State of the Province Address 2014

State of the Province Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Mrs Sylvia Lucas, on 21 February 2014 at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley

The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
Former Premiers Mme Dipuo Peters and Mme  Hazel Jenkins
Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Our Esteemed Judge President and Members of the Judiciary
Heads of State Security Services;
Chairperson of SALGA, Mayors and Leaders in our system of Local Government;
Our Honoured Traditional Leaders and Veterans of our Liberation Struggle
Heads of State institutions supporting our constitutional democracy;
The Director General, Heads of Department and Leaders of the Public Service
Goodwill Ambassadors of the Northern Cape Province
Government Officials
Distinguished Guests
Fellow citizens of the Northern Cape
Ladies and Gentlemen


Good morning, molweni, dumelang, goeiemore.

INTRODUCTION

This auspicious and momentous occasion presents a wonderful opportunity to collectively reflect on the progress we have made over the past 20 years as the Northern Cape Province.

The Northern Cape, Ladies and Gentlemen, is indeed better off since our first democratic elections in 1994 and as we approach the landmark of two decades of freedom, the citizens of this great Province will recall the events leading up to 27 April 1994.

Our road to democracy was arduous and was achieved through the unflinching resolve and unyielding sacrifice of thousands of our compatriots.  Therefore, April 27 will also present us with an opportunity to reaffirm our dignity and pride as we celebrate our humanity.  The values of democracy and the freedom of our birth today will certainly continue for generations to come.

It is indeed a privilege to speak to the people of the Northern Cape on this glorious February morning, on the occasion of the last state of the Province address, in our fourth democratic administration under the custodianship of the Governing Party, the African National Congress, and under the leadership of our President, His Excellency Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekise Zuma.

In welcoming each and every one of you to this occasion, including the citizens through the length and breadth of our Home Province, who are listening on their radios, allow me to pay singular homage to our Founding President, Father of our Nation and Icon of our Struggle, His Excellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Tata, your star still shines bright and we take comfort in the knowledge that you are watching over us in your own special, fatherly way. Madiba’s passing, on the eve of the second decade of our liberation and democracy, was mourned with a deep sense of pain and sadness not only in our country, but also the world over.

Madiba will live forever in our hearts and we collectively have the responsibility of advancing his proud legacy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Northern Cape is a better place to live in. Under the leadership of the African National Congress, we have certainly laid a solid foundation.

Our Province has rapidly changed for the better over the last 20 years.  We have experienced higher income levels with more people being formally employed, with an improved roll-out of basic services and amenities, and increased levels of education.

As we celebrate 20 years of democracy and being confident of what we need to do in the next 20 years, everything we do will be anchored by the National Development Plan as a vision for all South Africans. We have an inclusive vision and plan for the future.

Just as the Freedom Charter was a roadmap to our liberation and the blueprint for our much acclaimed constitution, the National Development Plan is our roadmap for the years ahead.  In essence, the Plan outlines the type of society we are striving for in 2030 – where no one goes hungry, where everyone is able to go to school and further their studies, where work is available and opportunities abound, where everyone will be able to make a contribution because each person has been provided with what they need to reach their full potential.

Since 1994, the ANC- led government has been leading a vast process of change. We faced the challenges of building a new administration in the province; we have brought water, electricity, sanitation, housing and telephone services to thousands of people in the outlying areas of the province - in Mier, Spoegrivier, Lekkersing, Windsorton, Ritchie and Witbank. The building of houses has continued unabated. Health and education have become accessible to all.

BASIC SERVICES


The Northern Cape Provincial government and municipalities have done remarkably well in providing basic service delivery to our communities and the statistics, as reported by the provincial government, are as follows:

 

  • 177 482 which comprises 93.6 % the number of households with access to water.
  • 141 488 which comprises 82% of the number of households with access to electricity.
  • 160 000 which comprises 79.9% of the number of households   with access to sanitation services.
  • 91 232 which comprises 64% of the number of households with access to refuse removal services.


When we started building our democracy, we proclaimed to continue and accelerate the fight for change so as to ensure a better life for all. We acknowledge that notwithstanding these efforts, there are still challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty, which still confront our society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I reiterate, this African National Congress led Government has laid a solid foundation and the building process has begun.

All our efforts to bring about a better life for all have targeted mainly the poor and most vulnerable: those who suffered the most from the ravages of apartheid inequality.

It is only by overcoming the huge inequalities in our society that we shall be able to build a truly non-racial, non-sexist and a prosperous society wherein there would be no oppression by one person on another.

Together, we must learn life’s lessons from our advances, our problems and our mistakes and together find the right solutions. In this regard we are obliged to do the following:

  • Women must continue to act as catalysts of change in our society,
  • The Youth must use the opportunities created by our democracy to acquire the necessary skills to create a vibrant Northern Cape Province;
  • Workers must acknowledge the advances made in the areas of legislation to advance workers’ rights, their interests and aspirations;
  • The Business sector has an important role to play in creating a vibrant and growing economy;
  • The aged and frail are important sectors of our society and as such must be accorded the necessary care, compassion and attention;
  • The children are the future and flowers of our nation. They must be nurtured and cared for;  and
  • The differently- abled have been afforded their rightful status in society and must do work commensurate with their capabilities and skills.

 

Indeed the Northern Cape is a better place to live in. We have certainly laid a solid foundation.

 

Financial Governance

Mr Speaker, as the Northern Cape Provincial Administration, we remain committed to promoting transparency and accountability in financial management which is in line with national government’s priority of having a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient government system. In the past five years we have been able to stabilise the finances of government under difficult conditions without compromising service delivery. All these efforts are in line with our Clean Audit Strategy which is fundamentally aimed at ensuring that improvement on audit outcomes is attained without fail.

I am, Honourable Members, heartened and humbled by the achievements during the period under review.

It is with pride that I congratulate the Department of Social Development and the ZF Mgcawu District municipality for attaining clean audits for the 2012/13 financial year. The province has for the first time in many years, no disclaimer of opinion for provincial departments. This is indeed an indication that the province is moving in the right direction in terms of good governance and accountability.

