Source: Gauteng Office of the Premier
Title: SA: Mokonyane: Address by Gauteng Premier, on the 2012/13 Budget Vote in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Johannesburg
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Leaders of Political Parties
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
The People of Gauteng
Last week we learnt of the passing of Professor Phillip Tobias, one of the world’s most eminent scientists. Professor Tobias moved to Johannesburg in 1944 when he enrolled at Wits University and remained part of that institution for most of his adult life. He will not only be remembered for his contributions to anatomy, genetics and palaeoanthropology but also for his firm commitment to human rights and democracy. In memory of that beautiful mind and passionate South African, let me express the Gauteng Provincial Government’s (GPG’s) condolences to his family and friends.
In 2009, we came into office based on an overwhelming electoral mandate from the people of Gauteng. This mandate was further elaborated in the five-year strategic programme for Gauteng for the period to 2014, with the following priorities:
Creating decent work and building a growing, inclusive economy
Promoting quality education and skills development
Better health care for all
Stimulating rural development and food security
Intensifying the fight against crime and corruption
Building cohesive and sustainable communities
Strengthening the developmental state and good governance
As the political nerve centre of the province, it has been the central task of the Office of the Premier (OoP) to provide political and strategic leadership in ensuring the effective implementation of this political mandate and policy priorities. It is our task to make sure that this mandate is translated into tangible delivery to improve the quality of life of our people.
The key functions which the Office of the Premier has emphasised in giving effect to this strategic role in the province include: centralised province-wide planning; performance monitoring and evaluation; strengthening intergovernmental relations and collaboration around common priorities; implementing a revised cabinet system; ensuring effective communications with Gauteng residents; driving service delivery renewal and responding to the needs of the people; and coordinating programmes to improve the lives of women, youth and people with disabilities.
The 2012/13 financial year is the second last year before the end of the current government term of office. The role of the Office of the Premier in continuing to drive visible delivery and the implementation of the strategic programme therefore remains central.
The role of the Gauteng Planning Commission (GPC) is to embark on long term and strategic planning coupled with performance monitoring and evaluation. It is a key component of the Office of the Premier in driving its strategic agenda.
The capacitation of the GPC has been an important priority and over the course of the past year, we have appointed a Head, a DDG: PME and DDG: Development Planning. In other words, the main senior appointments have been made. In view of the approval of the structure of the Office of the Premier by the Minister of Public Service in April 2012, and a significant budget allocation for capacitation for the 2012/13 financial year, we are now in a position to fully capacitate the GPC in the current financial year.
On 24 May 2012 the GPG launched its Gauteng 2055 Discussion Document for community and stakeholder consultation. Gauteng 2055 speaks to the long term development needs of the Gauteng City Region (GCR). It confirms our commitment to long-term planning, recognising the need to think beyond the short-term to create the type of generational change evident in many successful regions of the world.
The Gauteng 2055 discussion document contains the following elements:
A conceptual framework that reflects on our vision for 2055, the key ideals that underpin it, and the role of all stakeholders in realising this dream;
The path we have travelled to date and the current realities we face; and
A set of proposed vision statements in relation to each ideal, with the key issues we need to debate framed as questions.
We aim to run a dynamic public participation campaign, which will roll out over the coming months that captures the public’s imagination, building on the ideals and dreams represented in the Freedom Charter and South Africa’s Constitution.
The public participation campaign involves four pillars of engagement: namely, intergovernmental consultations; community engagement; targeted stakeholder consultation; and a mass media campaign.
We plan to roll out Gauteng 2055 kiosks across our regions, in the places people gather – at shopping centres, campuses, taxi ranks and Thusong Service Centres. Leaflets about Gauteng 2055 will be distributed, encouraging members of the public to contribute their ideas. Residents and members of civil society will be able to make submissions through various channels – face to face, through izimbizo; directly at the Gauteng 2055 kiosks; through email; and through our dedicated online and social media platforms.
