State of the Province Address 2012

State of the province Address by the Acting Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms G. Cjiekella: 22 FEBRUARY 2012 at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature



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Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature

The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Godfrey Oliphant

Members of the Executive Council

The Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Guangfeng Hao

The Deputy United States Consul General, Mr Nathan Holt

Members of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature

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 Provincial Public Service Commissioner

The President of the South African Football Association

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

I stand before you this morning filled with deep emotion, unbridled excitement and a sense of great optimism. Ladies and Gentlemen, also take note that I stand before you as a humble representative of Government and as a loyal deployee of the African National Congress under the leadership of our President, Mr Jacob Zuma. Together with the Provincial Governing Collective of this vast and beautiful Province, I am mindful that the extent of our emotions, today at least, knows no bounds. The reason is obvious: Our Mother Body, the African National Congress, or the Ruling Party, which has governed our Motherland since the inception of democracy on the 27th of April 1994, has just emerged from celebrating its Centenary in Mangaung – the birthplace of our glorious Movement.

I consider it fitting that in acknowledging the longevity of this noble and caring Liberation Movement, a hearty applause will indeed be proper. I am sure that I utter the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of the people of the Northern Cape when I pose the rhetorical question: “Where would South Africa, and certainly the Northern Cape Province be, were it not for the selfless endeavours of the African National Congress?”

We are indeed extremely blessed and fortunate to have witnessed the Centenary Celebrations of the largest and oldest political party on the African Continent. Since its inception, the ANC possessed the resolve to create a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better World. The enormous contributions that this gigantic movement of our people has made to the development and progress of our country and the African Continent have not gone unnoticed.

We thus acknowledge the historic role that our heroes and heroines have played in ensuring the victory of human dignity over suppression, as well as ensuring the complete downfall of the repressive apartheid system in our beloved Land.

The time has come for us to reclaim our rich heritage and pursue our dream of a non racial, non sexist, democratic and just South Africa.

The time has come for us to get our people back to work.

Yes, indeed, the time has come for us to ensure that all our people have access to clean water, decent shelter and proper sanitation.

The vision and ideals of the Ruling Party inspire us not to rest, until we achieve a society free of poverty and deprivation. In this regard, we are obliged to continue to pursue the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.

Mr Speaker, as we progress to change and impact on the lives of our people, we realise on a daily basis that, indeed, much still needs to be done. We still need to ensure that government services reach everybody on an equitable basis. The entrenched inequalities of the past cannot continue to be with us for long. The systematic challenges of the past cannot continue to besiege us. As the great Oliver Reginald Tambo once remarked:

“We are not fighting against people, we are fighting against a system”

“If our fight was against people our victory would have been realized long ago. As ours is a fight against a system, the entrenched challenges that confront us since the advent of democracy will take a system to change and allow sets of new value systems to come to the fore to assist us to realize our objectives. It is in that context that we need to see our struggle, the entrenchment of new human value systems that will allow our people to take ownership of their freedom and development.”

Mr Speaker, the creation of a better South Africa and Northern Cape will never be realized if the spirit of Ubuntu does not get entrenched in the way government does its work, and in the way we live with each other in our communities.

Therefore, an excellent example is Government’s current National Development Plan for the country. The context from wherein the National Development Plan moves from, emphasizes the intention of the government that development cannot be proper and adequate without the participation of an informed, active and a conscious citizenry. In this vein, government does not intend planning development for the people, but seeks to ensure that development planning takes place in real partnership with all sectors of our society.

We have therefore, as a government, aligned our programmes to ensure that we have sector-specific implementation forums that will give sufficient detail to each of Government’s Objectives.

Mr Speaker

Fellow Citizens of the Northern Cape

As I proceed to outline the plans, programmes and initiatives of the Provincial Government in an endeavor to positively impact on the lives of our people, you will realize that at the core of most of the Provincial Government’s outputs are economic growth, social cohesion, anti-poverty initiatives, job creation and other important matters that captured the deliberations of the COP 17 Conference that took place recently in Durban, namely matters of environmental protection and the green economy.
As government, we continue to ensure that all our learners have access to quality workbooks. In pursuit of providing quality teaching and learning, the department was able to provide schools with learner and educator workbooks for grades 1-6 in 2011. We will increase the support and monitoring of schools on the usage of these workbooks.

In a quest to improve the quality of teaching and learning, we have in collaboration with the Sishen Iron Ore Community Development Trust and Rhodes University, has entered into a four year capacity building programme for teachers. A total of 108 educators will study towards Bachelor of Education degrees in three different streams i.e. Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase, Bachelor of Education in Mathematics and Bachelor of Education in Languages. The investment in this entire program is estimated at R20.4 million over three years. To this end, Mr Speaker, we express our heartfelt appreciation to Sishen Iron Ore and Rhodes University. In this regard, we call on the corporate sector in general to partner with government in ensuring that we indeed improve the quality of basic education in our province.

Mr Speaker, we are piloting the HeyMath Project in 100 schools across the province. This project is a curriculum and ITC integrated initiative aimed at changing the culture of teaching and learning of mathematics. Participating schools have been given computerised maths programmes to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics. This project is also boosted by the Cell-C partnership through which learners can access guidance and support on how to solve complex mathematical problems at a relatively affordable sms cost.

