Makhura made the remarks at the provincial legislature while delivering a political report on the performance of the Gauteng government.
He said his government was enjoying a problem-free working relationship with all municipalities, including the DA-controlled Midvaal local municipality.
“Honourable members of EFF, I cannot call you fighters. I acknowledge your presence on the ground. We will meet you there (on the ground),” said Makhura.
His utterances invoked loud cheers from the public gallery while three EFF MPLs, who were seated in front of him, nodded their heads in agreement and murmured.
Makhura’s praise for the EFF comes less than a month after he publicly urged the movement to shoulder the responsibility for the chaos that broke out in Nellmapius, east of Pretoria, where residents had illegally occupied a piece of land.
Friday (December 5) marked 198 days since Makhura was sworn in as premier.
He said the achievements of his administration included handing over 1 200 housing units to the residents of Bekkersdal and Westonaria last weekend.
“We shall continue over the next two weeks to hand over houses to their rightful beneficiaries in different areas. This is to ensure that they spend Christmas under conditions that reaffirm their human dignity,” he added.
Bekkersdal residents are notoriously known for violent protests over service delivery.
Protests in the area broke out sporadically since last year and marred the ANC’s May 7 elections campaign.
Makhura’s predecessor Nomvula Mokonyane, who is now Water and Sanitation Minister, was banned by the residents of Bekkersdal from visiting the area after she said the ANC did not need their “dirty votes.”
Speaking at a media briefing after addressing the legislature, Makhura called on opposition political parties to help him deal with the government officials who were underspending their budgets meant for service delivery.
He said parties needed not to worry about the prospect of losing votes for making interventions.