As part of our cooperative governance responsibility, the Province will continue to strengthen intergovernmental relations through the Operation Clean Audit campaign by supporting those municipalities that have received disclaimers of opinion for the past five years.



ECONOMY

Mr Speaker, since 1994, Government has consistently worked on improving the lives of all South Africans and advancing their socio- economic situation. Economic programmes such as the New Growth Path and the massive Infrastructure Development Programme are creating an enabling environment for socio- economic development to flourish.

In concert with the task of growing the economy and creating new jobs, we have been hard at work to eradicate poverty, recognising that no person can be truly free until they have cast aside the shackles of poverty and under-development.

To create the required jobs for our people, we must continue to build an extensive support network for small businesses and co-operatives, promote broad-based black economic empowerment and invest in science and technology.



Provincial GDP

Mining and quarrying remains the biggest economic sector contributing 26.5% to the Provincial GDP. It is followed by general government services at 13.5% and finance, real estate and business services. With the enormous mining expansions in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, it is expected that mining will continue to be the biggest economic sector in the province.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the province contributes R33-billion to the national Gross domestic Product (GDP). Mining and agriculture currently comprise the province’s most important sectors, and are the main contributors to provincial production and employment. The province is a substantial contributor to South Africa’s total mineral wealth.

The last five years have seen unprecedented growth and development in the manganese and iron ore belt of our province with multi - billion rand investments being made, yet, inequality, poverty, unemployment and disease in the surrounding communities persist.

It has become our Government's priority to hold all the mining companies conducting Business in our Province to demonstrate a greater commitment towards contributing to skilling and employing a greater number of people from the communities in which they conduct business.

The Social Labour Plans should be complemented by direct investment aimed at growing the economies of the areas in which all the mines operate.

The Northern Cape is endowed with abundant mineral resources and as such must benefit the entire population of the province.

In addition, the Northern Cape Provincial Government, together with the Northern Cape Mining Association, signed a historic Mining Procurement Charter barely a month ago. It is envisaged that the procurement charter will radically alter the manner in which mining houses procure goods and services in the province.

By and large, the main focus in terms of procurement by mining houses in the Northern Cape will be to procure goods and services from within the province, thereby lending positive impetus to the provincial economy as a whole.

Indeed the Northern Cape is a better place to live in. We have certainly laid a solid foundation.

Moreover, it will promote local procurement to increase domestic production and the creation of decent jobs by ensuring that the mining industry buys its goods and services from local suppliers and support small enterprises and co-operatives within the parameters of broad-based black economic empowerment principles.

The province offers profitable investment opportunities in mineral and metal processing, agro- processing, fishing, mariculture, energy, tourism and the knowledge economy. Access to raw materials, affordable energy, and upgraded infrastructure are further compelling factors to attract investment to our Province.  Key investments entail the Square Kilometer Array, Gamagara Mining Corridor and the renewable energy sector.  Most encouraging is the fact that most of the conditions are already in place for competitive value-added processing in the Northern Cape and labour costs are among the most affordable in South Africa.



Renewable Energy

Both traditional and green energy must be expanded to ensure a platform for growth and social inclusion. We anticipate that the province will become the renewable energy hub for South Africa through the construction of large solar and wind power stations.

The fast growing renewable energy and green economy sector in the province concentrated, in the main, on solar energy and is expected to attract massive investments. This investment must be channelled properly to ensure well-planned execution of the development of the sector consistent with the Provincial Spatial Development Framework and the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy.

To this end, Ladies and Gentlemen the Provincial Renewable Energy Strategy has been developed to unlock our existing potential and position the Northern Cape to attract the maximum share of investment, both local and foreign.

In terms of the strategy, we are becoming a net producer of renewable energy to the rest of the country by 2020. The planned Solar Corridor stretching between ZF Mgcawu and the Pixley ka Seme regions, and the solar-themed special economic zone (SEZ) to the station in //Khara Hais Municipality is a manifestation of this.

The Renewable Energy Independent Producers Procurement Programme process directed by the Department of Energy has so far approved 31 projects for the province.

The projects will result in the creation of over 6502 jobs during the construction phase and a further 8736 permanent jobs. Expected direct investment amounts to R26, 4 billion which is the lion’s share at 78 percent of total investment for this bidding phase.

Indeed the Northern Cape is a better place to live in. We have certainly laid a solid foundation.

AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD SECURITY AND LAND REFORM

Mr Speaker, the Provincial Government views agricultural development as a key strategic intervention in the growth of our rural economy.

The comprehensive Agricultural Support programme and Ilima-Letsema Programmes were amongst the key interventions to provide the requisite support to smallholder and black commercial farmers for the production and marketing of produce, including value chain activities. To this end, R80, 578 million has been allocated in the 2013 financial year and will benefit 4500 farmers. Support includes infrastructure for primary and secondary production, training and capacity building of farmers, and research and marketing.

Ilima Letsema has been allocated R70 million with a special emphasis on assisting farmers to increase production by providing them with inputs, as well as the revitalisation of the Vaalharts irrigation scheme;

Ladies and Gentlemen since 2009 government has worked hard to institutionalise and programatise comprehensive rural development. This entailed the formulation of a provincial rural development strategy and the piloting of comprehensive rural development projects in Riemvasmaak. Comprehensive rural development is about changing the lives of people in rural communities, enabling them to take control of their destiny and enjoy the freedom and dignity promised by our constitution.

To this end, we are pleased to report that following the success of the Riemvasmaak project, CRDP has been rolled out to five more sites across all districts in the province. These areas have benefitted in terms of construction of infrastructure, including roads, clinics, electrification and schools; business enterprise development and general skills transfer.

The fight against food insecurity remains one of the core goals of our government. In an endeavor to intensify the fight against food insecurity, the Fetsa Tlala programme was launched with the aim of promoting food security and addressing structural causes of food insecurity. The coordination and implementation of this initiative has resulted in the establishment of 15 institutional, 8 community, and 138 household gardens. A positive outcome of the initiative is that the farmers in John Taolo Gaetsewe are selling their produce to Shoprite and Pick n Pay supermarkets.