In 2011, a total of 10 183 full-time candidates wrote the National Senior Certificate Examination in the Northern Cape Province. This is one more than the 10 182 that wrote in 2010. The overall pass rate for 2011 is 68.8% which is a decrease of 3.5% compared to the pass rate of 72.3% in 2010. However, this is 7.5% much better than the 2009 pass rate.

An extremely significant feature in the 2011 National Senior Certificate examinations is the performance of candidates from previously disadvantaged communities. For the very first time it was possible to only have one Provincial Top Twenty List, based entirely on merit and the true and actual performance of all our learners. Of this year’s top achievers, seven of our top twenty candidates, which is 35%, are from previously disadvantaged communities. Additionally, two learners from so-called township schools, were the joint recipients of the Top Mathematics and Science awards.

We continue to invest in Early Childhood Development (ECD) for we sincerely believe that a solid foundation enhances success in higher school grades. The department will continue to provide universal access to Grade R learners in the province by increasing the number of learners enrolled in Grade R in public schools from 13 537 to 14 500.

Once more, we call on all our school principals to provide the requisite level of management and leadership to ensure that all our schools become beacons of hope for our children. We also call on our parents and broader school community to actively participate in our children’s education through initiatives such as the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) structures.

Mr Speaker, we indicated in the 2011 State of the Province Address that the conceptual work towards the establishment of a university in the province would commence. Extensive stakeholder consultative engagements were conducted in 2010 and reports were submitted to the Minister of Higher Education at end of September 2011.

We once more express our heartfelt appreciation to all those who were part of the stakeholders’ deliberations to shape and inform the conceptual framework towards the establishment of the university in the province.

To this end, President Jacob Zuma, in his State of the National Address, announced that a total of 300million rand has been allocated for the preparatory work towards building new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

Mr Speaker, we have committed ourselves to improving the health status of our population and contributing to Government’s vision of “A Long and Healthy Life for All South Africans”. This has been made possible by broadening and deepening the extent and scope of community involvement and social mobilization in all aspects of health provision.

There are several categories of students that are currently serving their contractual obligations towards the department namely; 11 Dental Assistants, 23 Basic Ambulance Assistants as well as 11 students on the Cuban Programme having completed their studies and graduating as Medical Practitioners.

A further 12 students have been accepted into the Cuban Programme and have commenced with their studies. In total we have 64 students studying towards their medical degrees at various institutions.

To supplement the much depleted nursing corps, there are currently 154 students who are in training towards the Four Year Comprehensive Training Degree with an additional 60 students scheduled to begin during the 2012/13 financial year. We do this in an endeavor to address the identified areas of human resource needs, thus ensuring that our clients receive the best possible care.

Education is seen as the foundation of every prosperous and progressive community, society and nation. The Provincial Government sees it as critical to assist students who cannot further or complete their studies due to a lack of finances.

The Northern Cape Provincial Government Departments, supported by the Northern Cape Premier’s Education Trust Fund, have allocated bursaries to deserving and needy students. This year alone, the number of bursaries, student loans and scholarships are in excess of four hundred. We also strongly encourage students to further their studies at our FET Colleges as well as the National Institute of Higher Education.

In keeping with the national quest to create jobs, we have successfully created 645 jobs as of the beginning of January 2011. Job creation initiatives included, amongst others, those created through the Extended Public Works Programmes by the Department of Health. These included Peer Educators, Lay Counsellors, Care Givers, Mentors, TN Tracers and data capturers. Learnerships were also created in the areas of Basic Ambulance Assistants, pharmacy assistants and administrative internships.

204 Health Care Workers trained in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission and 35 Health Care Practitioners were trained in Case Management.

To date, a total of 85.9% of all babies born to HIV positive mothers have received Nevirapine with a total of 76.8% of HIV positive pregnant women initiated on AZT during antenatal care.

Immunization coverage of 80% reveals that the department is progressing well to achieve the target for 2011/12 of 95%. Our actions have significantly assisted in the reduction of childhood illnesses.

By way of a concerted effort we have reduced the malnutrition rate of 4.8 in the first quarter of the 2011/12 financial year to 3.2 in the second quarter.

Mr Speaker, the Presidential Mandate for the acceleration of the HIV and AIDS response has seen HIV Counseling & Testing (HCT) and Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) highlighted as very important strategies to combat new HIV infections in the province.

Marking a welcome change from South Africa's history of HIV, Government launched a major HIV counseling and testing campaign (HCT) in 2010. Since its implementation in 2010, the HCT campaign has had a notable impact on the availability and uptake of HIV testing and treatment.

It is also worrisome that the Northern Cape TB incidence rate increased from 932 per 100 000 population in 2009 to 956 per 100 000 of the population in 2010. In comparison with previous years, this is the lowest recorded increase in proportion to new patients diagnosed with TB. Frances Baard District has over the years reported the highest number of TB cases at 3493 whilst Siyanda District reported the highest TB incidence rate during 2010 at 459 per 100,000 of the population. The Namakwa District at the other end, had the lowest number of TB cases.

The 2011 H1N1 and seasonal vaccination campaign, which was rolled-out after the 2009 H1N1 outbreak was successfully completed with a total coverage of 57,683 recipients of the vaccine in the province.

