Gauteng SOPA

Gauteng SOPA: Four problems OUTA has with Premier Makhura’s speech

OUTA believe Premier Makhura’s SOPA offered nothing new and were unhappy with the lack of actionable solutions offered to challenges facing the province.

Gauteng SOPA

The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has added their dissenting voice to that of former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga in condemning Premier David Makhura’s Gauteng state of the province address (SOPA).

Plan to make a plan

Just like Msimanga, OUTA were left unimpressed by the lack of actionable solutions. He instead listed well-known problems within the province and gave the relevant executive council member 100 days to come up with a plan of action.

“Gauteng Premier Makhura has called for more than a dozen plans or reports to be produced in the next 100 days, but OUTA would like to see action instead,” the organisation said in a statement.

“The problems the Premier has outlined have been with us for years. OUTA wants to see solutions being implemented, not the subject of yet more plans.”

Gauteng SOPA fails to take on municipalities

The topic of the performance of municipalities was an interesting one because Makhura used the time to praise the Democratic Alliance for how they ran the Western Cape. However, he did not detail any plans to emulate what they had done, or even how he hoped to fix Gauteng.

“Gauteng municipalities have underspent on repairs and maintenance by about R65 billion over the past ten years, with devastating impact on municipal infrastructure and leaving this work increasingly unaffordable. However, we have seen exorbitant increases in remuneration costs over the same period,” OUTA’s statement continued.

They also took issue with the Premier giving the finance MEC 100 days to investigate the financial viability of municipalities in the province when the recently-released Auditor-General report shows full well the state of local government in the province.

“Why does the Premier need yet another report on this? Where are the existing reports on progress and implementation?”

Nothing new on e-tolls

Towards the end of his address, Premier Makhura stated that plans to scrap e-tolling in Gauteng were on track and even promised that Gauteng would cover some of the debt owed if necessary.

However, OUTA believes this is nothing more than lip service.

“We need to hear the Premier place Government under more pressure in this regard,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO.

“The Premier’s call is a repeat of the same comments made for the past few years now, yet the scheme limps on and forces unnecessary costs onto the 20% of motorists who continue to pay under duress.”

No action on corruption

The Premier promised to stamp corruption out of the province, but again OUTA were put off by the lack of any meaningful insight on how this might happen.

“We welcome the Premier’s promise to clean up corrupt departments and that all outstanding cases will be concluded this term. However, we haven’t seen enough action on this.

“OUTA believes there is enough evidence of wrongdoing against a number of individuals, yet these people have not been taken to task, dismissed or charged for their conduct. We would like to see some serious action in this regard.”