We will focus on all stakeholders – with targeted sessions focused on business and professional associations, labour, special interest groups representing women, children, the youth and people living with disabilities, NGOs, CBOs and Faith Based Organisations, to name just a few. We will work with the Department of Education, as we encourage students in our schools to share their ideas of the future Gauteng they hope to live in. As you know, the month of June is youth month in South Africa. During this month, we are holding youth consultations in all five metro and district areas. These are our ultimate stakeholders – the recipients of the GCR in 2055; the generation we will hand this future to.
Over the coming weeks, you will also witness various thought pieces and ideas in the media – in print form and on the radio. We will focus on community and campus radio stations, alongside commercial platforms, to create awareness and encourage people to participate. We thank the media for supporting us in these efforts.
All the elements of the campaign will ultimately culminate in a major stakeholder summit, which will be held at Kliptown in the third quarter of the year. At this summit, we will bring together the ideas and insights that have been gathered. This will allow us to realise the power of collective insights, such as those that were collated through the Congress of the People campaign, and which ultimately resulted in development of the Freedom Charter itself. At this summit, we will jointly reflect on the ideas emerging for the plan of our future, and with this, develop a shared vision and programme for 2055.
We invite all to participate and contribute their ideas, hopes and aspirations for the GCR, and the different paths through which we may enable it to grow. Through engaging on and gathering these inputs, we hope to create a story that makes sense to us all a story that will form the foundation of our long-term plan for the GCR Gauteng 2055.
A year ago, I appointed the 25-person Gauteng Advisory Council (GAC) to serve as a body that advises the Premier on a wide range of matters. The GAC has a range of individuals drawn from all walks of life who are able to reflect on the diversity of opinion in our province.
Since its appointment, the GAC has been very active in assisting the Premier and the Gauteng Planning Commission with the development of Gauteng 2055. It has established four working groups, each of which met several times to contribute to the development of the Gauteng 2055 Discussion Document. We envisage that the GAC will continue playing this vital role in sharpening our ideas and assisting us in stakeholder engagement.
During this year, we intend to broaden the role of the GAC to advise the Premier on matters such as infrastructure development, unblocking service delivery and institutional transformation. I am convinced that the collective wisdom of the GAC will significantly contribute to improved governance in the province.
In my 2012 State of the Province Address, I indicated that the GPG will focus its efforts on delivering on a set of Flagship Projects, which will serve as catalytic drivers of growth and development in Gauteng. The projects are located in different parts of the province and form an essential part of the integrated infrastructure development programme to promote job creation.
To ensure delivery of these projects, a Project Management Office has been established in the Office of the Premier. Its responsibility is to ensure tight and effective coordination of the projects, identification of blockages, risk management, financial planning and delivery according to an agreed schedule. I am happy to say that the PMO is functioning smoothly to enable us to have clear idea of the Flagship Projects on a real time basis.
As part of our efforts to better achieve our developmental outcomes, we have forged strong partnerships with universities to establish the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO). In the year ahead, the GCRO will continue to leverage the best academic expertise to undertake research in support of provincial and local government work. Among the projects is the first Gauteng Government Barometer, which will provide an independent assessment of performance against key development indicators.
A two-year project will be initiated to examine trade flows into and out of the GCR and establish their potential contribution and costs to the GCR economy and further research will be undertaken to support the development of the Green Economy in the province. The GCRO Geographic Information System capabilities will be enhanced, including critical work on poverty mapping and identifying flood lines and flood hot spots in the province.
At the beginning of our term of office in 2009, based on a frank assessment of our progress since 1994, we agreed that we needed to do more to improve government’s performance in achieving the country’s developmental objectives. This included elevating our capacity and expertise in relation to planning and performance monitoring and evaluation in the province.
Our success as government lies not just in working hard but in making sure that we are doing the right things to achieve results and outcomes, based on evidence-based policy making and effective implementation.
Through the Gauteng Planning Commission, we have led the effective implementation of the province’s inter-governmental programme of action to achieve outcomes relating to quality education, health care, inclusive economic growth, rural development and food security and improving safety levels in the province.