The availability of Emergency Medical Services and Planned Patient Transport Service vehicles has always been a point of concern for the Provincial Government. To this end, we have drafted a replacement strategy of procuring at least 60 EMS vehicles every year by transferring funds from the maintenance budget to the procurement budget. This strategy will be implemented as from April 2012. The Department has worked with the private sector in sourcing funds which has consequently led to an order being placed for 60 EMS ambulances, 12 Planned Patient Transport Service vehicles and 5 emergency rescue vehicles for delivery.

We are also pleased to report that we are vigorously embarking on a process of improving the quality of health services with the launch of the following projects:

Mapoteng, Riemvasmaak, Boichoko and Grootmier Clinics have been completed;
The West End Hospital State Patients Unit has been upgraded;
The Mental Health, De Aar and Upington Hospitals are at a construction phase with the new Kimberley Hospital at the design phase;
Additional clinics at Deurham and Ka-Gung are at construction phase and the Heuningsvlei clinic is at the design stage.

Mr Speaker, the Civilian Oversight Programme intensified its monitoring and evaluation of the South African Police Service with an exclusive focus regarding the implementation of the Policing Operational Plan. This plan will allow us to determine as to how we are responding to and addressing the provincial priority crimes so as to reduce crime in our communities.

Key focus areas for monitoring and oversight in this regard were and still are the monitoring of police operations, including the deployment, allocation and use of police resources in terms of the Policing Plan. This will include investigation of, and attendance to, conflict situations between communities and the SAPS as well as complaints in respect of police conduct in general.

Mr Speaker, the development of the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy has reached its final stages consequent to broad-based consultation, including the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), for inputs by municipalities as the key implementation agency. It is our aim to see the complete roll out of the implementation plan of the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy during the 2012/13 MTEF period.

We will continue to implement sustainable integrated Social Crime Prevention Programmes at the 28 identified police stations in the Province to address the root causes of crime. To this end, plans are afoot for the provision for the participation and involvement of communities in social crime prevention initiatives and to further strengthen relations between communities and police in the Province.

We will also continue to fully roll out Bus Subsidies in the areas of Namakwa, Frances Baard and Siyanda in addition to the existing ones and also assist Municipalities in their Integrated Transport Plans.

Two (2) Driver’s and Learner’s Testing Centres (DLTC’s), will be opened before the end of the 2011/12 financial year and more roll – outs are being planned for the 2012/13 MTEF, in order to facilitate service delivery and to ensure that people do not travel long distances.

Consequently, we further envisage to upgrade the eNaTIS system at all municipalities in order to strengthen service delivery as a measure of curbing fraud and corruption at these centres.

As part of the ongoing process of promoting Inter-Governmental Relations, a Driving Licence Testing Centre will soon be established at the South African National Defence Force at the Diskobolos Military Base.

Looking at the real annual economic growth rate, Ladies & Gentlemen, all provinces experienced negative growth in 2009. This indeed shows the impact of the recent global economic crisis on our country.

The Northern Cape growth rate slowed down at a rate of 1.8% in 2008 to -1.5% in 2009. This can be attributed to the negative growth of mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing as well as the manufacturing sectors.

The South African unemployment rate increased by 0.7 of a percentage point in the second quarter of 2011. The unemployment rate of the Northern Cape showed a decrease of 2.5 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Comparing the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2010, there has been an increase in employment in agriculture, transport and the finance sectors. A decrease in employment for this same period can be observed in mining, manufacturing, construction, trade, community and social services and private households.

From the first to the second quarter of 2011, a total of 3 000 jobs were created in the Northern Cape. Community and social services are the highest employment sectors while the utilities sector continues to be the lowest. It is interesting to note that although mining contributes 26.1% to the provincial economy, it currently employs only 10 000 people.

The review of the Northern Cape Provincial Growth and Development Strategy has been completed and was accordingly adopted by the Executive Council. Henceforth, the province plans to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the implementation and execution of provincial plans towards the achievement of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy development targets. The PGDS places particular emphasis on rural and green economic development to chart a path towards sustainable development for the province.

In conforming with international environmental law, our commitment to tackle climate change does not rest only on the achievement and implementation of international agreements down to grassroots level, but also with the responsibility to ensure that our policies, programmes and activities contribute to emission reduction and respond to the impact of climate change on our country and our Province.

Mr Speaker, the Northern Cape has been identified as an ideal location for solar- and wind-energy generation. Our country’s Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2009 to 2014 also provides us with the mandate to pursue and further explore the concept of ‘green jobs’, including scaling up labour-intensive natural resource management practices which contribute to decent work and livelihood opportunities.

It is therefore imperative to support the establishment of a green economy within the Northern Cape that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

A critical aspect for accelerating development and growth is the economy’s ability to improve access to information and integrate information and communications technologies (ICTs) across the social and economic sectors. Appropriate and relevant information has the potential to promote education, health, cultural and socio-economic development in the province, especially within rural areas. The province has therefore prepared the Northern Cape’s first Information Society Strategy.

It is important to note that the benefit of an information society lies in ICT’s ability to create powerful social and economic networks by improving communication and the exchange of information.