In line with the 1000 hectares Maize Project, the Provincial Government identified and supported 17 smallholder farmers to plant approximately 1000 hectares of maize. The aim of this project is to support smallholder farmers to produce staple food crops as part of the national food security intervention programme in response to rising food prices. The Province managed to plant 954 hectares of the envisaged one thousand. The produce harvested will contribute towards the national target of reducing food insecurity at household level. Furthermore, this intervention created 101 temporary jobs and will continue in the next financial year.

One of the related themes emerging from the MTSF 2009-2014 is the need to stimulate agricultural production with a view to contribute to food security. The targets set by the provincial government was 3000 goats seed stock provided to 30 goat cooperatives by March 2010 and expansion of the Nguni initiative to 6 projects by December 2009, 12 by March 2011 and 40 by 2014.  In this respect major achievements include:

  • 60 cooperatives received starter-packs (medication, ear tag applicators and weighing scales.);
  • 31 cooperatives received seedstock. (3100 female goats + 93 buck to date);
  • 64 Nguni farms have been provided with  a total of 1500 Nguni cattle to date (each farm receives 2 bulls and 10 heifers);
  • 166 agricultural cooperatives were established ;
  • 571 small holder farmers have accessed and been linked to markets for various commodities;
  • 2 490 backyard gardens  were established;
  • 47 community food gardens were established;
  • 209 school gardens were  supported; and
  • 43 gardens were established at clinics and soup kitchens.



Flood Assistance Scheme

The flood assistance scheme is continuously implemented to repair the damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, protection walls, and soil conservation work, including sub surface drainage systems.

An amount of R279 million has already been spent by contractors and service providers on the repair of damaged infrastructure along the banks of the Orange River with an expected total expenditure of R420 million by the end of the year.

The works under repair included the upgrading of Blouputs, Southern Farms, Neilersdrift, Louisvale - Kenhardt and Marchand roads; and the repair of flood protection works on 226 farms and the design for water supply infrastructure, upgrading of roads and bridges and drainage systems for the Onseepkans, Eksteenskuil and Blocuso communities. In all, a total of 334 temporary jobs were created.



KEY TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS


Significant strides have been made in the development and maintenance of the identified key infrastructure, viz. the Belmont/ Douglas rail branch-line which is now in the final stages of upgrading in the second and final phase of the project.

Port Nolloth is being renovated in that the jetty and revetment are being reconstructed. Other projects taking place outside the Port Nolloth footprint relate to the renovation of the fishing factory and the reconstruction of the fishing jetties.

The De Aar Logistics Hub will be developed into a major Materials Supply Depot to serve as a supply and storage facility for Transnet of the rails and sleepers required during the upgrading of the railway line from Kimberley through De Aar to Ngqura.

In partnership with Transnet and Emthanjeni Municipality, we will launch the youth precinct initiative and the Wagon Maintenance Depot in De Aar in March this year

Infrastructure will be developed to unlock the manganese and iron ore mining reserves, create jobs in the province and strengthen links with the Western and Eastern Cape through mineral beneficiation.



Manufacturing:

The manufacturing sector has a tremendous potential for growth as there is an abundant supply of primary products from the mining and agriculture sectors. Given the abundance of relatively cheap land and transport infrastructure in the province, the Northern Cape is a haven for manufacturing investment.


Astronomy

The Province is home to an important scientific facility, namely the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT) located near Sutherland. This is the largest facility of its type in the southern hemisphere and one of the top 10 in the world. SALT allows astronomers to examine the scale and age of the universe, the life and death of stars and the earliest galaxies.

The SKA radio telescope will be the most powerful and sensitive ever built. The SKA telescope will consist of 3000 dishes with a collection area of 1 square kilometer. It will have the ability to pick up signals from cosmic events dating back to the ‘Big-Bang’ which occurred approximately 14 billion years ago. In view of the esteem we are held in, 80% of this development, was allocated to the Northern Cape Province.



EDUCATION

Honourable Members, education is at the heart of our government’s efforts to promote our skills and knowledge- based society. Education and training must be available to all, focussing on young children, students and adults. In giving effect to our goal of having a more skilled society, learner enrolment in ordinary schools increased from 267 749 in 2009 to 282 631 in 2013(5,5% increase)

The provincial government has continued to implement measures to ensure that the province’s overall matric pass rate improved significantly for 2013 and beyond. We congratulate the class of 2013 for their determination and commitment to exceptional academic achievement. Let us applaud them for their efforts to equip themselves with the requisite skills and knowledge.

Amongst others, Mr Speaker, the focus has been on the ongoing professional development of teachers with emphasis on content knowledge, teaching and assessment methodologies. There has been heightened monitoring of curriculum coverage and provision of onsite support to teachers, particularly those with high enrolments and which under- performed in the 2013 academic year.

Since the inception of this programme in 1998, 2445 under qualified teachers have improved their qualifications through the National Professional Diploma in Education through bursaries from the Department of Education. More than 600 maths and science teachers at primary and high schools have been trained to sharpen their teaching skills in these subjects. Over the past 20 years every teacher has been exposed to some form of teacher development Programme. 2476 teachers in 87 primary schools are currently in a “back to basics” training programme to improve numeracy, literacy, maths and language at primary school level. The focus has not only been on Grade 12 but across all grades.  HeyMath! Is a software programme for learning and teaching mathematics. The programme effectively contributes to the quality of instruction in mathematics and was implemented in 200 schools for schools with grades ranging from 4 to 12.

The steady improvement in the total number of Grade 12 learners who obtain a pass that qualify them to be eligible to study for bachelor’s degrees illustrates that not only is the Province’s overall Grade 12 results improving, but most importantly the quality of the pass rate is also encouraging.

The Provincial Government continues to invest massively in school infrastructure to ensure that learning and teaching takes place in a suitable environment. The Infrastructure Conditional Grant grew from R87 802m in 2009/10 financial year to R316 934m in the 2013/14 financial year. This has and continues to enable the province to progressively address the infrastructure backlogs, especially in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.

Honourable Speaker, we have a good story to tell.


