State of the Province Address delivered by the Premier of Limpopo province Mr Cassel Mathale to the First Session of the Fourth Democratic Legislature, Polokwane, Peter Mokaba Stadium
11 Jun 2009
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Members of the Legislature and National Council of Provinces (NCOP)
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Judge President of North and South Gauteng Judge Bernard Ngoepe
Judge G N K Hetisani
Executive Mayors and Mayors of local municipalities
Commissioner of Police
Directors-General and Heads of Departments
Leaders of opposition parties
Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders
Our esteemed Majesties and Your Royal Highnesses here present
Former MPs and MPLs
Provincial Secretary of the ANC comrade Joe Maswanganyi
Stalwarts and veterans of our struggle
Leadership of Chapter 9 and 10 Institutions
Leadership of various religious formations
Leadership of business and labour
Youth, women, community leaders and media representatives
Comrades, ladies and gentlemen
The people of Limpopo
The year 2009 will go down in the calendar of our revolution as one that saw the renewal of our freedom. The April 22nd elections proved once again that the overwhelming majority of the people of this country cherish living in a free and democratic society. Democracy for many South Africans, is no longer just a mirage or a dream, but has turned into becoming a way of life.
We practice democracy not only during elections, but even as we go about our daily chores. The culture of democracy permeates in every corner of our land. There is democracy in our schools and there is democracy in our religious formations, we practice democracy in our meetings and always respect its outcomes. Even the most traditional of our rural communities today run their business along democratic values and principles. The power of democracy reverberates throughout our workplaces, and can be felt even in our homes.
On 22 April, millions of people went to the polls to exercise their democratic right to vote for a government of their choice. 85% of our people in the province gave the African National Congress the mandate to continue to change their lives for the better. We want to thank you for your support. The fact that we went in our numbers to go and exercise this right, is prove enough that democracy is indeed well and alive in our country. By merely exercising this right, we have reaffirmed once again that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.
The results of the April 22nd general elections proved that the African National Congress (ANC) government carries the hopes and aspirations of most people. The results also proved that the ANC will continue for many more years to lead our people.
Your decision to return the African National Congress government into power once again, shows that you’re content with the strides that we have made in the last 15 years. It also shows that you are confident that we shall do more and better to lead our people in the next five years.
Your actions have affirmed the vision of the Freedom Charter when it says that: “No government can justly claim authority to rule, unless it is based on the will of all the people.”
People of Limpopo!
Today’s gathering is yet another indicator that this government is based on the will of the people. We decided to hold these proceedings in the Peter Mokaba stadium because we believe in an interactive government. We do not just want to talk about unity and cohesion, when it is convenient but we want to exemplify it. Our gathering here today is a sign that we hold this ideal in high esteem, and are prepared to make sacrifices for it if needs be.
This government does not just want to talk about the people when there are elections but, we want to be with the people and to serve their needs. We belong to the people, and stand on the foundation laid by you.
Therefore, nothing we do should ever separate us from yourselves. Whatever the challenges we face, we want to make you part and parcel of our decisions. This government is ready to serve you! Our ears are ready to listen because we understand your goals and empathise with your problems. We want to learn from you, and benefit from your views. In short, we believe that your views are our vision. This spirit of openness, oneness and togetherness will continue into the future, as we plan to introduce like President Jacob Zuma has done, a toll free line in the Office of the Premier, which all members of the public will use to hold accountable, those of us who have been elected to serve.
Honourable speaker and fellow compatriots, It is now my honour to welcome you all to this sitting of the First session of the Fourth Legislature of Limpopo.
Gathered in this stadium, are the diverse people of our province we have the youth, women, workers, learners, professionals, the unemployed, church leaders, artists, business people, traditional leaders, trade unionists and sports people, amongst others. On behalf of the government, I wish to extend our gratitude to all of you, for working hard to mobilise our people to take part in our recent elections. Your abiding confidence and support to our constitutional democracy is something that we will always cherish.