The CSIR, through the Meraka Institute, has approval from the Department of Science and Technology to implement a wireless mesh network within the John Taolo Gaetsewe municipal district. Through this initiative, additional funds have been secured from Kumba, for Meraka to progress with the implementation of the wireless mesh network.

Mr Speaker, the Province identified in 2009/2010 the need to proactively attract, facilitate and retain foreign investment and promote exports and market access through the application of best practice methodology and focused targeting. To this end, the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (NCEDA) was established. The Agency has focussed on attracting and facilitating foreign and domestic direct investment into the Northern Cape Province; grow exports of products and services of the Northern Cape through the development of exporter capability, demand and market access; and to market the Northern Cape as a competitive business destination within the national and international arenas.

Ten Companies were assisted with export readiness assessments which entails appraising companies’ financial systems, production capability and product requirements/criteria for export markets in order to ascertain whether they are ready for export.

Mr Speaker, we successfully launched the Kimberley International Diamond and Jewellery Academy on the 4th November 2011. The 50 students that were registered for a diamond cutting and polishing course in 2011 will graduate at the end of this month. Of the 50 students, 3 are from Namibia and 4 are from Zimbabwe.

Renovations to the current infrastructure of the Kimberley Diamond and Jewellery Centre, have been completed.

The Kimberley Diamond and Jewellery Brand strategy and marketing plan has been developed and its roll-out will commence in the last quarter of the 2011/12 financial year. The brand will be registered both nationally and internationally.

With regard to the Cooperative Agreement signed between the Provincial Government and the Diamond and Jewellery Company of Armenia in order to develop a mutual beneficiation strategy, the following should be noted:

That the aim of the strategy is to create employment, skills development and technology transfer using diamond beneficiation as a mechanism.
The Province is ready, the renovations have been made and the infrastructure has been set-up for the establishment of a diamond cutting and polishing factory in the Northern Cape Province.
Renovations have been made for the establishment of a jewellery manufacturing pilot plant in the Northern Cape Province in order to provide training in jewellery manufacturing; and
A programme is currently in place to facilitate and operationalise the process regarding the cooperative agreement between the Provincial Government and the Diamond and Jewellery Company of Armenia.

During the revamping of the existing infrastructure at the Kimberley Diamond and Jewellery Centre, a total of two hundred and twenty seven 227 jobs were created.

In scaling up its efforts and broaden its interventions in the manufacturing sector, the Province has commissioned the development of the Northern Cape Manufacturing Strategy which is expected to be finalised by end of March 2012.

In line with the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan that focuses on the creation of sustainable employment through manufacturing, we have supported the establishment of a bed factory in Kimberley, the first of its kind in South Africa. The factory has been commissioned and is operational with 35 employees currently and projections indicate that, when fully functioning, it will create in excess of 100 jobs.

The Province is also facilitating the development of a commercial malt production plant in Kimberly on the banks of the Modder and Riet Rivers. This is a joint initiative between the Provincial Government, the Industrial Development Corporation, (IDC) and the Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services (Fabcos).

On completion, the facility will have the capacity to produce 100 000 tons of malt per annum for mainly the beer brewing industry using barley as the main raw material. Approximately 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the plant.

The plant will require 20 000 hectares to produce 120 000 tons of barley which is necessary to produce 100 000 tons of malt. This has the potential of yielding at least 20 000 jobs at a minimum for the 20 000 hectares of production land.

Mr Speaker, one of the vehicles government can utilize to effectively implement the National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF) and the New Growth Path (NGP) is the introduction of a Special Economic Zone Programme.

It is envisaged that during the current financial year, the Province would have finalized a business plan for the Special Economic Zone Programme (SEZ) and also completed the application process with national government for the designation of a Special Economic Zone Programme (SEZ) in the Province.

Moreover, Ladies and Gentlemen, the province is improving the skills development capacity in the manufacturing industry to respond to the underlying poor performance of the manufacturing sector in terms of its contribution to the provincial economy.

Several challenges in the industry are being experienced and the one that was persistently highlighted in all districts was the lack of appropriate skills in the manufacturing industry.

Mr Speaker, the bid process for the Square Kilometre Array Telescope is at a stage where the SKA Bid Advisory Committee is about to make its recommendation as to who the successful bidder will be between South Africa and Australia. This follows the submission of the bid documents in September 2011. The SKA Board is expected to make the final decision in the second quarter of 2012.

SKA is a next-generation radio telescope that will be powerful enough to explore the edges of the universe. Scientists expect that it will deliver a wide range of discoveries in physics and cosmology, as well as result in major technological spin-offs.

The SKA is another infrastructure project with great potential. We urge all the people of the Northern Cape and indeed our country at large, to support the bid.

South Africa’s SKA project attracts the brightest and most innovative young minds from South Africa and the rest of the world.

After its completion SKA will also provide Africa with the opportunity for significant investment in skilled human resources by way of bursaries for scientists from across the continent and the training of technicians and artisans which Africa so sorely needs.

Mr Speaker, the Tourism strategy of the Northern Cape Province aims to promote the Northern Cape as the extreme nature and adventure tourism destination in South Africa.