The ANC- led Government has since 1994 up to 2013 built a total of 23 new public schools from scratch and two hostels for learner accommodation.  Key amongst this successful delivery was the building of a special school with hostels in Mothibistad in Kuruman. Through the Education Infrastructure Grant we also managed to build a total of 296 classrooms as additions to existing schools as and when they experienced increased learner numbers.  The current 2014/15 financial year will see the building of another  6 new public schools and in the outer-year of 2015/16 , and the building of a Mega – school with a mega hostel in Joe Morolong at estimated cost of R100m.

The province continues to register major strides regarding the expansion of access to Grade R in both ordinary public schools and community based sites.

Sol Plaatje University

The establishment of the Sol Plaatje University is a significant milestone for the expansion of knowledge and skills which will contribute towards a modern economy in the province. This is a first for our province and we are excited by the first intake of students this year.

The influx of learners and top academics from other provinces and neighbouring countries will also benefit the province enormously. The establishment of the Sol Plaatje University also presents enormous business and economic development opportunities. In the medium to long term, research output from the university stands to benefit not only the province but the country at large.

We are therefore pleased to announce that classes at the new Sol Plaatje University began on Monday this week.  The University opened its doors to the first 141 students who have enrolled for academic programmes in Education, Retail Management and Information Technology.

Indeed the Northern Cape is a better place to live in. We have certainly laid a solid foundation.


Student Funding

Honourable Speaker, as we all are aware, we are currently facing a tremendous challenge in attracting technical experts such as engineers, architects, quantity surveyors and town planners to our province. In an attempt to address this deficiency, the Northern Cape Premier’s Trust Fund has also assisted a number of disadvantaged students to acquire scarce skills and expertise to contribute towards growing a modern economy. The primary objective of the Trust is to make higher education opportunities available on a full time basis to young men and women of the Northern Cape who are academically deserving students but who do not have the financial means.  It is hoped that when students ultimately graduate, they will break the cycle of poverty in their families and change lives for all those around them for the better. We have recently received, with gratitude, sponsorship of R250 000 from the Mine Managers Association which helped almost 30 students with funding for their academic year.

From 2009 to 2013 seven hundred and sixty one (761) young men and women, from all five (5) regions and coming from all race groups were given opportunities to pursue their academic dreams in various institutions of higher learning in South-Africa.   R 61.4 million was transferred by the Office of the Premier to the Trust from 2009 to 2013.

As at the end of 2013, two hundred and twenty four (224) students had graduated and completed their higher learning qualifications. Of the students that completed their studies from 2009 to 2013, 62%, on average, were young women from the Northern Cape.

All the hard work of government will be in vain unless the provision of education remains a partnership between government and the people of the province. In this regard, we wish to appeal to all parents and communities to take an active interest in the education of their children. We also encourage big and small business to get involved in the provision of bursaries for our children.

We are pleased to report that the (Energy and Water SETA) EWSETA, has invested a massive R82 188 000.00 million for green skills development. This is certainly a milestone development that will bolster the scarce skills for these new industries.

Twenty students were enrolled to study at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein for the Higher Certificate in Renewable Energy Technologies. All of them met the minimum entry requirements set by the university. This is a brand new programme and constitutes fifty percent of the first intake.

I wish to take this opportunity once again to thank the EWSETA for their unmatched investment in the future of the youth of this province. Their commitment will position our youth to exploit the opportunities in their own towns and villages.



PUBLIC WORKS

Mr Speaker, our program to ensure we develop our road network to improve road safety and provide more access on a province-wide basis has gained momentum.

We have made significant strides in addressing the daunting challenges presented by inadequate and poor roads, as well as the lack of maintenance of infrastructure and public facilities. We have astutely allocated our resources, both financial and human, to maximise our efforts at addressing these challenges.

Mr Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have spent 100 percent of the total budget allocation for 2012/13 and we are on track to complete the 2013/14 allocation on road infrastructure. With the effective resealing program that we have implemented, we can say for the first time since the inception of democracy that the overall condition of our paved roads has improved.

In the 2013/14 financial year, through effective resource management we can, without equivocation, share the following achievements with this esteemed gathering:

  • Completion of a R130 million project to rehabilitate the Kuruman to Hotazel road in partnership with the surrounding mines;
  • Completion of the road between Vosburg and Carnavon;
  • Completion of the road between Hopetown and Douglas; and
  • Completion of 235 km of resealing of roads across the province



Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)


Through the massive Expanded Public Works programme (EPWP), the government has created many job opportunities for our people as well the transfer of valuable skills to ordinary citizens, the majority of whom were previously unemployed.

EPWP Performance against targets set for the Northern Cape indicate that the Provincial Government has achieved 90% of the target (by the end of year 4 (2009/10 – 2012/13) thus creating 65,424 work opportunities against a 4 year target of 72,450 work opportunities. The Department of Roads and Public Works is the highest contributor to this performance followed by the Departments of COGHSTA, Health and Education.

In contrast, Municipalities in the Northern Cape have collectively improved in their performance. They have managed to reach and exceed their targets in the past two financial years, thereby exceeding their 4 year target by creating 21, 492 work opportunities against a 4 year target of 20,276 work opportunities. This can be attributed to improved relations and cooperation from municipalities as well as the provision of technical support teams by the Department of Roads and Public Works as the EPWP coordinating Department in the Province.



Youth Development

Mr Speaker, More than half of all South Africans are under the age of 35, and young people comprise a disproportionate amount of the unemployed. Hence, we focus on special measures to ensure that our Provence’s youth have access to training, work experience, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

In the Province, the Youth development program named “The Phakamile Mabija Learnership Programme” has been established. This program seeks to address the ever diminishing number of artisan skills in our Province. This 24 month intense Program was initiated in 2009 as a means of closing the skills gap of unemployed youth in the Province. Instead of the traditional built environment skills, the program targeted the most sought after skills which the previously disadvantaged were not exposed to due to the high training costs. These skills included:

  • Boilermaking;
  • Fitting;
  • Fitting & Turning; and
  • Diesel Mechanics


The 1st phase of the program was successfully completed in October 2013 and saw the Province partnering with various stakeholders, even across Provincial borders, in order to secure the best learning opportunities in the fields I just outlined.

