State of the Province Address 2010

State of the Province Address by the Honourable Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Ms Hazel Jenkins, on the occasion of the opening of the Second Session of the Fourth Democratic Legislature, Kimberley, 18 February 2010

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
His Excellency Mr Guillermo José Pomi (Ambassador of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay)
Dr Albertha Mayberry (US Consul General)
Honourable Judge President and Members of the Judiciary
Heads of State Security Services
Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (Northern Cape) Mayors and Leaders in our System of Local Government
Honourable Traditional Leaders and Veterans of our Liberation Struggle
Heads of the state organs supporting our constitutional democracy
Provincial Public Service Commissioner
Mr Abdullah Ebrahim (Activist and internationally acclaimed jazz pianist who was conferred with the National Order of Ikhamanga in 2009)
Acting Director General, Heads of Department and Government Officials
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

It is my privilege to present to this House and fellow citizens of the Northern Cape my second State of the Province Address under the stewardship of President Jacob Zuma. This year, 2010, marks a defining moment in the history of our Country and “A year of Action” as declared by President Jacob Zuma.

It is a special year as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Mandela's inspiring walk to freedom 20 years ago signalled the beginning of the end of a racially toxic political system as well as heralding the first rays of a new socio-political dawn.
Madiba’s release ushered in the beginning of a new, democratic and proud country which was warmly and unconditionally welcomed as a member of the global community of nations.

 

Honourable Speaker, we would like to reiterate that the unbanning of all political parties, the release of Nelson Mandela, the return of all exiles and the subsequent negotiations that led to the democratic elections in 1994, came as a direct result of our people. We engaged in struggles in our communities, schools, churches and on our factory floors. These factors all contributed to making apartheid ungovernable.
Thank you, Lord, for bestowing your honour and grace on South Africa for the privilege of raising its pre-eminent son in the form and stature of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

I am certain that the Almighty, in his eternal wisdom, could find no better place on earth but to direct the spirit, soul and persona of this world icon to South Africa.

Much has been said about Madiba and much, much more will be said about him and in commemorating the 20th year of his release from prison, I request each and every person gathered here to applaud Madiba’s invaluable contribution to our democratic state.

In paying tribute to the priceless contributions made by patriotic South Africans to our noble struggle for liberation, I wish to appreciatively acknowledge the esteemed presence in this House of the Upington 26 – a committed group of cadres who were falsely accused by the apartheid junta of murder and other crimes. They spent varying lengths of time in prison with some of them even being sentenced to death. These valiant patriots were ultimately released subsequent to an appeal against their sentences.

In September 2009 grave-markers in honour of deceased activists who were termed the “Noupoort Seven” were unveiled and in August 2009 a statue commemorating the legacy of Ma Frances Baard was unveiled in Kimberley. Furthermore, plaques honouring struggle stalwarts Solomon Plaatje, Robert Sobukwe and Dr Arthur Letele were also unveiled.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre, when innocent civilians were killed by the apartheid state, merely because they dared to express their democratic right to protest against oppression and discrimination.

Moreover eight years ago, we declared this decade as the decade of the Freedom Charter. As we begin with a new decade this year we shall be commemorating the 55th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter, adopted in Kliptown in 1955. The Charter represents the strategic vision of the Ruling Party and the kind of society we seek to build in South Africa. This vision is shared by our allies and indeed by the great majority of South Africans. The progress in realising this vision can be found in the very constitution of our country and the Reconstruction and Development Programme, which embody the tasks we have set ourselves to meet the aspirations of our people.

2010 is also a special year because all eyes are going to be on Africa’s first ever FIFA World Cup host, the effect of which will be a huge boost to South Africa’s confidence, global standing and international exposure.

Honourable Speaker, we are beginning this new epoch imbued with hope, commitment, dedication, excitement and surely it will be characterized by discipline, hard work and passion.

It is the hope of the brave men and women who fought to defend and liberate our country, the hope of the workers who were determined to challenge low wages and discriminatory labour laws, the hope of the fearless, militant and vibrant young Lions who were prepared to sacrifice their lives in the cause of our just struggle. Our people have collectively stood firm in defence of their commitment to the total liberation of our country.
We draw our strength from these heroes of our country whose lives and history fill us with pride and a renewed sense of urgency to continue the struggle for a better life.

Ladies and Gentleman, I now wish to dwell on the Sate of the Northern Cape Province. I am certain that besides inspiring the people of this province with regard to our plans for the year ahead, you will also develop an understanding of the various historical challenges that we will endeavour to overcome as a provincial government.

As the provincial government, we have discharged our responsibilities diligently and effectively over the past ten months and demonstrated, together with the masses of our people, that our march into the future of a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa is unavoidable and not negotiable.

Access to housing, water and sanitation, electricity, social grants, health care and education has improved the lives of thousands of our people. However, much still needs to be done. Our goal is to continue to work together with all our people in a renewed effort to further build on what has been achieved, to harness the energy of all to build the economy that will create more jobs, to fight crime, and reduce poverty for a better life for all
The core of our government’s service delivery programme for our five year term revolves around health, education, anti-crime and corruption initiatives, creation of job opportunities, agriculture and rural development and a strong local government system. These areas will be accorded the necessary attention and will enjoy prominence in our list of priorities.