The hosting of the International Maloof Money Cup Skateboarding Championships, a world class event, firmly established the Northern Cape as the extreme sports destination with 15 000 seats sold over three days. This event was broadcast over 260 countries with a National marketing value estimated at R10 million. The Skateboarding for Hope initiative emanating from the Maloof Money Cup, reached in excess of 20 000 youth in more than 30 towns across the province and South Africa with significant youth beneficiation in the Province.

We are also pleased to announce that we have secured the rights for hosting the Maloof Money Cup until 2015. Consequent to the Maloof Money Cup, the Province hosted the 7th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium in October 2011 with delegates from 20 countries attending. Academic papers that chart the way for sustainable development were presented. Here too, the province and its benefits in terms of wildlife and related fields were well marketed, once again bringing the Northern Cape tourism brand to the fore.

Mr Speaker, we are also looking forward with great anticipation and excitement as the scene is set for a former British fighter pilot , Mr Andrew Green , to attempt to break the land speed record of 1600 km/ph right here in our Province early next year. The arrangements for the event have started in earnest. 16km of the main track is completed with 380 local people being employed for a period of 6 months. The eyes of the world will once again be on the Northern Cape and with global media exposure, our Province and its people will enjoy maximum coverage.

As a build-up to the Bloodhound Project, we are in the process of arranging The Kalahari Desert Speed Week, which will entail an extreme motor sport event that is planned to take place during August 2012 and intended to be hosted at Hakskeen Pan in Mier. This will be the South African version of the famous “Bonneville Speed Week” that attracts people from all over the world. The event will offer an adventure and experience like never before and will be the first of its kind outside the borders of the United States of America.

The ultimate purpose and long term vision for the Kalahari Desert Speedweek is to organise and present an annual world-renowned motor sport event, of the highest standard, with a strong emphasis on conservation.

Mr Speaker,

The FIFA World Cup was a major achievement with regard its legacy projects. The province received R97 million to upgrade sport facilities at 50 schools throughout the province, this was an investment well spend.

We further managed to put aside R7 million for the upgrade of the Northern Cape Theatre. This project is ongoing and we are working out the finer detail with regard the service level agreements with the prospective contractors.

Within the Library Sector we managed to increase the staff capacity at community libraries by employing 132 people at a total budgetary value of R6.4million. This department continues to invoke the spirit of patriotism amongst us by ensuring the continue celebration and commemoration of significant struggle days. This task will continue as an important feature of the work of this department. Consequently the work of research into the history of the liberation struggle of our Province will continue well into the new financial year.

In our endeavour to create an active citizenry we will continue to pursue the building and upgrading of community art centres. As a result of that we shall invest in the new financial year in the Northern Cape Dance festival and the Northern Writers Festival.

The School Sport Mass Participation Programme will continue as a special focus on our school. The Siyadlala Participation Programme shall be broaden in the year 2012/2013. The total investment we will be putting into the Sport, Arts and Culture in our Province will be outline in detail during the MEC’s budget speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am also pleased to announce that a few days ago; we had the honour of officially opening our own state of the art convention centre in Kimberley, named after the late struggle stalwart and heroine, Ma Mittah Seperepere, who hailed from, this great Province.

We are certain that the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre, will contribute to economic growth and job creation through attracting national and international conferences and events to our Capital city.

In response to the job creation mandate of government, our job creation strategy was developed. This saw a realignment of resources in order to support job creation initiatives.

To this end, the following projects were identified to drive job creation:

Rooibos tea processing and packaging
Revitalization of Warrenton Superchicken
Revitalization of the Vaalharts irrigation scheme
Heuningvlei bulk water infrastructure upgrade
Tshwaraganang Hydroponics Packing Facility
Blocuso irrigation development; and
Riemvasmaak irrigation development

A total of 282 jobs (56 permanent and 226 temporary) were created through these initiatives from April 2011 to date. Furthermore, 459 temporary jobs were created through the EPWP during various phases of infrastructure construction.

R82 million will be invested in these projects through CASP and Ilima/Letsema grants to provide infrastructure for primary production, agro-processing and marketing. Production inputs and mechanization will also be provided to increase agricultural production. In this regard, 471 job opportunities will be created.

In addition, 15 projects will be funded from CASP and 6 from Ilima/Letsema to the tune of R39, 850m and R11, 520m, respectively.

This will benefit an additional 1520 farmers in all three categories (subsistence, smallholder & black commercial farmers). A total of 1103 additional job opportunities will be created. Of this funding, R33, 110m will be spent in Schmidtsdrfit, Phillipstown and Riemvasmaak.

With regard to food security, we will operationalize the Zero Hunger Plan in 2012/13, which will also be aligned to Operation Khotso Pula Nala.

The Zero Hunger Plan entails the following:

Provision of production inputs and support services for sustainable rural and peri-urban agriculture. Input provision will be prioritized for the hungry and subsistence producers;
Increasing market access by smallholder farmers.
Government institutions will be targeted to procure produce from smallholder farmers.
Market linkages will be created with retail stores, agri-businesses and potential buyers.
Establishment of produce distribution centres for the Food Bank; and
Intensification of the land reform programme to ensure that more land is in the hands of the rural poor, thereby providing them with technical skills and financial resources to productively use the land to create sustainable livelihoods and decent work in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, during the 2011/2012 financial year the Province made great strides in acquiring land for previously disadvantaged individuals by purchasing land through the pro-active land acquisition strategy. We acquired in excess of 100 000 hectares of prime agricultural land which will be leased to qualifying individuals.

