Speaker's notes for the MEC for Public Works Mr George Phadagi on behalf of Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale at the official launch of Ratakuwa Concrete Factory, Vhembe District
25 Sep 2009
Thovhele Gole Vho Mphaphuli
Khosi Vho Tshikalange
Executive Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Councillor Falaza
Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Legislature, and Councillors
Executives from ROCLA represented by Mr Danie Greef and Andrie Labuschagne
Leadership of MKMVA represented by Cde Muditambi
The people of Tshififi
Comrades, ladies and gentlemen
Modern economic activity is propelled by three key drivers which propel growth and development anywhere in the world. The three key drivers are manufacturing, distribution and consumers. Manufacturing is concerned with the conversion of raw materials into finished products or value added goods. Distribution will relate more to costs of transportation and logistics networks; whilst consumers will be the people like me or you who only buy what others have produced and distributed.
This project we are here to launch today belongs to the manufacturing sector, as it is concerned with the creation of finished products or value. Many of your will know that in order for pre-cast toilets and other concrete products to be produced, what we need first to have are innovative people with ideas about how best to meet the needs of the consumers. This is why we must commend the originators of this initiative for coming up with a unique and brilliant idea that will hopefully prove to be successful in meeting the diverse sanitation needs of our people.
Alongside mining, tourism and agriculture, manufacturing is one of the emerging areas in which our province enjoys competitive advantages on the supply side of the economy. For the country to industrialise and meet its obligations in the 21st century there can be no doubt that manufacturing will have to play an important role. In order for this to happen, all we need are individuals with vision, who see opportunities which others do not see. We also need to have individuals who are prepared to take risks and innovate with their ideas in order to create value of high quality.
An entrepreneurial Initiative such as these can strengthen our rural economic development programmes and help create long lasting jobs. This requires perseverance and hard-work on the part of those who are at the helm of this project. The Ratakuwa concrete factory has all the hallmarks of a successful model which can be replicated throughout the country. We can assure you of our government's undivided support and cooperation in seeing to it that this project does indeed become successful.
What we like most about this initiative is the fact that it is broad-based in nature and character. It is well located in a deep rural area where the demand for jobs is most high and therefore has the potential to make the necessary impact. As already indicated before, the partners and beneficiaries of this project are the former liberation struggle fighters a special constituency in our country that deserves not only to be honoured, but also to be cherished and respected in the best way possible, for they are the custodians of our country's liberation.
One is full of praise for ROCLA Pty Limited and their management for initiating this kind of partnership which can be a model for many other sectors to emulates .I do not doubt that this project does indeed qualify in every respect, to be called a strategic Community-Private-Partnership venture - because it has all characteristics of how communities should be empowered through Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE).
In support of business and community initiatives, the Department of Public Works as the custodian of government Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is ready and prepared to invest massively in infrastructure. We have already begun to spend on building roads, bulk-water services, sanitation, health and education infrastructure, as part wider measures to ease the burden of creating jobs on investors and to reduce the cost of doing business.
The demand for high value infrastructure in rural areas has become even more compelling now that our government has prioritised rural development as part of the electoral mandate. The ANC government wants to see all historically disadvantaged people empowered through job creation initiatives as well as SMME development. The nurturing of the SMME sector in our communities will in turn contribute to the nurturing of an entrepreneurial community which will help to make our economy grow.
I'm pleased to learn that the concrete products to be produced in this plant will meet both ISO 9001 and SABS standards. I do not doubt the fact that there will be demand for this product, not only in our province but throughout the country. Government departments and contractors who are part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) will certainly find these pre-cast toilets most relevant for the kind of projects they want to initiate or embark upon. I do not doubt the fact that they will find this product to be of high quality.
The success of this venture must send a message that poverty and underdevelopment is not a permanent feature of human development and therefore can be overcome. We look forward to vibrant partnerships between business, community and government in order to ensure that our communities truly benefit from Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBEE).
We are pleased that there will be more job opportunities that will obviously come with the establishment of this factory and other down stream industries such as transportation and logistics. With good marketing and branding of these products in the near future, we have got no doubt that there will be boundless opportunities awaiting many of our people.
However, I must indicate that, in the end, it will not be the size of this project that determines its success, but the quality and bravery of its leaders. It pains one's heart to realise that, there have been similar projects to these in the past, which have unfortunately gone down the drain. The reasons behind the collapse of these community ventures are many and vary. If one was to do a quick research of what led to the collapse of many of these projects, it will not take a rocket scientist to discover that poor leadership and management are attributed as some of the causes. The other challenges will obviously relate to the poor management of finances and inadequate marketing of the products.
Notwithstanding all these potential challenges, I'm confident that this project is in good hands and will certainly live up to the expectations of both our government and the community. Vhamusanda Vho Tshikalange and the people of
Tshififi can look forward to a day when Tshififi becomes a recognised capital of the manufacturing of concrete products throughout southern Africa.
Vho Thovhele Gole Vho Mphaphuli can be rest assured that the land he has donated to the Ratakuwa Concrete factory will be better used for development of Limpopo and its entire people. I wish this project well and hope that it will make the necessary difference to our people's lives.
Working together we can do more!
I thank you.
Issued by: Department of Public Works, Limpopo Provincial Government
25 September 2009
Source: Department of Public Works, Limpopo Provincial Government
Issued by: Limpopo Provincial Government
25 Sep 2009
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