Premier’s call to business community likely to fail

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC Infrastructure

Note: The following is an extract from a Member’s Statement delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature earlier today.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has requested the business sector to cooperate with the provincial government in making Gauteng a globally competitive city region with vibrant economic opportunities.

The Premier has undertaken to ramp up infrastructure spending in the hope that he can cushion reduced government budgets and stimulate the economy through the injection of infrastructure funding.

Someone should tell the Premier that hope is not a strategy.

The request from the Premier cannot be taken at face value, it is should rather be seen as duplicitous.

This is so because the Premier has appointed Lebogang Maile as MEC for Economic Development, a man who is hostile to established business – or what he calls “white monopoly capital”. MEC Maile claims that these monopolies must be broken down as they control the economy.

These are the very people to whom the Premier is now appealing for help.

In the context of increased infrastructure spending, the Premier has appointed an MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, that refuses to accept the reality that is the dysfunctional Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (DID)

DID cannot manage any project to a successful conclusion, within the allocated time nor can it work to budget.

Last year, the dysfunctional DID, out of a total budget of R2, 2 billion for construction, refurbishment and maintenance underspent by a whopping R643 million.

From a spend of R1, 6 billion on infrastructure last year to a promised spend of more than R10 billion per year in the next few years will prove to be a bridge too far.

The Premier needs to ensure that the uncertain, confusing and sometimes discordant message that his government puts out must be harmonised before the business community will take him seriously.