We have further intensified the “hands-on” support provided to beneficiaries of the land reform programme. During this year a total amount of R2.5 m was invested in the Nomalanga project in Kakamas which produces grapes for the export market and provides job opportunities for more than 30 seasonal workers and 10 permanent workers.

In the 2012/2013 financial year, we will continue to support land reform beneficiaries, in particular the Nomalanga project. In this regard, we will lead the development of an additional 30 hectares of land in Nomalanga and will also develop 49 hectares of irrigation land in Schmidtsdrift and 400 hectares of land in Bucklands, Katlani and Pniel.

Greater support will be provided to municipalities in term of the administration of municipal agricultural land to ensure that this land is made available to small holder farmers in deserving communities to further support the livelihood strategies of the rural poor.

We also strengthened the Council of Stakeholders in all municipalities where CRDP sites have been established, consisting of members of community based organisations and forums, school governing bodies, government (national, provincial and local), community policing forums, ward committees, etc.

The Riemvasmaak CRDP pilot site has now entered the second phase of the CRDP implementation model which speaks to the economic development of the community. Various economic projects have been identified and will be implemented in the next financial year.

Schmidtsdrift and Heuningvlei were launched as CRDP sites. Baseline assessments were completed and implementation plans were developed. 186 households were provided with solar lighting and 20 streetlighting systems were installed in Heuningvlei. In addition, 100 households in Schmidtsdrift were provided with solar lighting.

The training of para-professionals in rural communities and economic revitalisation of rural towns will become one of the major priorities of the department in this financial year. We will continue our work with farm workers and farm dwellers and will be focusing on facilitating the expansion of government services to these communities.

The economic development projects to be implemented in 2012/2013 financial year include tourism development, mining and irrigation (table grapes and citrus) development. We have already started with the construction of the bulk infrastructure for irrigation development. More than 200 job opportunities will be created and the Implementation of CRDP plans for Schmidtsdrift and Heuningvlei will commence this year.

In the last two years, we engaged in the battle against Rift Valley Fever and despite all efforts to encourage farmers to proactively vaccinate, we still see animal losses and low weaning rates, resulting in fewer lambs being slaughtered in the province.

This directly threatens jobs in rural areas and we continue the call for farmers to vaccinate against Rift Valley Fever and other vector-borne diseases.

Ladies and Gentlemen in relation to the devastating floods that struck our province last year, we indicated that the provincial government had submitted a signed provincial business plan to the President requesting urgent funding from the Disaster Management Fund to assist with disaster relief and related hardships.

The Province was allocated an amount of R132 million and the primary purpose of this funding is to repair or replace damaged infrastructure.

The Provincial Auditor General has completed the annual audit of all provincial departments and has expressed an opinion on each provincial department. An audit opinion Ladies and Gentlemen, differs from disclaimer of audit opinion to qualified and unqualified audit opinions.

Though the audit outcomes of the Northern Cape Province for 2010/11 shows a regression in comparison to the 2009/10 financial year, it should be stated that there has been a major improvement in many of the other departments in terms of matters that have been raised by the Auditor General. Fair presentation, accountability and transparency is prioritized hence disclosure of irregular expenditure as reported in the financial statements.

A clean audit workshop was held in November 2011, where departments presented their strategies to achieve clean audits. Commitments have been made and they will be monitored regularly to ensure that we are on track. The governance structures will be strengthened and operationalised accordingly. This is an indication that the province is committed to accountability and a clean administration. It must also be noted that to move from the position we are at, is a process and is not something that can be done over night.

In its earnest endeavour to ensure that good governance permeates throughout all government departments and municipalities, an Operation Clean Audit Committee was established in 2011, with the express view to ensure that government, in general, receives a clean audit by 2014.

The Operation Clean Audit Committee comprises, in the main, the Provincial Auditor-General, the Provincial Accountant General and the Director-General of the Provincial Government.

In addition, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Provincial Government is currently engaging with the State Security Agency and related entities to devise ways and means to deal with people who abuse state resources.

Mr Speaker, in terms of the financial year for 2012/2013, R336million has been committed for the development of human settlements in the Northern Cape.This massive financial injection will go a long way towards addressing the Housing Backlog in Informal Settlements during 2012/2013.

The Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA) engaged in the following developments in informal settlements:-

Number of Housing Sites to be Serviced:

Integrated Residential Development Programme: Phase 1: Planning and Services will entail 500 sites, and Phase 2: Top Structure Construction will entail the building of 500 houses;

Number of Houses to be Constructed:

Informal Settlement Upgrading Programme: Phases 1 and 2 will entail the construction of 1600 houses;

Housing Project Linked Programme: this will realise the construction of 160 houses;

Individual Housing Programmes will see 50 houses being built;

Rural Housing Programme: 22 houses will be built and under the rectification programme, 183 houses will be built.

