Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi delivered a State of the Province Address (SOPA) focused on taking firm action against the province’s most pressing challenges: crime, economic stagnation, and the deterioration of living conditions in townships and informal settlements.

    State of the Province Address: Fighting Crime as a Top Priority

    Premier Lesufi painted a grim picture of a province under siege by rampant crime. He acknowledged a breakdown of trust between citizens and law enforcement, emphasising the need for a strong response. The Premier stressed that fighting crime would be his administration’s “apex priority,” promising decisive action and commitment of resources to address the crisis.

    “We have broken the backbone of zama zamas in GP and all the soldiers have ensured all those zama zamas are displaced down there. I’m proud that almost 840 zama zamas have been arrested and deported and almost 2,000 miners have been removed from our region of Boksburg, Dobsonville, Kagiso, Khutsong, (and) Krugersdorp,” he said as reported by the SABC.

    Chaos at the Nasrec Expo Centre

    The proceedings were led by chaos from members of the public seeking to storm the Nasrec centre and the EFF demanding the removal of the crime wardens that were serving to bring order.  

    Ntombi Mekgwe, speaker of the Gauteng Legislature, vowed that they would investigate the cause of the disruption that caused the delay of the State of the Province Address.

    Economic Recovery and a Focus on Townships

    The Premier outlined a plan for economic revitalisation focusing on Gauteng’s townships. He vowed to invest in township economies, address the energy crisis, and enhance skills development, creating job opportunities for township residents.  Efforts targeting informal settlements also received attention, with promises to upgrade infrastructure and address housing concerns.

    “Talk Less, Do More” Approach

    Premier Lesufi highlighted a sense of disillusionment amongst Gauteng residents about government promises, pledging a “talk less, do more” approach. He emphasized that his administration would focus on showcasing tangible results for its initiatives.

    Additional Areas of Focus

    • Improved Health and Wellness: Investments in healthcare infrastructure and better addressing issues like HIV/AIDS.
    • Enhanced Service Delivery: Making government programs, services, and communications more efficient and accessible for residents.

    A Call for Unity and Action

    The Premier’s address urged citizens, businesses, and all levels of government to work together and take shared responsibility in addressing the province’s challenges.  He stressed that through cooperation and commitment, Gauteng’s potential could be unlocked.

    Related: Premier’s Lesufi’s Call to Action at a Nasi iSpani Youth Event.


    This article provides a summary and key takeaway from the Gauteng State of the Province Address. For specific details and the full speech transcript, please refer to official sources such as the Gauteng Provincial Legislature website or the South African government website