Your actions have produced a democratic government that not only cares for the people, but one that also listens. The elections have also produced for the first time a national cabinet with no less than four serving ministers who come from our province. We thank the President for honouring this province with the appointment of Honourable Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Honourable Dr Aaron Motsoaledi Minister of Health, Honourable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Minister International Relations and Co-operation, Honourable Richard Baloyi, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Honourable Dr Joe Phaahla, Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, and Honourable Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister of Water and Environment. We also applaud the deployment of Honourable M J Mahlangu as Chairperson of the NCOP and Honourable Dr Mathole Motshekga as Chief Whip of the National Assembly. We congratulate all of these comrades on their deployment and trust that they will carry out the mandate bestowed upon them by the people of South Africa.
Their appointment is yet another indicator that Limpopo is endowed with talent and leadership. We have never run short of leaders. Even during the days of the struggle we produced many tried and tested soldiers who left indelible footprints in the history of this country. I wish to evoke here the spirit and memories of outstanding sons and daughters of this province of the calibre of such dedicated giants as Sefako Makgatho, Alpheus Malivha, Mark Shope, Peter Nchabeleng, Lawrence Phokanoka, Flag Boshielo, Uriah Maleka, Peter Mokaba, Ephraim Mogale, Bachana Mokoena, France Mohlala, Ngoako Ramalepe, Sophie Mogotlane, Shadrack Mafokoane, Fawcert Mathebe, Norman Mashabane, Josephine Moshobane, Thembi Skosana, Tracy Malatjie, Maxwell Mulaudzi and many more.
Because of their tireless work in defence of our people, it is the duty of all of us to ensure that these leaders forever remain on the roll of honour of our struggle. We will always remember them and emulate their shining example in everything that we do. Their lives and death will remain a beacon of hope for the living, and all those who love freedom and democracy.
Honourable speaker, I deem it fit to express our deepest condolences on the recent passing of Koko Moloko Temo from Mohodi in the Capricorn District. Koko Temo passed on last Wednesday at the age of 135. At that age she was known to have been one of the oldest persons alive both here in South Africa and probably in the World. We are proud to have shared this province of Limpopo with her, and pray that her soul rests in peace.
Her life story must teach our people that it is indeed possible to live long, if we maintain a healthy lifestyle.
We meet here today at a time when the country is faced with the reality of a global economic meltdown. We are part of the Global village hence we will be impacted upon economically by this global phenomenon as a country and a province in particular.
We will have to learn to live within our means and to fully exploit all the opportunities that come with this setback. We recommit ourselves to remain optimistic and persistent even when the times will be harder. We will refuse to give in, even when the odds are stacked against us.
If we truly desire a better life, we must remain focused on our goal to ensure that, this country does indeed become a better place to live in both for ourselves and our grand children. The African National Congress has laid out a dream which all of us must strive to achieve. In order to succeed in implementing this dream, we need to focus on the ball, and avoid the distractions that could sabotage our success.
As the President has already said, our economic stimulus package will mainly focus on the roll out of infrastructure. We are fortunate that we are hosting the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup games and are already geared up in the mood of spending on infrastructure. Apart from public sector infrastructure investment projects that we have initiated, the province will mitigate the impact of the economic meltdown by prioritising amongst others:
* Skills development and training
* Exploit mining, agriculture and tourism opportunities
* Intensification of the roll out of EPWP projects
* Distribution of food parcels to the needy
* Continuation and an increase in the roll out of social grants
* Immediate filling up of vacant government posts
* Focus on job creation
* Influencing consumer behaviour
* Introduction on new “green” employment opportunities and
* Recognising items that drive costs within each department.
This is a moment of renewal. It is time to give meaning and purpose to our hard won liberties. Nothing can ever deter us from the commitment we have made, to do more and better for our people. The freedoms we have struggled for have to be defended, protected and advanced.
They should never be reduced to empty slogans without meaning. From now on, we commit ourselves to use our renewed energies for the bettering of education, health, the fight against crime, provision of decent work opportunities, and the development of rural communities. We also commit ourselves to implement the pronouncements made by the President together with the priorities contained in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).
