Statement by Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize at the opening of Provincial Legislature
11 Jun 2009
Colleagues in the executive
Honourable members of the Legislature
Members of the diplomatic corps
Ladies and gentlemen
Bayede! wena weNdlovu!
It is an honour and a privilege for this legislature and executive of our province to receive Isilo SamaBandla on the official opening of the Legislature.
Ours is to stand united and celebrate with the people of this province that on this day the King presides over this important function. The opening of the legislature takes place at the time when the entire nation is looking up to the leaders of this country to lead.
The economic crisis which has affected countries across the globe is threatening to reverse the gains we have made as the nation. The poorest of the poor have been hardest hit by this crisis. Unfortunately they have nobody else to turn to except their government. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to be with His Majesty today Silo Samabandla! You have inspired us with your innovative ideas and most importantly, the candid message from you today has given us courage to deal with challenges before us.
The general consensus is that our vision as government is derived from the ideas we have heard from you over the past years. Today, once again you have demonstrated leadership. Hlanga Lezwe! Indeed we stand at the edge of a major paradigm shift in our approach to dealing with issues of service delivery.
We welcome your vision that embraces inter-sectoral partnerships and puts more emphasis on developing our communities to do things for themselves. This approach will not only create sustainable communities but will strengthen our democracy in which people participate in the improvement of their own lives.
No doubt, a strategic partnership between government, the private sector and civil society has become an imperative and it is the only tool that will enable us to halve poverty by 2014 and to achieve targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
Quite critically, the recent rise in food prices is putting pressure on us to find innovative ways of fighting hunger and to ensure food security.
As government we believe this crisis offers a window of opportunity to increase investments in agriculture and to empower communities to be self-sufficient.
We are humbled that Isilo Sama-Bandla and the Royal Household have offered to be at the forefront of government’s programme of action aimed at fast tracking development especially in rural areas. We will make use of this generous offer as the government and we thank Isilo for it.
The uneven distribution of income and wealth is another challenge that this government is preparing to tackle heads on. Income inequality poses a major constraint to economic growth and is a serious threat to social cohesion.
Next week, we will present the State of the Province Address and will clearly spell out what this government intends to do to lay the foundation of a robust economic growth.
Our vision is to build a society that is truly united, non-racial and democratic. Central to this is a single and integrated economy that benefits all.
As I conclude, madam speaker, I want to assure His Majesty that the new cabinet will work as a collectively and consistently to change KwaZulu-Natal to become the leading province in terms of its economic development and the quality of the lives of all its citizens.
Unwele Olude Silo Samabandla
I thank you
Issued by: Office of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
11 June 2009
Source: Office of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government (http://www.kwazulunatal.gov.za)
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
11 Jun 2009
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