We have also secured on the job-training opportunities with the following Northern Cape based companies:

KEW Foundries;

B&C Engineering;

Sishen Mine (Kumba); and

De Beers Technical Training Campus

We continue to pay attention to developing our youth. The most critical aspect of our work with young people is to empower them and instil in them the spirit of patriotism and active citizenry.

The province has also launched the Youth Build project, a youth programme to equip young people with technical skills to participate in the housing delivery programme and make a difference in their communities. Further assistance is provided in the form of mentoring and equipping participants with the skills and resources to become entrepreneurs.

The Youth Build project is intended to harmonize academic achievement, work experience, social action, leadership development and personal transformation of youth that are between the ages of 14 – 35 years and who are out of school.

The National Youth Development Agency has committed R4 million towards the project.

A total of 100 unemployed and out of school youth from Northern Cape were afforded the  opportunity to build 100 low-cost houses at Phokwane Local Municipality in Jan Kemp Dorp, as part of the National Youth Development Agency’s YouthBuild Project.

The 100 youth have received training as part of the YouthBuild programme and the implementation of this project in the Northern Cape gives them an opportunity to put their acquired skills into practice.

Ladies and Gentlemen, through the empowering of our youth we can surely break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.  To this end, we established the Northern Cape Inter-Departmental Youth Development Forum consisting of all Departments, which is jointly chaired by the Department of Social Development and the National Youth Development Agency.

We will also continue to provide much needed portable skills to our young people to ensure that we put them on a path of self-sustainability.  R 4 420 million has been set aside to ensure we achieve this milestone.  To this end, 300 young people will benefit from the skills development programmes, ranging from learners and drivers licences to accredited technical skills.  A further 50 young people will benefit from our Youth Service Centres receiving a monthly stipend that will enable them to assist their families in ensuring that they do not go to bed on a hungry stomach.

The Northern Cape is indeed a better place to live in. We have certainly laid a solid foundation.

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT


The Mme Re Ka Thusa women’s Development trust was established with the main aim to alleviate poverty levels in Northern Cape. The trust was formed to assist previously disadvantaged women on economic empowerment initiatives throughout all five (5) Districts of the Province.  There were, however governance challenges in the trust for a few years thereby precluding the trust in terms of fully executing its noble mandate.

Now, the new board is fully operational with support staff in place to implement the strategy of the trust.

During 2013, under the auspices of the Trust, the Premier presided over five awareness summits in all five regions of the Province reaching out to 4 185 women.  After the awareness programs, thirty two (32) interest free loans had been granted to qualifying women and 35 women are being given business training which will culminate into grants for their business initiatives.

With the trust now fully operational, many more women will receive either grants or loans as R 12.7 million has been set aside for women empowerment over the next three years. To date, the fund has advanced loans worth R1 650 000 million to 33 women’s enterprises in the following sectors:

  • Fashion design;
  • Transportation;
  • Services & Hospitality; and
  • Contraction Arts and Culture.


The Trust is implementing a mandatory pre-financing training programme to enhance sustainability of women’s enterprises. To date, the fund has received more than 50 grant applications.

In August 2008, the National Department of Housing, the Provincial Department of Housing and Local Government and the Sol Plaatje Municipality hosted the Women’s Build programme. China Square, an informal settlement in Galeshewe was identified for the construction of 52 houses to commemorate and honour the women that marched to the Union Building 52 years ago. The houses were constructed by 22 women contractors.

In 2012, 15 women contractors were involved in the construction of 350 houses in the Lerato Park Integrated Project in Kimberley.

A Transport Awards ceremony is hosted annually to celebrate and honour women’s contribution in transforming the transport industry in the Province.

This event aims to encourage women to continue making a mark in the “male-dominated” transport industry.

The Women in Transport Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements of women in all modes of transport in our Province.

FIGHT AGAINST CRIME AND CORRUPTION

Mr Speaker, the fight against crime and corruption remains one of the top priorities of the Provincial Government. Crime and corruption dominates our media on a daily basis. We read about the horrific attacks on our women, children and elderly and we also need to deal with the bitter experiences of our friends, relatives and colleagues in relation to crime.

The main focus in the province is therefore on contact crimes and crimes against women and children. The response from government to address this violence against women and children includes a more effective criminal justice system, stricter law enforcement, re-integration programmes, and public education and awareness campaigns.

Furthermore, a Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy was also launched on 12 September 2013 in Kuruman. The strategy aims to ensure that all people in the Province are and feel safe and focuses on an integrated approach towards the prevention of crime at a local level.  Local Government, therefore, has a key role to play in mobilising all stakeholders, to establish integrated community safety networks and to lead the development of community safety plans in response to local crime trends and community safety challenges.

The facilitation and promotion of community safety through the establishment and maintenance of functional community safety structures are key to the approach of Government in ensuring a safe and secure Northern Cape Province. Fully functional Community Police Forums will build sound community/police relations in the fight against crime at the local level, and the establishment of Community Safety Forums at the municipal level will enhance intergovernmental co-operation on safety and security issues through a coordinated effort.

On the issue of corruption, which is euphemistically referred to as “white collar” crime, indeed government and the Executive Council, will combat this malpractice wherever it manifests itself, no matter who the perpetrator might be. A zero tolerance approach has been adopted as can be vouched for by the Provincial Government’s anti-corruption strategy.



ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE CONSERVATION


Honourable Members, Environment and Nature Conservation is responsible for ensuring that we care for our environment and preserve our rich natural resources for future generations. Environment and nature conservation continues to provide us with yet another avenue to confront the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. We have realised that our conservation efforts will be futile unless they are relevant to the people that we serve.

Greening the Northern Cape has really taken off. Led by the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation, almost 15 000 trees have been planted at schools, crèches and public facilities in the province over the past two financial years.  We are intent on changing the grey and drab appearance of especially our township areas.

The Department of Environment and Nature Conservation specifically focuses on the creation of green jobs through waste recycling, environmental cleaning and greening and infrastructure related projects.

The effective and efficient management of waste in the largest province of South Africa brings with it many unique challenges, but also affords us the opportunity of dealing with this situation in innovative ways. A provincial waste strategy will be finalized and launched in April 2014.

It is also our decided view that the management of waste affords the Northern Cape the opportunity of being a major creator of jobs.