We are among the leading provinces in implementing outcomes-based planning and budgeting and ensuring that budget allocations are in line with commitments and targets. We have established an effective system to monitor performance against targets, which ensures that both the Executive Council and managers have timeous performance information and can make the necessary interventions to address delivery obstacles.
Together with the Presidency, we will in the year ahead undertake over 100 visits to monitor Frontline Service Delivery in the province with a focus on education and health care facilities, social grant centres, police stations, municipal service centres and the justice system. National and provincial departments and municipalities are then required to undertake steps to correct weaknesses and improve residents’ experiences in their daily interaction with government. Where serious problems are identified, Interventions Teams will be established to ensure that these are rapidly addressed.
All departments in the province will implement improvement plans to address management weaknesses identified through the Management Performance Assessments, which were undertaken last year as part of a joint programme with the Presidency. All provincial departments will undertake a second set of assessments in the coming year with a view to ensuring continuous improvements in the areas of strategic management; governance and accountability; human resource management; and financial management.
To ensure that public funds are better utilised to improve the quality of life of our people, we will place increasing emphasis on independent impact evaluations of key programmes in the province.
Following the release of the national Midterm Review by the Presidency, I am pleased to announce that we will release the provincial Midterm Review in the next month. The review is our own assessment of delivery for the period June 2009 to November 2011, based on the electoral mandate and the priorities we set in 2009. I will provide further detail in this regard in my political report on Friday 15 June.
A key role of the Office of the Premier concerns the facilitation of intergovernmental relations. We have actively participated in the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), which has the mandate for ensuring that all spheres of government are working in an integrated manner. More recently, we have also been involved in meetings of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC). The PICC recently launched its 17 Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) that cover the length and breadth of the country, including projects in our own province.
Since the 2009 local government elections, all municipalities have been working closely with the GPG to forge greater alignment and integration. We have held several lekgotla with municipalities and have jointly developed an Intergovernmental Programme of Action. The Premier’s Coordination Forum – comprising the Premier, relevant MECs and Mayors of all municipalities – meet on a quarterly basis to monitor progress on joint initiatives and ensure that key intergovernmental issues are addressed effectively.
In addition, various international engagements have been undertaken to strengthen important service delivery areas with the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the regions of Bavaria in Germany and Lombardy in Italy, to mention a few. In the coming month we will sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the municipality of Chongqing in the People’s Republic China (PRC). In the coming year, we will further explore multilateral links with cities or provinces in other African countries.
In 2009 we embarked on a programme of renewal of the Executive Council system. This included streamlining the Cabinet programme in line with the provincial programme and priorities. We will further enhance this system as we work to the close of our term of office.
An important focus for the provincial government in 2012/13 will be to mainstream programmes on gender, youth and people with disabilities within the province and ensure ongoing monitoring. We will also commission research to assess the impact made by government programmes in the lives of women, youth and people with disabilities.
In the year ahead we will strengthen our comprehensive, cross-sectoral programme targeted against violence against women and children. This includes improved conviction rates, social awareness and societal attitudes. Our programme to develop young women includes mentorship programmes and raising consciousness about their identity so that they are empowered to reach their full potential. The GPG in partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) will expose women to business and management education so as to improve their business acumen.
As part of our struggle heritage projects, we have initiated a Women’s Monument, which will serve as a living testimony to the heroic women of 1956 who marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the oppression of women. The monument will be located in Lillian Ngoyi Square in Tshwane and will be linked to the existing monument at the Union Buildings. Together with the national government and the City of Tshwane, we will launch the monument as part of Women’s Month in August this year. The monument will include a training centre for women as well as an arts and crafts multi-purpose centre where local crafters can exhibit and sell their products.
The GPG remains concerned about youth unemployment levels in the province and we will continue with programmes aimed at addressing this challenge such as the Youth Employment Hubs.
Many of the GPG departments are still not reaching the 2% target of employment of people with disabilities. To ensure that the set targets are being reached, we will take steps to ensure greater levels of compliance. Through the partnership with Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) we will distribute Assistive Devices worth R500 000 in Gauteng to people with disabilities.
