Dear Comrade President,
Let us at the outset congratulate you on delivering one of the most well-thought-of State of the Nation Addresses. Your address was a clear demonstration that indeed you have your finger on the pulse when it comes to where we are as a nation and what is it we need to do to grow South Africa together.
We were particularly pleased when during your address you paid specific attention to the impact the cost of living is having on the poor and working-class citizens. Highlighting some of the measures your government will put in place to mitigate these comes as a huge relief to many living in Gauteng.
When, as the ANC in Gauteng, with our Alliance partners, various civil society formations and residents from all walks of life, we took part in the People’s March on 2 November 2018, we delivered a very clear message to your office on behalf of the people of Gauteng.
Our memorandum highlighted a number of factors impacting on the high cost of living.
The high cost of data not only leads to digital exclusion, but also puts pressure on emerging and small businesses. This pressure holds back the potential of the digital economy as a growth sector, an area that we have identified as a province to be a key driver for growth in the economy.
A critical area that has been raised is the inefficient, unreliable and unaffordable public transport system, especially the regular interruption of train services. This has jeopardised the already precarious employment position of many and is costly to the economy.
Last, we categorically stated that the impact of the VAT increase and the urban e-tolling system in our province has negatively affected those who travel in order to make ends meet or to make their contribution towards the growth of our country.
The aggregate impact of all the above is that costs are passed on to the middle strata, the working class and the poor, thus eroding their standard of living.
We welcome the fact that in response, the State of the Nation Address has gone an extra mile to address some of the issues raised when you stated that:
However, we are deeply disappointed that your speech said nothing about the scrapping of e-tolls. The e-tolls have not worked in our province and the overwhelming majority of Gauteng motorists continue to refuse to pay. This, coupled with regular increases in fuel costs, drives up the cost of doing business and disproportionately diminishes the disposable incomes of both middle-income and poor households.
At our recently held PEC Lekgotla, we committed to once again engage with you and affected government departments on the ideas and strategies we have developed on alternative funding and proposals for the payment of debt.
We remain determined to work with you Mr President, so that we can grow Gauteng and ultimately South Africa, together! DM
Jacob Khawe is Provincial Secretary, ANC Gauteng.
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.
So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.
"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology" ~ Edward Wilson