To strengthen the capacity of the Provincial Administration, we have put in place effective monitoring and evaluation systems to track output, outcome and performance of government programmes that impact directly on service delivery. The Province has been part of the national discussions towards the formation and establishment of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in the Presidency, and as such has also formulated development indicators, aligned to the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) priorities of Government, and progress reports from sector departments are weighed against these strategic objectives.

Our task is to fully transform the entire foundations of this province and simultaneously deliver on the pledge to create a better life for all our people. We pledge to do our work differently but effectively so that it truly serves and benefits our people.
As such, we will reorganise and restructure the Provincial Government to increase its efficiency and management capacity to “speed up effective service delivery to all our people” which is in keeping with the theme of Government as a whole.

We recognise that public servants remain the backbone and lifeblood of the provincial administration and are expected to serve our people with humility and dignity at all times. Our communities depend to a significant extent on public servants in order for them to access government services and benefits. It is also expected of public servants to deliver high quality services in a caring, responsive and compassionate manner in line with the ‘Batho Pele Principles’.

In recognition of the diligence and hard work that is carried out by a large majority of public servants who go the extra mile day in and day out, I hereby extend our deep gratitude to the many women and men in the public service corps who are singularly intent on South Africa becoming and remaining a winning nation.

Distinguished guests, we will over the next five years, in line with the call by President Jacob Zuma, continue to prioritize education and elevate it to be a societal issue. To this effect, the department of education has just concluded its first Principals Conference of the year, and a stakeholder’s conference is due to be held before the end of this month.

We were indeed taken aback with the 2009 National Senior Certificate results in the Northern Cape. The 61.3% pass rate, an 11% drop compared to the 2008 results, constitutes the lowest Grade 12 pass rate in 15 years.

Quite clearly, we are not satisfied and we sincerely acknowledge that the Education department would have to institute drastic measures to immediately turn this unsatisfactory performance around.

These results have clearly indicated that they are the consequences of a provincial department and system that has been beset with severe challenges in the past few years. Among these challenges are the:

  • Severe over-expenditure and unpaid debts running into millions of rands;
  • Thousands of learners starting the 2009 school year late as a result of learner transport problems;
  • Late delivery of Learner and Teacher Support Material to schools;
  • Incorrect staff-establishments issued to schools for 2009;
  • Late or non transfer of funds to schools in 2009; as well as
  • The department receiving its third successive “disclaimer” resultant from the audit conducted by the Auditor General.


In order for the department to turn the situation around, its administration will be stabilized to ensure that sufficient and effective support and administrative systems are in place to guarantee learner performance. We demand that learner performance be by design, and not by default, starting from this year! In addition to this the Department has already started with a stringent ten-point turn-around strategy to address these problems. These include severe cost containments, cutting out wastage, focusing on core activities and appointments in critical posts.

We have declared this year as a year of “Effective quality of Learning and Teaching”. The launch of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign in Upington on the 24th of this month will seek to mobilize our communities, parents, learners, teachers and education officials to be active participants in the education process. This will also include the enforcement of the “non negotiables” that teachers must teach for seven hours, be in class on time and teach and learners must learn.

Schools will be expected to share the quarterly analysis of learner performance with parents either during broad parents’ meetings or grade specific meetings.

In the Northern Cape Province, a total of 68% learners i.e. all learners in quintiles 1-3 schools will benefit from the No-Fee School Policy in 2010. This constitutes 455 out of 600 schools i.e. 76% of schools in the province are not charging school fees. The department will closely monitor utilization of allocated funds to ensure that they are used for approved purposes and all schools will be compelled to submit annual audited financial statements.
The high prevalence of violence in our schools that manifests itself in the form of substance abuse, rape, assault, vandalism and theft, has prompted government to consolidate the implementation of the Integrated School Safety Plan during the 2010 financial year. Closer collaboration between the Education Department, the South African Police Services and the broader community will be fostered to ensure that teaching and learning takes place under conducive conditions.

In response to government’s call to provide food security to our poorer communities, the school nutrition programme will continue to be implemented to alleviate short-term hunger, enhance children’s active learning capacity, provide an incentive for children to attend school regularly and punctually, and at the same time tackle poverty head on.

We will continue in our drive to create a scientifically literate society through intensifying our Dinaledi schools initiative which seeks to increase the number of learners offering mathematics and science as well as increasing the number of learners passing these subjects. It will also endeavour to increase the number of educators teaching these critical subjects.

The promotion of Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology will receive a major boost in the province as we excitedly prepare for the arrival of Andy Green, a British fighter pilot, who will attempt to break the world land speed record with a car capable of achieving 1,000 mph (1600km/h). We are pleased that the Northern Cape Province was selected to host the spectacular bloodhound project in Hakskeenpan in the Kalahari in 2011. It is noteworthy to mention that our province was chosen consequent to a comprehensive global search for a conducive venue. This event will be a massive tourism boost, focusing millions of eyes on the province.