We are also pleased to report that COGHSTA had transferred a combined total of 4,318 state-owned residential properties to low-income housing beneficiaries who became proud title-deed holders of their properties in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

In addition, Mr Speaker, some of the notable housing development programmes are as follows:

Ouboks Integrated Housing Development:

This human settlements development is located in Colesberg. The project’s housing delivery target for 2011-12 was 250 houses. As at 31 December 2011, construction of 197 houses was at roof level and will be completed by end of February 2012.

Pampierstad Integrated Housing Development:

The project’s housing delivery target for 2011-12 was 700 houses. As at 31 December 2011, the construction of 446 houses was completed.

Ikhutseng Integrated Housing Development:

The project’s housing delivery target for 2011-12 was 200 houses. As at 31 December 2011, construction of 175 houses was completed.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this government is committed to wage a sustained war against poverty and degradation. In view of that commitment, we will intensify the War on Poverty Program. In this regard, we have thus far been able to profile 151 982 households in the Province. Out of the 151 982 households that were profiled, 37 000 were referred to services offered by different government departments and municipalities.

As part of our efforts to combat poverty, we will continue to identify family change agents of poor households and consolidate our implementation and monitoring of the Balelapa exit strategy for learners in conjunction with all our partners and stakeholders.

As part of our recruitment and retention strategy and initiative to address critical and scarce skills in the social work sector, we have made scholarships and bursaries available for full time studies in the fields of social work.

254 young people from the Northern Cape benefitted from the social work scholarships and bursaries until the 2011 academic year. 75 of those have successfully completed their studies and qualified as social workers while another 65 students are completing their final year of study during the current academic year.

Mr Speaker, our country and our province are committed to unleash all we can in dealing with substance abuse, prevention and rehabilitation. Our partnership with Rescillian, the service provider, for the in-patient treatment centre in Upington will be strengthened to service people in the Province with substance abuse difficulties. The approach of this centre is that it will at the same time endeavor to provide employment opportunities for our people.

South Africa, and specifically the Northern Cape, has the highest reported Foetal Alcohol Specimen Disorder prevalence rate in the world.

In De Aar, the FASD Prevalence Rate used to be 120 per 1000 children. Due to a comprehensive FASD Prevention Programme undertaken by the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research since 2002, the rate has dropped by 30% to 88 per 1000 children. This is the first ever reported drop in a FASD community anywhere in the world.

We will establish one-stop justice centres in partnership with the Department of Justice. This initiative will facilitate the provision of alternative sentencing services for the youth who are in conflict with the law.

We will also ensure that the Children’s Act is implemented so that it may ensure that the care and protection of children is not compromised. We will enhance our partnership with communities by continuing to fund existing community based child-care and protection services rendered by volunteers. This, in turn, will ensure that the strengthening of prevention and early intervention services are on track.

Mr Speaker, the Victim Empowerment Programme aims to sustain the services rendered to victims of crime and violence. To this end, we will strengthen the Keimoes Safehouse in the Siyanda District and ensure that it is operational in the 2012/13 financial year.

The Provincial Government also acknowledges that the aged and elderly remain one of the most exploited sectors of our society and this will have to be addressed through our collective wisdom and consciousness. During the past financial year we have been busy monitoring, verifying and re- assessing residents of all subsidized old-age homes. The process focused on the improvement of services for older persons to comply with the prescribed norms and standards for their safety and security.

The intervention programmes for Persons with Disabilities will continue to make the lives of those who are physically challenged a bit easier. We have provided 195 parents and care givers with training for children with severe disabilities on how to stimulate them to prevent secondary disabilities. Our commitments also saw us having community dialogues in Siyanda and John Taolo Gaetsewe Districts to determine the needs of persons with disabilities. We also facilitated training for social workers and social auxiliary workers on autism which is the fastest growing disability on a world wide basis.

Mr Speaker

We will ensure continuous training of parents and caregivers to prevent secondary disabilities. We shall move swiftly to host a number of awareness and advocacy programmes in the new financial year to build onto the successes of the past.

Each and every department continues to play their part with regard to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In the coming year, we will fund 1000 caregivers to continue their humble crusade against the challenges of HIV/AIDS. Moreover an additional 75 jobs will be created through the department’s contribution to the EPWP.

The cornerstone of any society are the values espoused by each and every family unit. We continue to provide these much needed services to vulnerable families. We have facilitated that 5 FAMSA NGO’s be funded to render family preservation services to vulnerable families and communities.

Mr Speaker

Our endeavor to enhance and promote social cohesion will see us rendering the developmental family preservation programmes in the 2012/2013 financial year.

Mr Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen, We will invest a total of R1, 761 billion on road infrastructure development for the 2012/13 MTEF period. Our focus has shifted from roads construction to the maintenance of roads in order to preserve the assets that we have.

For the coming financial year our target is to create 25 705 work opportunities. The targets for the designated groups are 55% women, 40% youth and 2% people with disabilities.

