we’ve done is to engage with Rand Water and Eskom to see how we can insulate some of this infrastructure from load shedding. We also want to ensure that the problem of Eskom doesn’t really affect the residents of Gauteng,” says Solly Msimanga, DA Gauteng leader.
Lesufi is also expected to address the unemployment crisis in the province which is sitting at 33.7 %.