We are currently reviewing the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) in order for it to reflect the objectives of the Medium Term Strategic Framework, and the new priorities of our government. In order to align the responsibilities of the new ministries in Provincial government, we are setting up a Task Team in the Office of the Premier. The task team shall look into the issues of responsibilities of departments and their possible renaming. It will further lead the assessment of the capacity of the provincial administration to deliver on the mandates as well as identification of competency gaps of our public service.
In an attempt to enhance capacity of planning and coordination for both municipalities and departments, we are going to strengthen the planning unit in the Premier’s Office.
We are also reconfiguring the provincial Executive Council clusters to reflect the needs of our priorities in the next five years. The new clusters are: social cluster, economic cluster, security cluster, infrastructure cluster, and governance and administration cluster.
Honourable Speaker, there is a lot to be done and we cannot waste anymore days before we implement our vision. The elections have come and gone, and it is now time for implementation. The dreams and hopes of all the people of this province are on our hands and must be fulfilled. As President Zuma has instructed, “there is no place for complacency, no place for cynicism, no place for laziness and no place for excuses.
Everything we do, must contribute in a direct and meaningful way to the improvement of the lives of our people”.
Our future starts today! The time for procrastination has passed! We have to revitalise a new culture of doing a job today, and finish it, today and not tomorrow! We want to put it clear that we shall not tolerate government officials who return unspent money back to the fiscus, only because they failed to plan. As the President has instructed, “there must be no wastage, no rollovers every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully”.
We know historically that government has suffered from this challenge and now is the time to correct it.
Just as we worked hard together to destroy the system of apartheid, we are now called upon to isolate those wicked elements amongst us, who care little about the delivery of services to our people. We cannot for a day allow the dreams of our people to be deferred, only because there are a few amongst us who owe loyalty to themselves and not to the people. Let us cleanse ourselves from these bad habits, and use every opportunity given to us to build a Limpopo province of our dreams. In the same breath, let me also applaud those hardworking public servants who walk an extra mile in order to provide quality services to our people. Let us all support them as they continue to pursue this noble course.
Allow me to present a programme of action on the mission we have been assigned to carry out in the next five years. We have said that our new mandate represents both continuity and change hence we are building on the strong foundation laid in the past 15 years. Some of the things we will carry over emanating from the 15 year review process, include the establishment of the skills development and growth funds, recruitment and retention of specialised skills, improvement of management of anticorruption initiatives, province wide bulk water and sewer system infrastructure, and investment promotion projects.
Our special priority projects for the next five years will include the establishment of specialised schools in each district, which will focus on technical and agricultural skills, the roll out of hospital revitalisation programmes, the upgrading of sewer systems, the development of information society through the rollout of the broadband infrastructure network, and the creation of no less than 5 000 public service job opportunities.
The provincial economy is doing well and has been quite resilient in the face of the raging global economic meltdown. Compared to the rest of the country, Limpopo is the only province where unemployment went down by 3.6% in the first quarter of 2009, as reported by Statistics South Africa.
Alongside Gauteng and the Western Cape, we are also counted amongst the provinces whose economies grew by 3.8% above the national average of 3.6% between 1996 and 2007. We regard this as an encouraging development which the province can only build on into the future.
Notwithstanding this positive outlook, our greatest challenge in the labour market remains the poor rate of labour absorption and the low rate of labour force participation.
Provision of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods:
MTSF Priority one: Speeding up economic growth and transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods
We have said in our manifesto that the provision of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods is at the heart of our endeavours to fight poverty.
The objective of creating decent work opportunities, and the building of sustainable livelihoods comes from the bold injunction contained in the Freedom Charter that: The People shall Share in the country’s wealth!
Mining, tourism and agriculture remain the cornerstone of our economy in the province with the potential to stimulate economic growth and development. Along with these pillars of the provincial economy, seven industrial clusters have been identified to propel job creation and economic growth. The focus of these clusters is on horticulture, meat, forestry, coal, energy, logistics and petrochemicals, platinum and tourism. In the past years, these clusters have generated R31 billion investments inflow into the province. Within the petrochemical industry Sasol is going to do a massive investment in the energy sector Eskom is busy with the construction of a new power station, etc.