In addition to this, fifty schools, including the 17 Dinaledi schools, will be afforded the opportunity to be part of this Bloodhound project; an adventure which will not only create a new interest in Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology, but will also provide interest in career opportunities for our learners to contribute towards securing our energy supply, combating climate change and meeting the healthcare needs of communities.
Honourable Speaker, as you will recall, we promised the establishment of a university in the Northern Cape. This process is well under way and preliminary work such as the architectural plans and academic content of the University will start in earnest this year. The growth and progress of successful nations depend on quality education that is geared towards the development of human capital to drive accelerated economic growth and improved public service delivery. Undoubtedly, education is key to social empowerment, poverty reduction and the elimination of inter-generational cycles of poverty.

As government, we remain committed to assisting young people to acquire skills that are relevant to the needs of the economy. To this end, we have through the Premier’s Bursary Trust Fund encouraged students to pursue study opportunities in various areas of specialisation. We wish to invite both business and labour to work with us in this endeavour aimed at enhancing the skills base of the province.

Major developments are also under way in the Province as part of the country’s preparation for the mega-science Square Kilometre Array Telescope. All studies, including the Environmental Impact Assessments, have been successfully completed. The construction of the support base and on-site complexes has been completed and four of the seven Karoo Array Telescope dishes have been installed.

Ladies and Gentleman, the province has been working around the clock to improve access to health care. However, much more still needs to be done in terms of quality of care, making services available to all citizens of the Northern Cape and ensuring better health outcomes.

The Provincial Government will aim to reduce inequalities in our health system, improve quality of care and public facilities, and boost our human resources to step up the fight against HIV and AIDS and other diseases. Health reforms will involve mobilisation of available resources in both the private and public health sectors to ensure improved health outcomes for all South Africans.

Long queues of patients have become a norm in all hospitals and clinics. Moreover some clinics and hospitals also experience shortage of health personnel and inadequate drug supplies.

We do acknowledge the need to improve institutional capacities for the provision of services at all levels of health care delivery, expand the hospital revitalisation programme, as well as improve the quality of service delivery, including shortened response times.

To attend to some of the health service challenges, we have upgraded the paediatric unit at the Kimberley Hospital in partnership with BHP Billiton and the Carte Blanche Television Programme. We have also improved the number and quality of ambulance vehicles as new ambulances arrived in January this year and ten more are expected by March 2010. There is also ongoing formal and in-service training for nurses and staff.

The province will embark on an effective campaign for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment campaign, which includes a campaign for HIV/AIDS testing and Counselling involving the mobilization of our society. The Province will also commence with an awareness campaign around the dangers of non- communicable diseases.

We encourage everyone to take personal and collective responsibility to stop the spread of new HIV infections, provide care and support to those living with HIV and to ensure access to treatment for all people in need.

In addition we would like to recognise the Home-based Care Workers for the extraordinary work they are doing under challenging conditions in caring for patients suffering from HIV infections and TB. We, as government, want to use this platform to applaud them and encourage them to continue with their good work.

Despite the fact that the Northern Cape HIV prevalence rate was the second lowest in the country, syphilis prevalence remains the highest in the country, increasing from 5.4% in 2007 to 6.8% in 2008.

The estimated HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women has decreased significantly since 2005. On a year-to-year comparison, the provincial HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women decreased from 16.5% in 2007 to 16.2% in 2008. The trends in the last three years suggest stabilization but trends in the epidemic should be observed over a period of time in order to avoid incorrect conclusions and perceptions.

Another challenge is that the province is experiencing an alarming increase in the number of both new and drug resistant TB cases, the areas of concern being the Frances Baard and Siyanda Districts. As TB is a public health challenge it requires the participation of stakeholders to reduce new infections. The TB Indaba, the first of its kind in the province will unfold at a meeting of stakeholders who will jointly develop sector specific strategies to address the TB challenges. The inaugural Indaba will be held on the 18th and 19th March 2010.

  • World TB Day 2010 will mark the launch of the National 2010 Kick TB Campaign in line with the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • Due to the recent influenza outbreak, the Provincial Department of Health together with the National Health Department will embark on a mass campaign for vaccination in March 2010 against the H1N1 influenza virus.
  • During April and May 2010, an immunization campaign will be conducted throughout the province. Measles vaccines will be given to children between the ages of 9 months and 15 years. Polio drops will be given to children between the ages of 0 – 5 years

As the Northern Cape Province we plan to respond to national imperatives and will engage on the following:

  • To prepare for a mass HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT), Campaign which will be launched on Human Rights Day on 21 March 2010.
  • Training more than 300 Health Care Professionals in the Syndromic Management of STI ’s; and
  • Increasing the distribution of male condoms to 2,6 million and female condoms by 13% by the end of 2010/11.

Through the hospital revitalisation programme a number of hospitals and clinics have been constructed to provide much needed health services to communities. The Construction of De Aar Hospital will commence in this financial year. A new clinic with a fully-fledged pharmacy will be opened at Hondeklipbaai Clinic in March 2010.

Construction of the following clinics has commenced i.e. Novalspond, Grootmier, Mapoteng, Boitshoko and Riemvasmaak. These clinics will be completed during September and October 2010. Tshwaragano Hospital will be refurbished to address the poor structural conditions experienced at the hospital.
Kimberley Hospital has received two new ten-ton boilers for the effective supply of steam in the laundry area. Construction of a new Community Health Centre will commence at Williston in the 2010/11 financial year.

