Johannesburg — Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has committed to creating jobs and accelerating service delivery over the next five years.
Ms Mokonyane said her province, which is regarded as the economic hub of the country, had a big responsibility of ensuring that more quality jobs and more people benefit from the economic development.
The premier was delivering her maiden State of the Province Address at the historical Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kiptown on Tuesday.
She said the provincial government's five-year plan would usher in an era of accelerated change and heightened service delivery to the people.
"We promised our people that we will always act in the best interest of our society. In this instance, we must spend government time and money on real service delivery issues and not intentions," she said.
Ms Mokonyane said infrastructure development was a pillar holding up the province's job creation plans.
According to the Premier, Gauteng will place special attention on building transport and community facilities such as clinics, schools, community centres and public transport routes.
She said the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) would be used to ensure that social grant recipient, especially young mothers, were provided with skills and jobs.
Education and training will also come under the spotlight of the provincial government.
"A strong public education system is at the heart of government's mandate and is the foundation of our province's future prosperity," she said.
The premier promised that several interventions, including supporting schools through infrastructure and school safety programmes and social support, would be implemented to ensure that schools reflect the future of the province.
Ms Mokonyane told residents who braved the cold Johannesburg weather that the provincial government will also focus on improving the standard of healthcare "to prevent our people from getting sick from avoidable diseases."
"We also intend to reduce the rate of new HIV and AIDS infections by 50 percent by 2011. Gauteng will also intensify its public awareness campaigns around the HI virus pandemic.
"We are developing a public service that is responsive, sensitive and committed," she said.
The first female Premier of Gauteng said the province had identified seven strategic priorities which will drive its work over the term of office.
These include creating decent work and building a growing, inclusive economy; promoting quality education and skills development; providing better health care for all; simulating rural development and food security; intensifying the fight against crime and corruption; and building cohesive and sustainable communities; and strengthening the development state and good governance.