The FF Plus considers the plans that the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, put forward in his Gauteng State of the Province Address (SOPA) for 2023 to be icing on a rotten cake as they do not address the root causes of the province’s problems.
Against the backdrop of an economy that is already with its back against the wall, Lesufi announced plans that entail great expenditure of tax funds.
In addition, such expenditure would be inappropriate seeing as there are no plans for the economic development of the entire province in the context of Eskom’s inability to supply enough electricity to Gauteng.
It is clear that Lesufi’s plans are solely aimed at spending as much as it takes to save the ANC from a total implosion in the 2024 elections.
Lesufi started his address by focusing on an event that transpired during the Apartheid era before making promises of handing out sweets to voters.
It means that his approach to the 2024 elections will be the same as always, with a strong emphasis on race and false racial incidents – like the Jan Viljoen Hoërskool incident – to create a sense of emotional solidarity, and spending funds that he does not have in order to buy votes.
Lesufi announced plans for combating crime, township development and basic education, and then boasted some more about the scrapping of the e-toll system, which is ironically enough still active.
He conveniently failed to state how these projects will be funded.
His plans are, furthermore, crippled by the lack of a holistic economic plan that simultaneously addresses several the province’s problems.
Crime and social decay correlate strongly with, among other things, unemployment and poverty. If the economy can create job opportunities, people will not have to turn to crime to survive and many social ills born out of poverty will disappear.
Lesufi quite rightly focuses on developing township economies, something that the FF Plus has been advocating for a while now.
It will, however, be done to the exclusion of support to businesses in other areas, which are also bleeding due to the broken economy created by the ANC and the impact of the needlessly long lockdown that the ANC imposed.
It is clear that Lesufi is a Premier for certain communities, but not the entire province.
The Premier’s ideas to combat crime with technology, like face-recognition cameras and drones, are no more than a fantasy seeing as the criminal justice system is dysfunctional due to a weak police force and corruption.
The Premier also wants Gauteng to become a cash-less community to reduce crime.
It makes one wonder whether Lesufi has taken a leaf from China’s book, which has become a technocratical securocracy through electronic monitoring and cash-less systems.
That type of power in Lesufi’s hands sets alarm bells ringing and is another important reason to overthrow the ANC in Gauteng in 2024.
Lesufi’s notion for Gauteng to generate its own power is interesting and raises the question of whether it is not too little too late.
Eskom has already caused so much damage with load shedding that the roll out of the plan to spend R1,2 billion on new power projects will probably be hindered by the usual practices of corruption and poor service delivery.
In essence, Lesufi’s plans are seriously flawed.
The ANC in Gauteng is beyond redemption. Lesufi and the ANC must be replaced in 2024 by a coalition of parties with the FF Plus at its core.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Adv Anton Alberts on FF Plus