Limpopo is one of the second biggest mining hubs in South Africa. The contribution of mining activities over the past years has helped to generate wealth and to uplift the standards of many of our people. However, we are aware of sporadic conflicts between various mining communities and mining houses, especially in places such as Motlhothlo in the Waterberg District. Our view is that these disputes have to be addressed in the interest of both the communities and the mines. As the Freedom Charter says, “the mineral wealth beneath our soil remains the heritage of our people. The provisions of the Mining Petroleum Resources Development Act have to be enforced to ensure that our people benefit from the mineral wealth that lies beneath our soil. Together with the Department of Mining, we will continue to engage with the parties involved to find lasting solutions that will benefit both the mines and communities involved.
Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME) represent by far the biggest sources of empowerment for many of our people. As part of measures to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods, we shall ensure that 30% of our total procurement budget is used to procure goods from small micro and medium enterprises. This will be done in such a way that the youth, women and the disabled benefit.
As part of measures to accelerate Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) in the mining industry, we are pleased to report that LimDev will be disposing off 30% of its shareholding in ASA Metals.
This is a move which is aimed at empowering the historically disadvantaged people of Limpopo to enter the mining industry. Suitably qualified bidders will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the acquisition of 30% of the shareholding in ASA Metals during the course of this year. This will also benefit the local community.
Tourism remains an important creator of jobs and an earner of foreign currency. The business wing of Limpopo Tourism and Parks Limpopo Wildlife Resorts (LWR) is engaged in the programme of upgrading and revamping recreational facilities and lodges in the provincial nature reserves. This will offer our communities and visitors to the province competent facilities that are accessible and affordable. So far, the upgrading programme has seen 12 provincial reserve facilities upgraded including Nylsvlei international site. For the first time in the province, we have seen the launch of the first cable car initiative at the Euphoria Tourism operations in Mookgopong. This has resulted into a total investment of R20 million in the industry. We are confident that this investment will attract more tourists into our province.
As part of measures to enhance transformation in the tourism industry and to ensure equitable redistribution of tourism opportunities we are committed to make sure that 15% of the tourism industry in the province, lend in the hands of the Previously Disadvantaged Individuals (PDIs) at least by the end of this financial year.
For the past five years, Limpopo has been one of the biggest contenders of national awards in the tourism industry. Our Guest Houses and Lodges have often come out top in these awards. It is for this reason why we welcome the intention by the Limpopo Tourism and Parks to stage Provincial Tourism Industry Awards as from next year in order to encourage competitiveness. This will be good news for tourism in the province as we prepare ourselves to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup games and beyond. In this regard, I’m privileged to recognise three resorts from Limpopo which managed to scoop the AA awards at the 2009 national Tourism Indaba in Durban early this year. The winners of this prize are Forever Resorts Swadini in Hoedspruit, Victoria Place Guest House in Polokwane, and the Nedile Lodge at Welgevonden Private Game Reserve. We would like to congratulate these establishments for doing the province proud in this competition.
Education: MTSF Priority two: Strengthen our skills and human resource base
It is time for black learners to be taught quality education in real schools. As part of measures to reduce over-crowding and improve teaching and learning in schools, the following has been done in respect to infrastructure.
We have built four new state of the art schools which were opened two months ago by former President Kgalema Motlanthe. Another eight are currently being built and will all be finished and opened by the end of this year. All these schools shall have a modern computer centre, a modern laboratory, a home economics centre (for high schools), a modern book library, state of the art biology laboratory (for high schools), state of the art toy library (for primary schools), a nutrition centre (for primary schools), modern classrooms and a 1 000 capacity school hall. What this development tells us is that, the days of black children conducting experiments through imagination are soon to pass.
Over and above state of the art schools, we will rebuild 188 dilapidated schools, upgrade 51 schools and reconstruct 102 storm damaged schools as part of school infrastructure planning and delivery. We will also increase the number of learners to be transported to schools from 12 506 to 15 000.
We will eliminate sanitation backlog at 268 schools and provide 274 schools with water by 2010. 109 schools will also be equipped with electricity. We will provide 3,200 public schools with computers and further train learners in computer literacy. We shall accelerate Information Technology (IT) connectivity to 30 circuit offices and provide 1, 500 schools with e-mail facility.