The New Upington hospital will replace the old one and will serve as a 267 bed regional hospital for the Western Region of the Northern Cape.
Honourable Speaker, our housing approach maintains that housing a nation does not happen in isolation with all other development initiatives. We must continuously link housing development to job creation, skills development, poverty reduction and local economic development in order to build sustainable human settlements. In this regard, one expects to see a targeted approach where all basic services are delivered holistically in a particular area. For example, if we are constructing houses for people in a particular human settlement, we have to leave that area with running water, tarred or paved roads, storm water drainage, sewage systems and connected electricity.

For the 2009/10 financial year the province received a conditional grant allocation of R173 million and an additional R152 million for priority projects. In demonstrating the commitment of government to create a better life for all, the province for this financial year, as at 31 October 2009, delivered 2849 houses and serviced 402 sites and we have given ownership to 2255 families. All housing beneficiaries received basic services (sanitation, water & electricity). The Human settlements delivery process has created 1990 jobs, thus reducing unemployment and poverty within the province and 473 units will be built by women contractors

The province further demonstrated its commitment to the ideals of local economic development and black economic empowerment wherein all our housing projects in the province were undertaken by SMME’s and Black Empowerment contractors owned by the designated groups located within the boundaries of the Northern Cape.

The progress on the massive priority projects funded by the National Human Settlements Department with the R152 million is as follows:

  • Colesberg: Ouboks Informal Settlement Upgrading Project: 2220 mixed development: The current bulk infrastructure of Colesberg does not have the capacity to support the full development in terms of the building of houses. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has allocated funding for the upgrading of the pipeline from the Orange River. This project is in the design stage. The sewerage purification works is also under pressure, but a series of meetings are taking place between the Municipality and sector departments to address the problem. Fifty Breaking New Ground houses have been completed and 250 are under construction.
  • Kimberley: Lerato Park 5000 mixed development: The feasibility of the Bulk Infrastructure is completed. Funding is being sourced to undertake the Bulk Infrastructure in phases so as to start the Lerato Park development. The Town Planning and Survey for Lerato Park is completed and the construction of the access road has also started. Services for phase 1 should start in the 2010/11 financial year subject to bulk infrastructure availability.
  • Upington: The construction of 915 houses has started and is envisaged to be completed in 2010
  • John Toalo Gaetsewe: 4500 rural housing development: 200 units in Gasegonyana is under construction. Business plans for the 1000 units in Gasegonyana and 4500 units in Moshaweng have been considered for delivery in the 2010 financial year.
  • Pampierstad 1450 units: The Municipality completed the town planning and surveying for 1 221 sites and is busy finalising the surveying of a further 229 sites. The installation of the water reticulation plant has started and the building of houses will start in 2010 once serviced sites become available.


Ladies and gentlemen, we are also pleased to announce that 50 housing subsidies have been approved for the Military Veterans and the Upington 26 families. Houses will be built for them in various parts of the province.

From the Upington 26 families, 18 qualify for houses. The municipality has already identified the sites and the houses will be built this year.
Repair of Soul City Houses: 2 of the 3 houses which were in a very poor condition were repaired in 2009. The Sol Plaatje Municipality is busy obtaining a structural engineer’s report for the repair of the houses in the 2010 financial year. The department has budgeted to repair 100 of the units in the 2010 financial year. However, if the provincial Human Settlements conditional grant increases we will be able to rectify more of the units.

Regarding the Housing Backlog and the role of the Housing Development Agency, the current estimated housing backlog stands at 48 000. The Housing Development Agency will focus on macro-planning and programming support for the implementation of an informal settlement Upgrading Programme and land acquisition in the Sol Plaatje and Pokwane areas for Human Settlements.

The province is building 40sqm Breaking New Ground Houses. The quality of houses built has greatly improved and the enrolment of projects with the NHBRC is contributing towards the improvement of quality throughout the Province.

As part of our commitment to women empowerment, a successful “Women in Housing Construction Seminar” was held in 2009. We are in the process of signing a social contract with stakeholders concerned with a view to empower women to participate in the human settlements industry.

  • The Govan Mbeki Housing Award was held in September 2009 recognizing the most successful contractor /developer of the year. A woman contractor in the Namakwa Region by the name of Caroline Catherine Kuiler, also known as Cora and who is present in this house today, won the Housing Award and Sol Plaatje Municipality won the Municipality of the year award for human settlement delivery.
  • 100 youths were provided with theoretical training in construction through the National Home Builders Regulation Council. They also received 2 weeks life skills education through the National Youth Development Agency.

Distinguished guests, local government is the sphere of government that is closest to our people. It is at this sphere where all our plans as government departments must be put into practice.This is the year to focus on Local Government and "The Year of Working Together to Speed Up Effective Service to the People" as declared by President Zuma.

During the course of last year, a comprehensive assessment was conducted on the state of our municipalities throughout the province. The outcome necessitated that drastic measures be undertaken to strengthen the capacity of our municipalities. The assessment process allowed government to analyse the root-causes of the challenges within our municipalities, thus allowing for the concept of a social compact between government and broader society to develop.

That process called into action a turnaround strategy which must have a greater and more sustainable impact than the previous interventions such as Project Consolidate and the Five-Year Local Government Strategic Agenda. This will directly target relevant and sustainable intervention and support across the country.