As a province, our recycling programs are breaking new ground and have already created 58 permanent and 39 823 temporary work opportunities. No less than 675 893kg of waste has been diverted from landfill sites since 2012 to date, generating an income of R1 536 061 to community members. The province is identifying possible waste-to-energy projects that will create more job opportunities.

In addition, during the past five years the department has created more than  3 200 short term cleaning and greening jobs as part of its environmental EPWP programme.These jobs have largely targeted towns in need of rural poverty alleviation and have included Phillipstown, Merriman, Norvalspont, Nababeep, Petrusville, Postmasburg, Hope Town, Strydenberg, Griekwastad, Frazerburg, Williston, Sutherland, Grobblershoop and Niewoudtville.

For the past two years 1 502 work opportunities were created during the revitalization of facilities at the five DENC provincial nature reserves utilizing R174-m provided by the national Department of Environmental Affairs. These facilities will re-open to the public from 01 April 2014

The upgrade of these facilities give these pristine parks a major tourism facelift and are so constructed that the areas maintain their own specific charm, while vastly improving the somewhat rustic facilities.



TOURISM

Honourable Members, we have firmly established the Northern Cape as South Africa’s international extreme sport and adventure destination, thus positioning the province as a tourist destination in a most positive light. The Northern Cape stands to become one of the best-known extreme adventure and nature destinations in the world.Tourism is one sector that could challenge mining and agriculture as the most important in the province. The Northern Cape has always been known to be uniquely beautiful and offers travellers different but awe-inspiring experiences.

The two-day long national Tourist Guide conference, Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon, Aspen Trans Karoo mountain bike race, Barney Barnato Golf Week, Ghaap River Extreme, Kalahari Speedweek, Kalahari Desert Festival, Kalahari All-Tar Speed Week, Kimberley Diamond Cup Skateboarding Championship and the upcoming Bloodhound event are all manifestations of our commitment in establishing the Northern Cape as the extreme sport and adventure destination of South Africa.

The Northern Cape is growing in stature as a tourism investment destination. In recent years we have seen the re-development of the world’s famous Kimberley Open Mine Museum to the tune of R54 Million.

Not far from the museum precinct, a 4 star Protea Hotel was built and the 2500 seater Mittah Seperepere Conference and Convention Centre opened its doors in February 2012.

The Northern Cape also played host to the national soccer team of Uruguay during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

As part of our ongoing efforts to attract and promote investment to the Northern Cape, a ground breaking series entitled “A Nation at Work’’ is currently being televised every Thursday on SABC 2 at 10pm.

The Northern Cape is indeed a better place to live in. We have certainly built a solid foundation.



HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Mr Speaker, the dream of a better life for our people can never be realized without a roof over their heads.

We will ensure that all the people of the Northern Cape have access to adequate human settlements and quality living conditions through programmes such as integrated and sustainable human settlements, thereby providing basic services and infrastructure in existing informal settlements. The blueprint of our constitutional democracy, the Freedom Charter, states that all people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security. To this end, unused housing space will be made available to deserving people.

From 1994 onwards large spaces of land have disappeared under cement bricks and steel as a result of the government’s low cost housing development programme.

Since 1994, the provincial government has built 62 592 houses. During this period, 17 633 sites were serviced and 16 917 sites were planned and surveyed. In addition, 1 321 houses were rectified.

Furthermore the transfer of land ownership, giving people an asset which they can use as leverage to access other financial sources and through providing security of tenure, the department provided homeowners with title deeds.  Since 1994 over 47269 title deeds were handed to beneficiaries.

We have completed the construction of the first phase of 491 fully subsidised housing units in the 2013/14 financial year for the Lerato Park housing development.

There are 192 middle income housing sites available for development for beneficiaries who qualify for the Finance Linked Subsidy.

Once again, the Department will continue with phase 2 of Lerato Park for the provision of internal services for 800 sites in the 2014/15 financial year.

The Lerato Park development caters for multiple land uses and would encourage the development of commercial and institutional sites.

The Northern Cape, during the last year, has made good progress with the implementation of several bulk water supply projects aimed at attaining our developmental goals.  In this regard I wish to highlight a few projects: which are as follows

  • The Namakwa Bulk Water Supply Scheme which is being implemented at an estimated cost of around R 500 million;
  • The R 210 million Heuningvlei Bulk Water Supply Scheme in JTG which will not only improve access to water supply in several rural villages for domestic use, but also water for stock watering purposes; and
  • The Colesberg Bulk Water Supply Scheme at a cost of R 124 million which is fast nearing completion.
  • The Colesberg Waste Water Treatment Works was launched recently in Colesberg to address the water scarcity in the area.
  • The improvement of the quality of water in Magareng was also initiated by the Department of Water Affairs .


I am also pleased to announce that a further R 304 million will be made available to address water supply infrastructure needs in the Northern Cape during the next financial year.

In his State of the Nation Address President Jacob Zuma made the commitment that and I quote: “Government has begun an intensive programme to eliminate the bucket system as part of restoring the dignity of our people’. This Presidential initiative has seen R62 million being set aside for the total eradication of the bucket system of which Britstown will benefit immediately.



HEALTH

Mr Speaker, much progress has been recorded through the expansion of free primary health care, the expansion of health infrastructure, including the building and upgrading of clinics and new hospitals, with several hospitals having been revitalised or refurbished. There has been an increase to access for medication particularly Anti-Retrovirals Treatment to those plagued with HIV and AIDS.

We must continue to provide quality health care to our people. We will fast-track the delivery of health services by vigorously reducing the time patients have to wait to receive services and medication. The government will also ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines and other goods needed in hospitals for patient care.

We need to intensify the campaign against HIV and AIDS to ensure expanded enrolment in the anti-retroviral programme. Also, chronic medication must be available and delivered closer to where patients live.



Emergency Medical Service

The province-wide management of the Emergency Medical Service has been strengthened by the appointment of appropriately qualified EMS Managers in each District, reporting to a provincial EMS management team led by a qualified EMS Director.



New Regional Hospital in Upington

For many years Gordonia Hospital in Upington was offering a combination of district hospital services with very limited regional hospital services to the local community. It was supported by outreach tertiary and secondary services from Kimberley Hospital. As the population of the area has increased there has been a concomitant demand for regional services.