As part of measures to fast track human development from the cradle to the grave, training and development of early childhood practitioners will be prioritised. We have already trained 3 047 practitioners and the target now is to train 394 who will teach Grade R. We will further increase the number of Grade R learners from 2649 to 110 000 by 2010 in 2 546 schools. Consistent with our programme to gradually introduce free education, we will ensure that 71% of all schools in lower quintiles are declared no fee schools. We currently have 2 832 schools out of 4 015 which are no free schools. This intervention will go a long way to increase access to public schooling for the majority of learners coming from poorer households.
In the next five years, we shall give attention to continuous professional development for both educators and school principals. The development of educators will cover significantly the area of national curriculum statement implementation. This will be complemented by the training of 1 652 school principals in curriculum management. We will also ensure that the issue of temporary teachers is attended to.
As part of our mandate to enhance the quality of learning and teaching, we will progressively expand the school nutrition programme to include high school learners in poorer areas. 218 351 learners in quintile 1 high schools will be provided with nutrition for 195 days. This in turn will serve to enhance the concentration levels in the classroom and improve learner achievement. We will also expand the Dinaledi schools programme beyond the current band of 50, in order to ensure that more schools prioritise maths and science. Already, we are proud that the province has increased the number of schools which qualified for club 100 schools status, from one school in 2007 to four schools in 2008. We are confident that the direction we are taking, especially in mathematics and science shall help us create a culture of achievement and improve learner outcomes in all our schools.
In the next five years we shall also seek to reduce the burden of illiteracy through the enrolment of more learners on the ABET programme in line with the President’s target of 50% by 2014. Our plan is to add 45 new Adult Basic Education and Training (Abet) centres and increase the number of enrolment by 4 000 in 2010.
Already 666 Abet centres are operational and 36 344 learners were registered at the beginning of this year.
Health: MTSF Priority three: Improve the health profile of the nation
The wellness and the health of our people remain one of the key priorities of this government in the next five years. Although notable progress has been registered in the building of clinics and access to primary health care, at lot still needs to be done to guarantee the quality of our services. During this financial year we shall improve access to primary health care service by increasing the number of clinics providing 24 hour service from the current 74% to 86%. In order to improve and expand our programme on immunisation coverage we shall strive to achieve the target of 90% by the end of this financial year. The baseline for immunisation coverage is currently sitting at 83%.
Our province is one of those plagued by a serious challenge of availability of medicines and qualified health care professionals. The current ratio of nurses and doctors per patients leaves much to be desired and needs to be drastically improved. As part of measures to deal with this challenge, government will recruit new professionals and spend more on bursaries.
The purpose is to retain existing skills and to add the numbers of health professionals in the province.
HIV/AIDS continues to be a challenge in our society. However, we are encouraged to learn that the prevalence rate for women attending antenatal clinics in public health institutions in 2007 has shown a significant decline in the province since 2004. The Sero-prevalence rate amongst pregnant women decreased from 20.7% in 2006 to 18.5% in 2007 below the national prevalence rate of 28%. Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) sites also increased from 47 in 2007/08 to 64 in the 2008/09 financial year. The number of patients benefiting from ARV treatment has increased from 17 019 to 43 025 as of March this year. Notwithstanding the low prevalence rate we will continue to provide ARVs until those who need it can have access. Our message remains that, every one of us must adhere to the ABC prevention message i.e. Abstinence, Being faithful to one’s partner, and the use of condom.
Amongst some of the initiatives we will embark upon this financial year, include the strengthening of the management of tuberculosis (TB) by increasing the cure rate to 68% from the current rate of 61%. We will also extend the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) unit from 50 to 90 beds and refurbish existing TB wards. As part of measures to expand and improve tertiary health services in the province, we are pleased to learn that our Department of Health and Social Development has established a new Cardiothoracic Unit at Pietersburg Hospital. This unit conducted its 1st successful heart surgery in January this year.
