Makhura expected to focus on jobs, education when he delivers SOPA

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Gauteng government plans to grow the economy, create jobs as well as fight crime and corruption in 2018. Premier David Makhura is expected to announce how these issues will be addressed, when he delivers his State of the Province Address in the provincial legislature on Monday morning.

Makhura is also expected to outline measures to rescue the ailing Health Department, after he admitted that the Life Esidimeni tragedy had exposed deep problems in the province’s public health system.

Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe says youth unemployment remains one of the provincial government’s greatest challenges.

“We will continue with our efforts, working together with key role players in business, labour, to ensure that we create many employment opportunities through some of the things that we are doing, like Tshepo 1 million, we are actually targeting young people, creating opportunities for them, identifying areas where they can be placed in jobs and areas for skills training and entrepreneurship development.”

The Democratic Alliance in the province says it expects Makhura to outline measures to rescue the ailing health department.

DA Shadow MEC for Health, Jack Bloom says Makhura should consider a bailout for the department. “We need to have very firm steps to rescue the Gauteng Health Department. They are suffering from the after effects of the Esidimeni disaster and money will have to be found to pay for the bereaved relatives of the victims of that disaster. Altogether the Gauteng Health Department is the biggest challenge for the premier of this province. I think he will have to consider a bailout to rescue the department. “

Advocacy Group Equal Education says it expects Premier David Makhura to report on progress made in eliminating schools made of asbestos in the province and also address the placement of learners for the 2018 academic year. “A prime example of this would be Hoerskool Overvaal. We’re expecting the premier to detail how he plans to ensure that at a systemic level, poor black learners have access to better resourced schools and how transformation and redress will be built into admission’s policies in the province,” says Equal Education’s Ayeesha Meer.

Some Gauteng residents say their main concern is lack of access to quality education and the high unemployment rate in the province. “We need work so that we can succeed, because without work, there is a lot that we cannot attain,” says one of the residents.