The new Dr Harry Surtie hospital in Upington is the only Regional Hospital in the province and will service the western half of the Northern Cape. As such, it will receive referrals from District Hospitals located in Springbok, Calvinia and Kakamas, as well as some referrals from Postmasburg. Kimberley Hospital is both the tertiary hospital for the whole province, as well as providing regional (level 2) hospital services to the eastern half of the province

Mr Speaker and the citizens of the Northern Cape In the past ten years the Provincial Government has delivered six (6) major hospitals and 22 clinics: Namely;

  • 2004
    Manne Dipico Hospital (Colesburg)
  • 2005
    Abraham Esau Hospital (Calvinia)
  • 2007
    Joe Slovo Community Health (Garies)
  • 2008
    Prof. ZK Matthews (Barkly West)
  • 2010
    Upgrading of the 2 boilers and 5 lifts at Kimberley Hospital
    Refurbishment of laundry equipment at Kimberley Hospital
  • 2013
    Dr Harry Surtjie Hospital


Over the same period, the following public clinics were delivered

  • 2006
    MaDoyle (Recreation) Clinic
    James Letsoalo (Phutanang) Clinic
    Prieska Clinic
    Petrusville Clinic
  • 2007
    Eurekaville Clinic
    Kwazamoxolo  / Nanqo Simon Zono  Clinic
  • 2009
    Olifantshoek Clinic
    Dibeng Clinic
    Douglas clinic
    Platfontein Clinic
    Phillipstown Clinic
    De Aar Clinic
    Groblershoop Clinic (maternity unit)
  • 2010
    Hartswater Clinic
    Hondeklipbaai clinic
    Pampierstad clinic
  • 2011
    Mapoteng Clinic
    Riemvasmaak
    Grootmier
    Novalspont Clinic
  • 2012
    Gamopedi Clinic

 

  • 2014
    Deurham Clinic



HIV and AIDS


Consistent with the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB (2012 – 2016), the goals for the Northern Cape Provincial Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB are to;

  • Reduce new HIV infections by at least 50% by amongst others, using combination prevention approaches;
  • Increase access to comprehensive HCT packages  so that HCT coverage in the population is at least 50%;
  • To ensure that 100% of men and women aged have access to condoms by 2019;
  • To distribute 28 million male condoms and 400 000 female condoms by 2019; and
  • Initiate at least 80% of eligible patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART), with 70% alive and on treatment five years after initiation on ART.


Mandela/Castro Medical Programme


Mr Speaker, as a result of a partnership fostered by former late President Mr Mandela and El Commandante Fidel Castro, former President of Cuba, we continue to send students, chosen from disadvantaged backgrounds, to Cuba to study medicine. In November 2013, we sent 10 students as part of the national scholarship to Cuba to study medicine. I had the pleasure of bidding farewell to the 34 students that left for Cuba on the 27 January 2014. There are 7 students who are currently in Cuba, in their final year, and would complete their medical studies in July this year. There are currently 113 students studying in Cuba.

We have also 6 students, currently at South African Universities, who will be graduating in June this year. Since the start of the programme, we have produced 18 medical doctors who are rendering services throughout the province.



Training of 200 Auxillary Nurses

Our province is faced with the challenge of attracting medical personnel, especially for the far-flung and rural areas of our province. As a strategy to obviate this challenge, we will train 200 auxillary nurses, drawn from all the regions in the Northern Cape. After completion, they will serve the communities they originate from.


National Health Insurance (NHI)


  • The Pixley Ka Seme region is one of the eleven national pilot regions for the implementation of NHI. The reports from the newly established Office of Standard Compliance for health show that, indeed, health care as a public commodity is accessible to all our people. We have now appointed a Project Manager for the implementation of NHI. All our 5 districts have appointed fully functional District Clinical Specialist Teams whose mandate will to be to ensure that confidence is brought back to our clinics.


SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE

Honourable Speaker, we will continue to promote the province as a sporting province, capable of nurturing and polishing its talent for the retention or creation of sports professionals capable of competing equally with the best in the world.

Through the 2010 FIFA LEGACY Projects, we have ensured that the provision of sport facilities in poorer communities receives priority. The 2010 World Cup has also left a proud legacy that continues to benefit our children and communities.

We also had a special focus on the History of the Liberation Struggle in the Northern Cape. Pursuant to this challenging project, we have managed to publish two books during the past financial year, namely:

  • “The Struggle for Liberation and Freedom in the Northern Cape”; and
  • “The ANC in the Northern Cape from 1912 – 1994:  An Easy-to-Read Introduction”.


Honourable Speaker, our flagship programme, “Honouring Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle”, has continued to contribute to the transformation of our provincial heritage landscape. During the past financial year, we all witnessed the historic return of the mortal remains of the San couple, Mr and Mrs Klaas and Trooi Pienaar, from Vienna, Austria in April 2012. Their reburial took place in Kuruman on 12 August 2012, in a dignified ceremony graced by President Jacob Zuma.

We have continued our programme to recognize the contributions of young people through the erection of tombstones in honour of the deceased heroes and heroines of the Liberation Struggle. We have also continued to deepen awareness of our Liberation Struggle through Memorial Lectures as the platform for commemorative days during the 2012/13 financial year.

The Mayibuye Centre in Galeshewe is continuing to grow and thus far has registered 329 students in Music, Dance, Crafts and Drama. The demand is growing by the day and the centre has embarked on outreach programmes to various schools. Nine groups were assisted with rehearsal space.

We are pleased to announce that we are in the process of establishing multi-purpose sports centres in the following towns:

  • Jan Kempdorp (Frances Baard)
  • Postmasburg (ZF Mgcawu)
  • Griekwastad (Pixley Ka Seme)
  • Port Nolloth C Namakwa)
  • Cassel ( Jon Taolo Gaetsewe)


The intention of the multi[ purpose sports centres is to not only promote social cohesion, but will also offer communities, especially young people, an attractive diversion from the ills of society, e.g. Crime, drug abuse, etc.