Rural Development, Land Reform, Food Security and Agrarian Change: MTSF Priority four: Comprehensive Rural Development linked to land and Agrarian reform and food security
One of the mandates given to us by the electorate relate to the question of rural development. Our vision is to see sustainable and vibrant rural communities with all the amenities which are necessary to support the quality of life in a rural area. An ideal rural community must have economic opportunities, it must have access to roads, access to water, electricity, irrigation systems, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems, shopping malls, schools, Abet centres, libraries, clinic, community halls and sports facilities. It is a fact that many of our rural villages today do not have many of these amenities.
There are lessons we have learned out of the campaign on waar room against poverty in Ga-Kgatla village in the Blouberg municipality which is a typical example of a poverty-stricken rural community. Our visit at Ga-Kgatla village last year made us aware of the serious backlogs which the people had to live under. Last year, the village had no electricity but today as we speak the situation looks different. We are proud honourable speaker to say that Eskom has started a process of electrifying the entire village and there is hope that many other services will be delivered soon.
This is a clear example of what can be done to fight rural poverty and underdevelopment. Although a lot still needs to be done in the area, we are confident that this is the way to go if we have to make a difference in the lives of rural communities. In collaboration with the private sector, we will further focus on the revitilisation of rural towns which are linked to the ten provincial growth points. Already we are building and relocating most of our district municipal offices in these towns so that we maintain their sustainability and future development.
As the President has said, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is piloting its first national project at Muyexe village in Greater Giyani Municipality. The project is aimed at developing a model of a comprehensive and integrated rural community. The intention is to replicate the lessons and successes of this model to all villages throughout the country. So far, the pilot has caught the attention of the country and brought to the surface untold poverty which many rural people experience on a daily basis. The depth of poverty at Muyexe and in many other villages across our province reflects the extent to which rural people as a group were condemned by successive apartheid regimes.
One of the lessons we are learning from the Muyexe pilot is that, rural development cannot be imposed on the people. It will have to start with the people if it is ever going to make an impact on their lives.
As part of measures to boost food security, we will embark on agrarian reform with a view to support subsistence food production. We will also expand the role and productivity of modern small-holder farming and maintain a vibrant and competitive agricultural sector. 21 projects will be assisted with irrigation infrastructure development as part of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP). The Revitilisation of Small Irrigations Schemes (RESIS) programme will be accelerated to benefit 423 farmers. Already 216 farmers have benefited from this project.
We will further develop 24 micro enterprise projects in order to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty through the implementation of anti-poverty strategy.
In support of the strategy for the white meat cluster, eight poultry houses with the capacity to incubate 40 000 chickens will be put in place by the end of this financial year. Four of these are in Sekhukhune district i.e. one in Makhuduthamaga and three in Elias Motsoaledi Municipalities. One of the key aims of our integrated red meat programme is to promote the breeding of indigenous livestock through the provision of breeding stock and infrastructure support. So far 33 bulls have already been distributed to emerging farmers and we shall have by the end of the year 230 cows distributed.
Government has initiated the Mechanisation Revolving Credit Access Scheme (MERECAS) in order to ensure that emerging farmers in the province acquire appropriate farming mechanisation. Last year, we assisted 94 farmers with the purchase of new tractors and other implements. The programme will continue this year and our target is to benefit 38 farmers through the scheme.
We will continue to deploy both human and material resources to ensure that arable land becomes productive. Our major plan for 2009/10 is to improve the technical skills of scientists and extension officers in order for them to be of better service to farmers. Partnerships will be forged with other role players for this to be a success. Working together with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform we will expedite land redistribution and restitution programmes.
Fighting Crime and corruption: MTSF five: Intensify the fight against crime and corruption
In order to fight crime and uproot corrupt practices in our province, government is strengthening efforts aimed at coordinating the Criminal Justice System. As part of this effort, we shall re-establish the Provincial Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster and implement the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy. Our criminal justice and security cluster will be boosted by the establishment of a new Limpopo High court to be built here in Polokwane.
Renewed efforts to fight crime will see the introduction of street committees, safer schools campaign and community safety forums. The Rural Safety Plan will be implemented and made visible in rural areas. We urge every citizen to participate in these forums in order to make a difference in the fight against crime.
