Gauteng SOPA: Elephant in room is EWC – Anton Alberts

FF Plus says expropriation without compensation lies at heart of question of whether province and SA will ultimately collapse

Gauteng SOPA: The elephant in the room is expropriation without compensation

25 February 2020 

Today with his State of the Province Address (SOPA), Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, announced various plans to address the problems with the economy, crime and social issues, but unfortunately, he failed to indicate what steps his government will take to put people's minds at ease regarding expropriation without compensation.

Expropriation without compensation lies at the very heart of the question of whether Gauteng and the rest of South Africa will ultimately collapse.

Although the provincial government cannot create national policy under ANC control, the Premier could still have indicated what his government is going to do to counteract its negative effects.

In the past, the Premier dared to take a strong stance against the national government about the e-toll issue, but he did not say a single word about Gauteng's position with regard to the policy of expropriation without compensation.

This proposed policy has already done great damage in certain sectors, like the property market, which was basically forced to come to a standstill. The Premier's silence on the matter is disconcerting and it will render all his plans to stimulate the economy null and void.

Apart from the concerns regarding policy uncertainty and property rights, another cause for concern is the provincial government's apparent inability to execute its own plans. Numerous departments are guilty of irregular expenditure as well as serious underspending.

Against this backdrop it becomes clear that even poorly developed plans cannot be executed. The blame for this shortcoming can be placed at the door of appointments made based on Affirmative Action (AA) instead of merit.

Service delivery will continue to deteriorate year after year until the ANC realises that cadre deployment is a fatal employment model for any government administration system.

The FF Plus is also disappointed that there is still no clarity regarding the future of the e-toll system. This illegal system is contributing to the uncertainty that is damaging the province's economy and, thus, the decision must be made to abolish it.

The FF Plus, however, suspects that the system will remain in place and that only certain categories of road users will be exempt from payment. Last year in response to a question posed by the FF Plus in the Legislature, the Premier said that businesses might possibly still be forced to pay e-toll.

Although it will exempt ordinary road users, the pressure that this arrangement will put on businesses and the economy is worrying. Ultimately, there is no other solution but to totally abolish the e-toll system.

The plan to build a hundred extra schools is positive and the FF Plus will keep a close eye on the Department to see if it carries out the plan. Seeing as Afrikaans public schools make up a mere 6% of the total number of schools in Gauteng, there is hope that MEC Panyaza Lesufi will now leave them in peace.

If the harassment of Afrikaans schools, however, continues the FF Plus will step up its campaign against Lesufi and his Department. The party will also insist on the enforcement of minority rights as enshrined in the international treaties that South African signed.

Issued by Anton Alberts, FF Plus national chairperson and MPL in Gauteng Legislature, 25 February 2020