These realities have led to many negative responses towards certain municipalities that are struggling with complex social and legacy-based issues, as well as those that are failing with performance or governance issues. The Turnaround Strategy is therefore a high-level government-wide response to stem this tide. It is an effort to stabilize local government and put municipalities back on a path of responsive and accountable service delivery.
The five strategic objectives of the Local Government Turn Around Strategy (LGTAS) are to:

  • Ensure that municipalities meet the basic needs of communities.
  • Build clean, responsive and accountable local government.
  • Improve functionality, performance and professionalism in municipalities.
  • Improve national and provincial policy, support and oversight to local government; and
  • Strengthen partnerships between local government, communities and civil society

The vision of the programme is that all municipalities in the country will have achieved clean audits on their Annual Financial Statements, thereby maintaining systems for sustaining quality financial statements and management information.

Honourable Speaker, we commit ourselves to support the structures of Dikgosi and we will strive to ensure that by the end of our term in government we have been able to build capacity in these structures and turn them into service delivery vehicles.

The Provincial House of Traditional Leaders was inaugurated on the 1st of April 2009. The members of this Provincial House include eight (8) representatives of the Khoisan communities. This event was unique because although the legislation dealing with indigenous communities is not finalized as yet, the Northern Cape was the first province to acknowledge these communities and include them into the provincial structure.
On this note, I wish to convey our sincere condolences to the family, friends, the community of John Taolo Gaetsewe District and the collective membership of the Local House of Traditional Leaders in the said District on the tragic passing on of its Chairperson, Kgosi Kagisho Toto, a few days ago. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Ladies and gentlemen, the “War on Poverty Campaign” is a strategic intervention by Government to consolidate service delivery across the spheres of government in a collaborative manner. This demonstrates government’s single most important imperative of creating a better life for all and the affirmation of government’s commitment as encapsulated in the slogan “Working together we can do more”.

This is being done within the context of work already started by the department around the war on poverty campaign, which involves the 500 poor families that were identified and targeted for direct intervention. Through this programme, households and individual members of the households have access to government services and other opportunities that enable them to find multiple pathways out of poverty.

The Executive Council also took a firm decision that we need to conduct a community based household profiling, by targeting approximately 300 000 households in the Province to enable the Provincial Government to Speed Up Effective Service Delivery to our People.
This means that we will have at our fingertips detailed information on the 1, 2 million people in the Province and ensure that they are assisted to access government services and development opportunities.

Through the implementation of the ‘war on poverty’ campaign, we will ensure that poor and vulnerable households are provided with an integrated suite of services and development support to graduate them out of poverty. These include access to education, nutrition, basic services, and economic empowerment opportunities.

As part of our commitment to the provision of comprehensive developmental welfare services to the poor, the vulnerable, the infirm and children and women, we will enhance our partnerships with NGOs and community-based institutions.

There is nothing more important than the welfare of our children, women and the elderly. In this regard I wish to reiterate the announcement made by the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, in his maiden Budget Speech yesterday concerning increases in social protection grants.
The child support grant has been extended up to the age of 18 and old age pensions have increased.

Distinguished guests, we are well and truly into 2010, a time to celebrate Africa’s humanity, its rich diverse cultural heritage, the warmth of its people and to showcase the scenic beauty of its land and attractive destinations. The FIFA World Cup symbolises the coming together of nations and celebrating unified sportsmanship and unifying ideals.

We call on all the people of the Province to rise to the occasion as we will be welcoming supporters and the Uruguay national soccer team that will set up Base Camp in the province for the FIFA World Cup. His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Mr Guillermo José Pomi, is also present in the house today. Your Excellency, welcome to the Northern Cape Province. We assure you that your team and supporters will have the time of their life in the Northern Cape Province. The Northern Cape Provincial Government is humbled by the Vote of Confidence from the Uruguayan Football Association in granting us the privilege to host their world class team.

We are also privileged and honoured at the fact that, as a province we will be hosting the 50 day Countdown Event before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This event will certainly create much needed hype and excitement in our province.

On this note I wish to caution the hospitality industry on exorbitant pricing for the duration of the World Cup. With Uruguay setting base camp in the Northern Cape Province and the relative proximity of Bloemfontein as one of the Host Cities to our Provincial Capital, it is confidently anticipated that thousands of visitors will converge on our province.

Our provincial economy will certainly reap the rewards of this unprecedented visit by multitudes of visitors who should be considered our guests.
Certainly, there is money to be made from the World Cup, but I am also certain that our unique brand of South African fairness and ubuntu, will come to the fore and our guests will not be exploited. This, I am certain of and I trust that the hospitality industry will do our province proud.
The FIFA World Cup will undoubtedly have positive effects on the South African tourism industry, with tangible improvements in the country's infrastructure such as roads, public transport, telecommunications and municipal bulk infrastructure.

All District Municipalities will have in place Public Viewing Areas during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup which will enable communities to be directly connected to enjoy the passion and excitement of the World Cup.

Through sports we have implemented programmes which promote national unity, inclusiveness, national pride, positive social values as well as economic development in the districts within the Province.