We will not allow public trust in our government to be eroded by few corrupt public officials. Media reports that there are those in the public service who have corrupt dealings with the state are being followed up to ascertain whether there is any breach of government laws and code of good practice.
We are ready to punish anyone found to have abused the state, for either private or personal gain. Businesspeople who corrupt public officials through bribes will also be caught soon and shown the full the wrath of the law. Members of the community must use the toll-free line that we are setting up in the Office of the Premier to report fraud and other corrupt activities. Corruption is a dangerous cancer which eats on the fabric of society and must be stopped. This government is prepared to spare neither limb nor life to get to the bottom of this challenge which threatens our moral regeneration efforts.
MTSF Priority six: Massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure
As the President has said, government will roll out massive infrastructure over the next five years to stimulate growth and development in the economy. We have completed the spatial development framework which identifies growth points where the bulk of economic activities are taking place.
Linked to these growth points is the urgent need to invest on our transport and logistics infrastructure in order to support the scale of economic activities that is already taking place in these towns. The R33 (Modimolle to Lephalale) and R37 (Polokwane to Burgersfort) roads have been identified as important networks with huge potential of enhancing economic productivity in the province, especially in the mining industry. Engagements have been held with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), and we are happy that R33 will soon be proclaimed into a national road. The work to reseal R37 from Polokwane to Olifantsriver will also be undertaken. Other key logistical developments include the terminal building in Polokwane International Airport which is 99% complete. By the end of this financial year, we shall ensure that it becomes 100% complete and fully operational. We are finally pleased that the Regional Mall of the North in Polokwane is being constructed to the tune of R1.5 billion.
It is envisaged that the mall shall generate about 1 500 permanent jobs and close to 1 500 temporary jobs upon completion.
Water provision, sanitation, and electricity remain some of the key challenges facing the people of our province. Although a lot has been achieved, a lot still needs to be done to ensure that we achieve the household supply of 83% water and electricity by 2010, and 5% for sanitation. With regard to water provision, we find it completely unacceptable that people are without drinking water whilst many of the dams are full. The situation in Giyani is particularly worrisome and something will have to be done urgently to provide relief to members of the community. We are closely watching this situation and are constantly in discussions with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs to help salvage the problem.
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is at the centre of efforts to fight poverty and create decent work. One of the historical realities about our country is that the legacy of the past has prevented many of our people from acquiring requisite skills and opportunities to effectively participate in the economy. The EPWP is one of several government strategies aimed at the provision of additional work opportunities coupled with training. It is a programme that is aimed at bridging the gap between the growing economy and the large numbers of unskilled and unemployed people who have yet to fully enjoy the benefits of economic development. It builds on the expansion of government infrastructure projects and the roll out of social programmes.
As the President has indicated, the country has already reached the goal of one million job opportunities by last year which is a year earlier, than envisaged in the 2004 electoral mandate. Of this one million, the Limpopo Province contributed 144,472 work opportunities which translate to 14.4% of the national target. Of this number, 43,253 of people were trained in technical and life skills, whilst about 21,120 entrepreneurial firms were trained under the EPWP learnership programme. Of the people employed, 41% were women, 34% youth and 1% were people with disabilities.
As a build up from the first phase, we have launched two months ago, the second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme with a national goal of creating 4.5 million decent work opportunities or two million full time jobs.
Limpopo’s set target in EPWP Phase two will be to create 496 402 work opportunities or 248,000 full time jobs in the next five years. This will translate to 12% of the national target. In order to meet the 500 000 national job target set by the President for 2009, the province will work hard to create 10 000 job opportunities by the end of December this year. Some of these jobs will come through the filling of vacancies after the rationalisation of SMS posts.
As a way of motivating state owned enterprises to create more jobs, additional funding through an established incentive scheme will be made available to those which exceed their set targets.