As the Office of the Premier, we have a role to provide strategic communication support to all Gauteng departments and the Executive Council. We have a duty to communicate with Gauteng communities through a variety of channels such as izimbizo and stakeholder forums. We will, in the year ahead, work closely with communities to identify service delivery weaknesses and ensure that communities’ issues are attended to timeously.
Our monthly publication, Gauteng News, provides communities with empowering news about our Programme of Action and opportunities that government is providing.
We are well aware that one cannot have plans to communicate with the young and technology-savvy without engaging with social media platforms. The Office of the Premier is now active Twitter and Facebook – where we are getting a lot of feedback from our communities on how to better serve them.
We will also ensure that we increase our communities’ participation in government programmes and plans by intensifying our Open Days at our Thusong Service Centres across the province. We remain firmly convinced that an informed citizenry is an empowered citizenry.
Complementing all this, Madam Speaker, we will roll out an Economic Opportunities Roadshow with the aim of unlocking opportunities for the young and unemployed.
The Premier’s Public Liaison Hotline has to date handled 23 000 cases. More than 1 200 of those were written correspondence. Also, of all the calls logged, 65.56% are resolved at the call centre, while 16.29% have to be escalated to provincial departments and municipalities or agencies for resolutions. This will remain an important instrument for interacting with the public. In the year ahead we will focus on working with municipalities to improve their response rates.
I am pleased to say that the work of the GPG, for the most part, is proceeding quite smoothly. However, the Office of the Premier has decided that a couple of areas of work require special attention in the 2012/13 financial year to ensure that we meet our mandates through to 2014. I will highlight a few of these areas in turn.
As the political nerve centre, we will ensure that the provincial government is better positioned to deliver on its infrastructure commitments. We will further strengthen systems to ensure more effective maintenance; better multi-year infrastructure planning; and delivery spending in line with allocated budgets. The Gauteng Planning Commission and Gauteng Treasury will play a particular role in this regard, including close monitoring of infrastructure spending and delivery and making the necessary interventions to unblock delivery obstacles. Attention is being given to improving the technical capacity, particularly in the Department of Infrastructure Development and in the Department of Roads and Transport.
Given its strategic importance in the province, we will pay close attention to economic development initiatives, particularly economic infrastructure and job creation. This includes potentially catalytic provincial flagship projects to stimulate growth and crowd in investment in the knowledge economy and ICT sector, transport and logistics and in the Green Economy. Key projects in this regard include the Nasrec Smart City initiative, the G-link ICT project, transport and logistics hubs, the Aerotropolis project and the national KZN to Gauteng freight corridor.
Through a range of interventions, we have made steady progress in stabilising the situation in the Gauteng Department of Health. A turnaround strategy has been developed which will see further improvements going forward. The provincial budget allocations have ensured a substantial reduction in accruals and the payment of service providers. In the year ahead, further attention will be paid to putting in place systems to ensure more effective budgeting, revised procurement delegations, the payment of suppliers on time and further cost containment measures.
We will continue to closely monitor the supply of essential medicines and will pay particular attention to improving the efficiency of our Medical Supplies Depots (MSD). Other key priorities which will receive attention include appointments in critical posts as well as more effective infrastructure planning, delivery and maintenance and litigation management.
Whilst we have achieved major milestones, we can begin to acknowledge that our hard work and perseverance are paying off and we can certainly look forward to a more functional health department going forward.
Working with the Gauteng Treasury, the Office of the Premier has identified the need for effective financial management across all departments of the GPG with the aim of achieving spending in line with priorities; payment to service providers within 30 days and achieving clean audits across the board.
The budget for the 2012/13 financial year is R236,734 million in comparison with R228, 742 million in the last financial year. These resources will play a key role in ensuring that the priorities of the Office of the Premier as well as the key focus are effectively implemented. We look forward to working with the members of this esteemed House to assist us in our journey so that the lives of all our people are improved.
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