We must continue to use arts and culture as meaningful mechanisms for promoting the diversity of our society. An increase and active participation in sports leads to nurturing and maintaining healthier communities.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we must, as part of the legacy of the World Cup, speed up the revival of school sports and ensure that it forms part of the school curriculum and that the provision of sport facilities receives priority. We must further undertake to create further opportunities for the training of sports administrators, referees and coaches so as to improve participation in sport.

Please join us in celebrating the Football Friday campaign to create excitement and World Cup fever by wearing your Bafana Bafana T-shirt every Friday until the actual day of the World Cup. We also call on all of you to rally behind Bafana Bafana, our national football team. I also encourage all of you to buy your tickets now and not at the eleventh hour.

In our quest to promote arts and culture during the Fifa World Cup, the Mayibuye Academy of Music officially started operating from the 1st of August 2009 with 150 students currently enrolled. The 5 fulltime teachers at the academy offer lessons in string instruments, piano, woodwind instruments and voice training. Film, dance and drama are to follow soon. Craft stalls will soon be a familiar sight at the centre, thereby adding to job creation.
Fellow South Africans, crime fighting is one of this government’s key priority areas and stepping up our campaign against crime and corruption is not solely a matter for the police but is also a societal challenge. We call on all communities to report crime, to join action groups and refuse to buy stolen goods. We will be mobilising communities to participate in combating crime by establishing street and area committees. In this regard, working with community policing forums is crucial in the war on crime.

Crime curtails the freedom of communities to live their lives without any fear of abuse and murder of women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. As communities, we must mobilise the collective commitment of all community stakeholders to rise up and say: “No to crime”.
Our commitment to the realisation of the ideals embodied in the Freedom Charter of peace, security and comfort enjoins us to become champions in the fight against crime in all its manifestations. The Constitution demands of us to create a nation-state free from crime with citizens living in harmony. We dare not fail in our duty to advance towards such a reality and we will dedicate every resource at our disposal in the war against crime.
We have also elevated and improved crime combating operations and the capacity of state institutions to ensure that we smoke out criminals wherever they hide to ensure a peaceful and crime-free World Cup.

The Department of Safety and Security embarked on a number of campaigns which are as follows:

  • Back to Safer Schools Campaign by visiting problematic schools in January and February 2010 to improve the safety levels at our schools.
  • Safety and Security Month Letsema Drive in February 2010 is to encourage all sectors of society to join the fight against crime and do their bit in the service of community safety and security.

The Letsema campaign also emphasised women and children’s rights to safety and protection from all forms of violence and abuse, harm, hurt and danger in all localities e.g. home, street, workplace and schools.

  • “Rescue of Public Spaces” Project was held at Wrenchville, Kuruman during August 2009. The project was piloted during the previous financial year at Windsorton and Prieska as an important initiative aimed at improving street and environmental safety by communities reclaiming public spaces such as halls, parks, cemeteries, soccer fields, derelict or unused buildings, streets, etc.
  • The “Weekend of Sobriety Campaign” was a joint effort between various Departments to promote and encourage responsible trading and drinking during the festive season.

Honourable Speaker, as government, we will not tolerate corruption as it undermines service delivery. We need to fight fraud and corruption in the private and public sectors.

In our collective endeavour to institute measures for clean and accountable government, the governance and related arrangements of two trusts, which fall under the auspices of the Office of the Premier, are currently being looked at.
During my inaugural State of the Province Address in 2009, I committed the provincial government to convene an urgent economic summit with all the role players i.e. business sector, labour, civil society and academia to find common ground to weather the economic downturn and map the way forward.

This provincial economic summit has duly taken place to chart a new economic growth and development trajectory for the province. Subsequently we identified the major areas of opportunity for growth and development as well as the areas that needed to be transformed such as the expansion of the manufacturing, agricultural and tourism sectors.

This partnership signals a clear message that people acting collectively in the spirit of human solidarity will shape the patterns of economic development. This means that there is a clear role for all sectors of society in shaping our economic and social future. Our vision is that our people must benefit from economic growth and that we need to create decent work for the unemployed, workers, youth, women and the rural poor. Our economic policy seeks to eliminate poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The Northern Cape Provincial Government identified the finance sector as a key sector in the provincial economy. Research has indicated that a stable financial system is one of the pre-requisites for economic growth. A stable financial system is also one of the contributors to economic growth.

We are of the firm view that the mining of the mineral resources in the province must first and foremost benefit the ordinary citizens of the Northern Cape, especially the poor. The province also needs enabling legislation on mining that is specific to the needs and dynamics of the Northern Cape.
In this regard the current Mineral Strategy for the province must be urgently reviewed. Most mining companies are not yet complying with their Social and Labour Plan (SLP) commitments after acquiring their mining licences as required by legislation. We have also resolved that both the Department of Mineral resources and Provincial Government should establish Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with mining houses for the implementation of skills development initiatives that will benefit both government and the mining industry.