It is my earnest hope that all state owned enterprises will redouble their
efforts to ensure the achievement of targets in order to realise the national
Government procurement policies and other public incentives will not undermine the need to promote decent work. We will support in particular labour intensive methods, and the buying of local goods as well as public private partnerships. Exploitation of workers by contractors shall not be tolerated. We will also blacklist contractors who will be found to have done shoddy work or have not paid workers. Once again we shall encourage and support the participation of more co-operatives in order to ensure that a greater number of women, youth and people with disability benefit from government procurement.
The launch of the national youth service programme by the new National Youth Development Agency will go a long way to enlist the majority of our young people into the world of work.
MTSF Priority seven: Build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities
We have now developed the Provincial Growth Points Implementation Plan to bolster sustainable human settlement patterns. This is part of the new mandate to build human settlements, and not just houses.
As part of the new mandate of national government, we will prioritise the implementation of residential Integrated Programme, rural Housing programme, farm worker Housing, hostel redevelopment (community residential housing), informal settlement upgrading programme, completion of incomplete projects, transfer of houses formerly owned by the state, and the provision of housing for Military Veterans.
We are mindful of the fact that building sustainable human settlements shall remain a challenge, unless we also prioritise the cohesion of our people. This is not only a challenge for government, but for every stakeholder in society. In our attempt to carry out this mandate, we must seek to integrate Ubuntu principles into every sphere of public policy so as to comprehensively correct the distortions and imbalances of the past, not only in our heritage landscape but also in our social, economic and industrial relations.
MTSF Priority eight: Sustainable Resource Management and Use
Climate change is a new threat on a global scale which poses enormous challenge to both humanity and the immediate environment. In support of measures to reduce greenhouse emissions and unsustainable environmental practices, we will seek to diversify our energy sources by turning more towards renewable forms of energy. The province shall monitor the implementation of the energy optimisation plan by striving towards the reduction of 10% electricity consumption by 2010.
We appeal to communities, business and other players to act responsibly by saving energy both as collectives and in their individual capacity.
MTSF Priority nine: Pursuing African Advancement and Enhanced International Co-operation
As part of the mandate to build a better world and a better Africa, the provincial government will continue to maintain friendly ties with other provinces in other countries. The intention will be to promote trade, investment and social relations between and amongst countries, especially on the African continent. The existing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) that we have with provinces in other countries shall be fully implemented through packaged projects in line with the provincial international relations plan.
MTSF Priority ten: Building a developmental state including improvement of public services and strengthening democratic institutions.
As part of measures to promote financial management and good governance in the provincial administration, targets have been set for reducing by half the number of audit qualifications of all departments. In municipalities, we will seek to reduce by 26% the number of unqualified audits. In addition to these measures, we shall also implement the risk and anti-fraud and corruption strategies to deal with cases of maladministration and abuse of public resources. In order to improve the capacity and efficacy of the state we will pilot and roll out the province wide monitoring and evaluation system (PWM&ES).
In line with the set national equity targets, we will increase the number of women Senior Management Service (SMS) members by 50% and maintain the 2% target for SMS members with disability. This will go a long way to change the demographics of gender and disability in our public administration system as required by the Constitution.
In the few days from now, South Africa will be hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup. This is a moment for South Africans to be proud of as we host the world on our shores. The FIFA Confederation Cup will serve as a great rehearsal for the big spectacle which is the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup games. On behalf of government and the people of Limpopo, I urge you to show your patriotism by doing the best you can to support our national team Bafana Bafana.
We expect you to do the same next year in June, from the 13th to the 24th when our province will be hosting four international games at the new Peter Mokaba sports complex. These 2010 Soccer World Tournament must give us an opportunity to showcase the best that Limpopo can offer to the world.
We must use these games to show the world that we are better hosts than any of the countries that ever hosted this world soccer spectacle.
I have no doubt that you will show your hospitality to the guests in the best
way you can.
Lastly, I wish to thank members of my staff and the entire provincial administration for their unwavering support.
This is a moment of renewal! The time to act is now! Working Together We Can Do More
Long Live Limpopo!
I thank you
Issued by: Office of the Premier, Limpopo Provincial Government
11 June 2009
Source: Office of the Premier, Limpopo Provincial Government (http://www.limpopo.gov.za)
Issued by: Limpopo Provincial Government
11 Jun 2009
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