The Green Job initiative in the province has advanced with multi-departmental projects being implemented. At this stage we are funding six major Social Responsibility Programmes and these are:

The Hartswater landfill site development which will cost R15,2 million and at present has a workforce of 67.
The revitalization of Goegap provincial nature reserve which will cost R47,7m 243 of an envisaged total of 391 workers have been engaged in various labour-intensive tasks.
The revitalization of the Rolfontein provincial nature reserve at a cost of R18,7m a total of 228 workers have been appointed and workers have been drawn from the poverty stricken Renosterberg municipal areas.
The revitalization of Oorlogskloof provincial nature reserve at a cost of R22,6m. Interviews have been held with 160 job seekers of whom 130 will be appointed.
The revitalization of Doornkloof provincial nature reserve at a cost of R48,2m. Workers are currently being interviewed.
The revitalization of Witsand provincial nature reserve at a cost of R38,2m. 200 workers will be contracted for this project.
R15-million has been secured from National Government for the Premier’s Cemetary Cleaning Project.

We also welcome the President’s announcement on the tabling of the National Traditional Affairs Bill which makes provision for the recognition of the Khoi-San communities, their leadership and structures.

The finalisation of this process will assist to redress the injustices of the past and allow for the full participation of the Khoi-san community in the Provincial House of Traditional Affairs and related structures.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we also hosted the first ever Northern Cape Provincial Climate Change Summit in April 2011 in Upington with 300 people attending from communities, academic institutions, NGO’s, municipalities and national and provincial government departments.

Arising from the Summit, a draft Climate Change Response and Mitigation Strategy was compiled and has been work-shopped in all five district municipalities.

The Terms of reference for the Renewable Energy Strategy has been finalized by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Province. Advertisements for “Proposals of Interest” for the Renewable Energy Strategy has been finalized. Collaboration with the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs in the Province took place for the installation of Solar geysers in the Pampierstad Provincial Government Housing Project.

Mr Speaker, in the context of co-ordinated and integrated planning, we need to acknowledge the great work done by government’s social partners. Given this reality it is extremely important to reflect on our relationship and areas of work of some of these social partners.

The Sishen Iron Ore Community Development Trust has undertaken much work in communities where the footprint of Kumba exists through extracting the mineral resources that lie beneath the earth in those communities.

Through these efforts, four trusts have been established for the benefit of our people, and these are:

John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust
Gamagara Development Forum
Tsanstabane Social and Labour Development Forum; and
Maphalane Trust which caters for persons with disabilities.

These trusts focus their work in the following development areas and fund projects in line with those priorities.

Welfare and Humanitarian aspects
Healthcare
Land and Housing
Education and Development; and
Conservation, Environment and Animal Welfare

The priorities identified by these trusts mirror the image of the important priorities of government and as a consequence of that synergy, my office has taken a keen interest to cement and maintain mutual relationships with these entities to further enhance their work and ensure that the identified communities reap the desired benefits.

In 2011, these trusts and forums invested in community projects and initiatives. The investment per organization was as follows:

John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust invested a total of R104 million in the following projects for the 2012 financial year:

Construction of Heuningvlei, Tsineng, Danoon and Mothibistad Multipurpose Community Halls
Construction of an FET College in Kuruman
Construction of libraries and laboratories in high schools as well as curriculum-related intervention programmes
Establishment of an Ostrich and Game Abattoir
Health promotion projects which include the provision of three mobile clinics and ten obstetrics ambulances

The Gamagara Development Forum invested a total of R87 million in the following initiatives and projects which are still under implementation;

Tsholofelo Community Health Workers – R2.5 million
Bomme Serving Project – R1.3 million
Deben Bakery – R1.3 million
Support and Construction of ECD Centres – R5.6 million
Oliphantshoek Community Hall – R3.7 million
Kathu College Resource Centre – R6.5 million
Training of funded projects – R2.5 million; and
Oliphantshoek hospital – R16 million

The bulk of all the forums investment in 2011 was made in the areas of Education and Community Development.

Mr Speaker

I have decided to give this overview to emphasize the point that we need to acknowledge the role played by all social partners of government, particularly those that advance the priority programmes and initiatives of government.

With regard to the ground-breaking infrastructural projects earmarked for the Northern Cape Province as outlined in President Zuma’s address to the Nation, we will offer our unconditional support in seeing to it that these projects, amongst others, are completed within stipulated time-frames. Among these are the following:

The expansion of the iron-ore railway line between Sishen and Saldanah Bay which will create large numbers of jobs both in our Province as well as the Western Cape. The iron-ore capacity on the transport side will increase capacity to 100 million tons per annum, thereby feeding the developing world’s growing investment in infrastructure and industrial activities; and
The development of a major new South Eastern node that will improve the industrial and agricultural development of the Eastern Cape, thereby expanding economic and logistics linkages with the Northern Cape.

The intense industrialization projects announced by President Zuma will be subject to oversight by the President’s Infrastructure Co-ordinating Council, on which all Premier’s and organized local government are represented. The fact that this national project will receive attention from the highest office in the land is re-assuring indeed.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Government has outlined an intensive implementation programme for now until 2014 and beyond. In complementing and supporting the work of Government, I appeal to all the people of the Northern Cape to join hands and give off their best in our collective drive to combat poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Mr Speaker

Ladies and Gentlemen

Fellow citizens of the Northern Cape:

I thank each and every one of you for having given me the opportunity in providing you with this overview of the Northern Cape Province. I leave this platform without an inkling of doubt in my mind or heart that, together, we will achieve our objectives. Together, we have just lit the spark that will surely contribute to a brighter and more prosperous Northern Cape Province.

I THANK YOU

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Office of the Premier 
Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
8301

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