SOCIAL SERVICES

Ladies and Gentlemen, through our social development efforts, we have done much to improve the living conditions of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Our Social Development Department is tasked with the responsibility to tackle the daily challenges afflicting the most poor and vulnerable in our society. Clearly the war against-poverty campaign is part of government’s overall attempt to improve the livelihood of our people in general. We have, through the Balelapa programme, profiled and identified the poorest households as well as intervened to make a meaningful difference in their livelihoods and provided opportunities to sustain themselves. The Balelapa project was launched in May 2010 with the ultimate aim of ensuring that poor households are provided with an integrated basket of services and development support, including access to education, nutrition, free basic services, and economic empowerment opportunities.

The key to eliminating poverty and reducing inequality is the investment in people especially the young. Therefore, in doing this, supporting household change agents is critical in breaking the cycle of poverty, especially those identified in the household profiles.

In acknowledgement of the acute poverty that prevails in the Province, social grants are the main source of household income for 23.7% of Northern Cape households and the proportion of Northern Cape people benefitting from social grants increased significantly in the province, especially given the expansion of the child support grant up to the age 18 during this term.

This programme has recorded significant progress in all the wards and has proven to have made a meaningful difference in the daily struggles of our people.

On the issue of substance abuse, the province has redoubled its efforts to effectively deal with the rampant abuse of drugs and substances which are destroying the lives of our youth.

A total number of 631 awareness programmes were implemented reaching 89 000 beneficiaries providing life skills to children, youth and adults to make informed decisions on the use of drugs and substances.

We are also vigorously implementing The Ke – Moja, “No thanks I’m fine without drugs” school based programme. The Provincial Substance Abuse Strategy has also been launched to tackle the scourge of drug abuse.

We also provide treatment services to children and women affected by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and in this regard we entered into a partnership with an organisation called Foetal Alcohol Related Research (FARR).

The partnership is aimed at providing educational programmes on (FAS) targeting women of child-bearing age on the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Since 2009, a total number of 3125 women engaged in this programme in De Aar. In this regard, the research conducted has confirmed a decrease of 30% of FAS disorders in De Aar and this is the very first decrease recorded worldwide.

Indeed the Northern Cape is a better place to live in. We have certainly laid a solid foundation.


The Outreach Programme of the Executive Council was adopted 17 years ago. As transparency and accountability are critical components of good governance, the Outreach Programme, in essence, is a public participation vehicle which seeks to reinforce the principles of accountability to citizens on an ongoing basis. To this end, at least one District visit per year occurs, including repeat and follow-up visits as a vital aspect of facilitating participatory democracy.

The Outreach Programmes are mass based community events aimed at simplifying and explaining the Provincial Government’s policies and addressing the effects of service delivery on communities. Moreover, the Outreach Programme seeks to empower citizens with information and knowledge, focusing particularly on the different types of services that are rendered by the different Government Departments.

Through the door-to-door engagements, those in dire need get assisted immediately. Many families have in the past benefitted from the door-to-door  engagements gaining access to the Social Security Network, obtaining Birth Certificates and Identity Documents, obtaining access to jobs, effecting repairs to structural damages to houses and educational support to children in need .

Mr Speaker, another good story to relate is that emanating from the outreach Programme Ms Dorothy Arries, an elderly woman from Mier, was given a new house by the Provincial Government in 2013. Previously, Ms Arrie lived in a dilapidated, run-down bus with no ablution facilities, living area, electricity or water. In addition, Ms Arrie received basic furniture, clothing and food. As a result of the Outreach Programme, she now receives an old age grant together with a child support grant for her four grandchildren.



CONCLUSION


Ladies and Gentlemen, we have indeed come a long way in addressing injustice, inequality and poverty.  We have risen from the stagnation and ashes of apartheid to be a beacon of hope and democracy.

The Northern Cape is now indeed a far better society than it was before 1994 when we inherited a country from the apartheid junta that was spiritually, morally and financially bankrupt.

Mr Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen, together with the people of the Northern Cape, we shall continue to fight for change.

Together with the people of the Northern Cape we shall ensure that the journey to a better South Africa is carried out with speed.

Together with the people of the Northern Cape we will continue to foster and maintain peace and prosperity.

Largely through the endeavours of the African National Congress led government, a national identity has emerged premised on respect for each other and our collective love for the Northern Cape and indeed our Motherland.

As we celebrate our victory over apartheid, and as we reflect on 20 years of democracy, we must never forget the role of ordinary South Africans in their struggle against blatant, unashamed and cruel oppression.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let us be the generation who proudly celebrate their legacy.

Let us be the generation that emphasises our unity in diversity as we cast aside that which divides us.

Let us also be the generation that will never lose sight of the sacrifices of those great and noble women and men who came before us as we jealously guard our freedom and democracy.

We all have a responsibility to respect and acknowledge the past, celebrate the present and build the future together.

The ANC-led government has indeed laid a solid foundation and we will continue with the building process of both the Northern Cape and our beloved Mother Land.

Indeed the Northern Cape is better than it was before 1994! We have a good story to tell about our beloved province and South Africa.



Mr Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen:
You will certainly recall that seminal day on 27 April 1994 when multitudes of South Africans, including such revolutionaries as Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Adelaide Tambo, Winnie – Madikezala-Mandela and millions of others, cast their votes for the very, very first time.

On 7 May this year, we as a Nation, will be called upon to do so for the fifth time, a few days after having celebrated the 20th anniversary of our freedom.

I therefore call upon all the people of the Northern Cape to exercise their hard earned democratic right on 7 May by going to the voting booths and casting their votes.  Voting, Ladies and Gentlemen, is one of the finest democratic experiences one could ever find!

Mr Speaker,
it will surely be amiss of me, on a personal note, if I did not extend my deep gratitude to all the people who made this State of the Province Address possible.  To my Family, both immediate and extended, a big thank you for your patience, tenacity and encouragement.

Above all, Mr Speaker, and most importantly, I thank God Almighty for the privilege bestowed on me as the Premier of the Northern Cape.  With His divine grace, we collectively shall not falter.

Nkosi Sikelel’ i Africa

God Bless Afrika.


I Thank You

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Office of the Premier 
Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
8301

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