Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Reply to State of Prov Address


Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Dikgosi
Honourable Mayors and Councillors
Fellow South Africans

It was indeed a joy to listen to all the speakers during the State of the Province debate, even in those instances where one did not agree with the point of view made by some of the Honourable Members of this House.
We are however, indeed heartened by the assurance expressed by all the parties in this house about their commitment to work together with the ANC government and contribute towards a brighter and prosperous South Africa, and that as South Africans we will together weather the current economic difficulties. All of us in our own humble way, must contribute to the well -being of our society.

Honourable Speaker, this House has a collective responsibility to the people of South Africa in general and the citizens of the Northern Cape Province in particular to ensure that the commitments made in the State of the Nation and State of the Province Addresses are fully implemented. Consistent with our commitment to this institution, we will do our utmost to ensure that this institution regularly monitors and evaluates the work of government.
The Provincial Government has committed itself to put the interest of all the people in our province first by executing its constitutional obligations to the best of its ability.
It has committed itself to clear and specific goals so as to:

  • Stimulate growth through redistribution and broadening participation in the economy.
  • Using our resources wisely to provide social safety nets to the poor and vulnerable, while ensuring that these safety nets are sustainable over a period of time.
  • Continue to provide basic services to the general populace for the improvement of the quality of life.
  • Create a conducive environment for citizens to take advantage of opportunities for their own development, and
  • Establish clear social and economic goals to guide development.
    The Honourable Member Dave Molusi correctly emphasized that the ANC government received a decisive electoral mandate to create a cohesive, caring and sustainable society based on moral and democratic values. He indicated that the expanded Public Works programme (EPWP) is the cornerstone of our programme as government towards eradicating poverty and fighting unemployment. We agree with the member that the EPWP must ensure long-term self reliance and economic sustenance for our people.

Honourable Members, a number of Speakers made remarks about the role of our public servants, especially with regard to the crucial role they play in the execution of our service delivery programmes. However, the empty political rhetoric made by some members about victimization of government employees if they do not belong to the ruling party must be rejected with the contempt it deserves. The appointment and treatment of public servants are done within the framework of the Public Service Act, in a fair and equitable manner, bearing in mind our equity targets for the province.
The state of our health services has been challenged but has improved, with a greater number of people accessing health care and there has been an improvement in the medical drug supply chain, with further measures outlined to improve service delivery.

We have also announced the completion of the De Aar, Phillipstown, Douglas and Platfontein clinics which have now been commissioned. In addition to the clinics that are currently under construction in the province, the MEC for Health, Mr. Sokatsha will announce new additional clinics that will be constructed during the current financial year.
It is common cause that health is one of the main priorities of the ANC led government; we thus have a clear appreciation of the enormous challenges that our own diagnoses gave us. We are investing significantly in human resources that would ultimately enhance the functioning of these facilities because health is not just about structures - it is personnel intensive. Similarly we are investing in health technology that is required to optimize quality public health care.

Honourable Speaker, we are disturbed by the lack of understanding displayed by the Honourable Member Mompati regarding various programmes run by the ANC-led Government and the successes of these over the past fifteen years. These successes, it may be noted, was the basis on which he held the position he had previously occupied. Let me try again: The ANC- led government will not be apologetic about the protection of our environment by planting trees, we will not apologise for instilling in our people a sense of belonging and patriotism by celebrating our commemorative days, we will not apologise for responding to the immediate needs of our people through feeding schemes and the EPWP job creation projects..
We will also not be apologetic about the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy we have been attempting to implement over the past five years, which we were the first to acknowledge (in my opening address) and which now needs revision in order to be in line with the new priorities. We have been honest about the shortcomings through our own assessment document, the 15 Year Review Report which was publicly distributed on 2 April this year.

Hounourable Speaker, the Honourable Member also expressed his disappointment that we did not say much about the house of Traditional Leaders and in particular the Khoisan Community. I would like to remind the Honourable Member that we were the first province in the country to establish our provincial House of Traditional Leaders, with the inclusion of the Khoi San leaders in the Province, on 1 April 2009. We acknowledge that at this time we are unable to give them full legal status, but this is due to the fact that such a proposed legislative framework is a National competency which is still being processed. We remain fully committed to supporting our indigenous people, including the Khoisan Community and will ensure, amongst other priorities, the promotion and restoration of their cultural values.

Honourable Members, serious strides has been undertaken since 1994 in terms of the Land Redistribution Programme by allocating 1061 638 hectares of land to 9 250 individuals. This feat placed the Northern Cape in pole position in this respect. Furthermore, at the end of 2008 a total of 632 273 hectares were distributed for agricultural development.
The considerable growth in the province’s agriculture sector’s growth can thus be attributed to our significant land reform interventions and related support initiatives such as; Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) and LandCare.

These support initiatives were established to enhance the provision of comprehensive support services; to promote and facilitate agricultural development targeting beneficiaries of the Land Reform and Agrarian Reform programmes.
Our ongoing efforts in promoting the cause of our emerging farmers are evident in the following;
Our Livestock Production and Development Programme is in the process of being massified, by us being involved in:

  • Various Beef production initiatives such as
  • Nguni cattle development project
  • Beef beneficiation
  • Presidential bull/heifer project
  • The Bonsmara project
  • We also have a vibrant Commercialisation of goats programme
  • Our Sheep production initiative is assisting emerging farmers to produce meat and wool products
  • Our Livestock improvement programme assists farmers to deliver better quality stock, supported by research done at our own research stations

Honourable Speaker, it was very interesting to note that Honourable Mompati remarked that the ANC does not have the monopoly of wisdom over these issues, yet he himself failed to come with innovative ideas on how to do things differently – instead he kept on asking “how”. How we will attract investors, how we will create sustainable jobs and he also said “ people can’t eat trees or floodlights”. I want to sincerely ask the Member not to insult the developmental needs of our people in such a manner – he is implying that we must just give people food and then they will be happy. He has further not offered one constructive and implementable solution to any of the challenges that he raised.

In pursuit of our goal for a fully fledge university the Provincial Government will ensure that that the establishment of a university is accepted as a policy of government. This will open the way to bring pressure to bear on the National Minister to include on his legislative agenda the intention to amend the Higher Education Act enabling him to establish a university in the province.

To rid our schools of gangsters we will in addition have regular searches and seizures by the principal and the SAPS in hotspot schools. Increase patrols around hotspot schools before, during and after hours, enforce access control and teal harshly with perpetrators. We will also ensure proper fencing for schools.
Honourable Member Block should be lauded for having reminded us of the urgent tasks and plans that must be implemented with speed as set out in the State of the Provinces address and this includes, amongst others, the following.
? To develop Provincial specific data to feed into government programmes.
? To convene the economic conference to find common ground so as to chart the way forward.
? It is important that we engage the private sector in the expansion of our Manufacturing, Agriculture and Tourism sectors.
? The need to improve municipal infrastructure on a province-wide basis.
? To activate our Township rejuvenation programme in all areas.
We believe that the timelines that we have set for ourselves are sufficient to allow for thorough and proper preparation to act on the commitments we have made to our people.
We will continue to work together with all the sectors of our society in the pursuit of our mandate of a better life for all.
In conclusion allow me to quote from John C Maxwell’s – “Winning with people” “Working together increase the odds of winning together”

I thank you

Air Jordan

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