We also plan to revitalise and renew the rail networks in the De Aar area which promises to stimulate and serve as a catalyst for the creation of vibrant and successful communities which will lead to the creation of job opportunities.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Northern Cape Province boasts some of the highest solar energy capacity in the world and we must thus take advantage of this situation to become the “Solar Energy Capital” of the world. The utilization of renewable technologies, particularly in remote rural areas, where clinics and households will depend upon solar energy for their power, will play an important role in improving the quality of life of our people. A technical team from the province and the Department of Energy is currently working on a feasibility study to locate a solar plant in the province.
Specific attention must be paid to the issue of training, the development of skills and improving productivity. Where people are not suitably educated or skilled; the chances are very high that they will forever remain trapped in low-wage, exploitative jobs or not get any jobs at all.
The New National Youth Development Agency’s main focus is on access to funding and employment creation, which will be linked to skills development opportunities and build decent work opportunities for young people.

The departments must also work in a coordinated and integrated manner to address issues of job creation. Our interventions are focused on creating a more inclusive economy, by expanding opportunities for the poor to access the labour market and broadening the economic base, while ensuring that the benefits reach all sectors of society, particularly the poor and vulnerable in a targeted way.

Honourable Speaker, our Government has identified the potential of tourism as a major contributor to economic growth and expansion. As such, our government held an interactive session with the hospitality industry to gauge their readiness in view of the looming Fifa World Cup to ensure that we live up to our reputation as a friendly and hospitable people and that our visitors are served with the highest degree of civility and warmth.
During 2009, the province also hosted the National Tourism month in Galeshewe Township as a result of our unique attributes as a tourist destination of choice. At this event the Northern Cape firmly established itself as a destination of Extreme Sports because of its unique geographical landscape.
Later this year the Northern Cape will also host the first Maloof Money Cup Skateboarding Championship in South Africa. The Maloof Money Cup, the richest skateboarding championship in the world with more than $500 000 in prize money, will inspire many young people to take up the sports. It will also showcase the province as an attractive tourist destination.

The Department of Nature Conservation will be launching a Green Tourism initiative to lower the provincial impact on global warming and make the industry more energy and water efficient.

Construction will commence on the Science Visitors Centre for the Karoo Array Telescope in Carnarvon. This will include the construction of a satellite facility in Schietfontein Township.

With the FIFA 2010 soccer event in mind, we will be upgrading five provincial nature reserves which is a joint venture between the National Department of Tourism and the Northern Cape Government. This includes improving existing infrastructure and constructing new infrastructure to accommodate more tourists to improve the market appeal of the reserves.

In the interest of sustainable rural development, local communities, the government and the Open Africa Initiative worked together to create the Kokerboom Route which connects Riemvasmaak, Augrabies Falls National Park and Upington.

R1 million is committed for the implementation of a Waste Recycling Project to support and sustain the Waste Recycling project in Warrenton and in Barkly West. Eight permanent and fifteen temporary jobs will be created by the project. The launch of the Frances Baard Waste Recycling Project is due in March 2010

The National Department of Nature Conservation and Gasegonyane Local Municipality will, in partnership with Indalo Yethu in implementing the R7 million Street Cleaning and Greening Project in John Taolo Gaetsewe District. Indalo Yethu is a Section 21 institution which is supported by the South African Post Office, Vodacom, the SABC and the Department of Environmental Affairs to foster and promote environmental awareness and education. The project aims to create 100 jobs over a period of six months.

Honourable Speaker, in implementing the new administration’s electoral mandate, we have prioritized rural development as part of government’s medium term strategic framework for the next five years. We remain committed to ensure sustainable improvement in the livelihoods of the rural poor, farm workers, farm dwellers and small farmers, especially women. To give effect to this, we have developed a comprehensive rural development strategy.
A pilot site has been identified in Riemvasmaak as part of our rural development programme and to date; plans have been developed by the three spheres of Government. For this plan to materialize, all stakeholders, in particular government departments and institutions, should reprioritize their budgets to ensure that the required resources are available. More than R30million has been spent to date and future developments in the area will include:

  • Building of a health facility/clinic
  • Construction of infrastructure for livestock worth R12 million
  • Upgrading of roads
  • Construction of houses
  • Completion of the stadium
  • Construction of the water pipeline that will supply water to the Mission
  • Renovation of community halls
  • Creation of an e-network system; and
  • Creation of employment opportunities for more than 70 people

We will also vigorously implement the township rejuvenation campaign which aims to uplift communities, eradicate poverty, promote sustainable livelihoods, the paving and tarring of all roads, the building and renovation of recreational and educational facilities and the greening and cleaning of Townships. A massive investment by both provincial and local government will be injected in the Township rejuvenation Development programme. This will create 60 000 job opportunities in the medium term.

Equally important is the use of our province’s natural resources, which is crucial to the survival of future generations and therefore it is very important that we use our resources sparingly. The objective of the Land Care Programme is to empower users of natural resources to sustainably utilize and preserve resources.

This is done by using a Land Care grant to train and create awareness particularly for and amongst emerging and small scale farmers and, constructing relevant infrastructure.

Ladies and gentlemen, the contribution of agriculture to the economic growth of the province has decreased following the recent financial crisis, thereby leading to unacceptable job losses and high food prices. Agriculture in the province is central to rural development and our interventions will focus on providing assistance to the rural poor and particularly to emerging farmers for appropriate infrastructure, training and production inputs. This will be done through various programmes such as:

  1. The Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) which will be funded to the tune of R132 million for the next 3 years
  2. R37 million under the Infrastructure Grant for the Provinces will be used over the next three years.
  3. Through the Ilima/Letsema programme, we have to date implemented 2 major projects namely the Rooibos tea in Niewoudtville and the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme rehabilitation programme.

A factory worth R54million has been constructed with farmers in the area already supplying tea to the factory. The factory will be completed by installing pasteurization and processing machines to create more jobs in the area

Honourable Speaker, our efforts to promote and support the participation of women in the agricultural sector are beginning to bear fruit. We have witnessed over the years significant achievements and contributions by female farmers. This has been demonstrated by a number of national awards that our province continues to attain as a result of the efforts of these women.

We have produced, for two years in a row, two national winners in the Export Market and National Market categories for 2008 and 2009, namely Mrs. Elise Beukes and Mrs. Maria Malan, respectively. We are proud of their achievements and hope that they will be a source of inspiration to other female farmers, especially young women with a passion for agriculture.

The matter of food security calls on all of us to create an environment that ensures there is adequate food available for all, particularly at household level. It is through the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme that we should ensure that the necessary and relevant interventions are provided.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has set aside R2 million for various food security interventions in 2010/11. Interventions will range from agricultural production inputs and necessary infrastructure that make subsistence food production possible at household and community level.

Honourable Speaker, we are planning to contribute through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), a total of 115 019 work opportunities towards the national 4,5 million target over a period of 5 years (Municipalities 8 826 and Provincial Departments 106 193 work opportunities). The 3 sectors namely Social, Infrastructure and Environment will be crucial in the achievement of these targets.
The phase II Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) implementation programme has seen the Northern Cape already creating and reporting an overall 8 153 work opportunities through 204 projects against the annual target of 16 709.

On Road infrastructure development, the department has spent more than R1 billion rand in the past five years. The department completed the following major road projects

  • Transfrontier Park
  • SKA road
  • Britstown – Vosburg; and
  • Barkly West - Hartsrivier

The department will spend R1,28 billion on capital infrastructure investment in the 2009/10 MTEF period. The bulk of this is funded from the Infrastructure Grant allocated to Provinces.

Projects under way for the 2009/10 financial year are as follows:

  • Churchill – Bendel road
  • Ntsweng to Tsineng Road
  • UAP Phase II Access road
  • Karakoel Access Road
  • Jooste Eiland Access Road
  • In addition projects for 2010/11 includes the following:
  • Vosburg – Carnarvon road
  • Nababeep – Concordia Road
  • Colesburg – Phillipolus Road
  • Prieska – Niekerkshoop Road


Other major projects undertaken by Public Works include:

The Mental Health Facility which is now 63% completed and a total of 744 jobs were created to date. An extension of time was granted due to changes in scope by the Department of Health which resulted in an increase in the budget to R 458 million. Due to the non performance of the Contractor the department had to terminate the contract on the 7th December 2009.

Kimberly Conference Centre
The contractor failed to perform on the project and the contract was accordingly cancelled last year. A new contractor was subsequently appointed during July 2009. They had the task to first demolish some of the work of the previous contractor.

The Expanded Public Works Programme is a crucial programme for government to create job opportunities for our people as well as transfer much needed skills to the unemployed and unskilled members of our society. I wish to reiterate the point that the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is one of government’s direct employment creation initiatives geared to provide short to medium term opportunities while addressing the skills needs that are necessary for enhancing government’s service delivery programme.

We reaffirm our commitment to put the interests of the people of the Northern Cape first by ensuring growth, development and improved service delivery in the province.

Ladies and gentlemen, in our pursuit to stay in touch with our people we have, through the “Executive Council Meets the People” outreach programme, undertaken several visits to our communities to listen to their grievances and address their concerns. This programme serves as an important platform between government and communities to enhance issues of service delivery. The programme will further be extended throughout the length and breadth of our province to ensure that we make a lasting difference to the lives of our people.

As I conclude Honourable Speaker, allow me to underline what our President said both in his Inaugural Address and the State of the Nation Address in 2009. He asserted that we made a commitment to our people and the world that:

  • For as long as there are South Africans who die from preventable diseases;
  • For as long as there are workers who struggle to feed their families and who battle to find work;
  • For as long as there are communities without clean water, decent shelter or proper sanitation;
  • For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from the land on which they live;
  • For as long as there are women who are subjected to discrimination, exploitation or abuse; and
  • For as long as there are children who do not have the means nor the opportunity to receive a decent education we shall not rest, and we dare not falter, in our drive to eradicate poverty"

Together we can certainly do more.

Finally, Honourable Speaker, in commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Madiba’s release from prison, we assure the people of the Northern Cape that we will replicate his values of altruism, transparency and inclusivity in the affairs of the Government of the Northern Cape Province. We will be a caring and compassionate Government. There is no other way. I now leave you with the following word uttered by the Great Man at the United Nations General Assembly in September 1998, just before retiring as President:

“As I sit in Qunu and grow as ancient as its hills, I will continue to entertain the hope that there has emerged a cadre of leaders in my own country and region, on my continent and in the world, which will not allow that any should be denied their freedom as we were; that any should be turned into refugees as we were; that any should be condemned to go hungry as we were; that any should be stripped of their human dignity as we were.”

I thank you
Ndiyabulela
Ke aleboga
Baie dankie

Response to the Debate on the State of The Province Address

 

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