Honourable Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Ms Hazel Jenkins at the occasion of the Fourth Democratic,
Provincial Legislature, 12 June 2009, Kimberley
Honourable speaker and Deputy Speaker
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the National assembly and National Council of provinces
Our Esteemed judge President and Members of the Judiciary
Heads of 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 the state organs supporting our constitutional democracy;
Provincial Public Service Commissioner
Acting Director General, Heads of Department and other Leaders of the public services
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am honoured and privileged to deliver to you the state of the province address which sets out the Provincial programme of action for the next fives years, cogniscant of the enormity of the challenges at hand. We celebrate this occasion as it ushers in a new era in pursuit of our mandate of a better life for all.
The economic and social challenges, that confronts our nation highlight more than ever the need for all social partners to work together to ensure that the economy overcomes this difficult period.
We believe that this period of recession demands of us as government and the people, not to recoil in despair, but rise in the spirit of our forbearers who did not allow momentary challenges to blur their vision of a democratic South Africa; it implores us to rise in unison and say “Working Together We Can Do More.
We call on all our people to unite and rally behind the common vision of the government of deepening our democracy and defending our dream of creating a brighter and prosperous South Africa. A South Africa that belongs to all of us black and white; old and young, rich and poor.
We have recently formed a Cabinet that is truly representative of the geographical spread and includes skills, experience, youth, and women. These are leaders that can rise to the occasion and we are expressly confident that they will help steer this provincial government on the correct path to fully achieve our goals. Consistent with the government’s commitment to the objective of a better life for all, they will ensure that the implementation of programmes and policies are consistent with the critical mandate of improving the quality of life of the vast majority of South Africans.
You elected your public representatives to this provincial government to articulate your interest and pursue what you hold dear to your hearts. You did so also because you were convinced that we will not deviate from this noble course of serving our people, even how difficult it might seem under the current conditions. We want to reassure you once more, that we will not betray the trust and confidence that you have bestowed on us.
To ensure that, we do not fail you, the Provincial government has started to align its priorities in accordance with the national mandate as spelt out by President Jacob Zuma which are:
• The creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods
• Rural development, food security and land reform
• The fight against crime and corruption;
We have committed ourselves to say that these priorities will be tackled with all the means at our disposal- the resources of government, the vision of the freedom charter and the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of our people.
Today, we re-dedicate ourselves not to depart from the fundamental principles of creating jobs, reducing poverty and reducing the inequality gap between the rich and poor in spite of the difficult economic situation we find ourselves in .
Over the past fifteen years, significant progress has been made by the Provincial Administration and a firm foundation has been laid to implement programmes and strategies to benefit our people. We will continue to build onto the successes that have been achieved. We are also called upon to finalize the restructuring of the departments in line with the new configuration of departments to improve the efficacy of government.
The Provincial Growth and Development Strategy that was adopted in 2005 as the development planning framework to guide the province’s development and growth trajectory, will be reviewed , and completed by October 2009 so that it influences the new MTSF plans, programmes and budget allocations over the 2010 – 2013 MTEF. Like never before, because of the depressed economic growth prospects, it is hoped that this review will address, as a priority, the issues related to collaboration between sectors and spheres of government, and most importantly, collaboration with the private sector and other social partners, to facilitate growth and development in our province.
Ladies and gentlemen,
For government to succeed in implementing its goals and objectives, it requires a public service that is energized, highly committed and dedicated to serve all our people with humility. Our people rely on you to help build a strong and vibrant society while aiming to deliver with the highest levels of commitment and quality, to ensure that the service delivered is both efficient and professional and continues to meet the needs of the people.
We have also noted with concern that there are public servants who have abandoned their responsibility of taking services closer to the people; they have instead decided to work against the developmental agenda of providing much needed services to the poor. The critical challenge is to act against such bad tendencies and ensure that we transform public servants into active agents of change who are committed, responsive and are prepared to render quality services. Our responsibility is to take the public service to the people.
We are also hopeful that through the government’s outreach programme, we will in a concerted effort reach out to all communities and touch their lives in a meaningful and tangible manner. We should empower them to become self reliant, and identify opportunities and create employment opportunities to sustain their local livelihoods.
Our government g is committed to enhance our democratic systems by ensuring that we reinforce the community participation in the spirit of working together with our people, and thus meaningfully realize the Freedom Charters maxim that “The People Shall Govern.”
The issues of Women, Youth, Children and Persons with Disabilities have been placed high on the national agenda of government as a priority for the creation of equal opportunities, recognition of diversity and the entrenchment of equity in society.
Through our social development programme, we emphasise the importance of allowing children to grow up in a safe and caring environment. Children do not need protection only from abuse but from poverty as well. They need to grow up in dignity, have access to education and health care. We encourage parents to take full responsibility in the upbringing of their children.
We will also celebrate and commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the June 16 uprising to reflect on the important role that our youth have played in the struggle for liberation. It is because of their brave an unrelenting struggle that we have attained our democracy and enjoy our freedom today. We must pay homage to all those who dedicated their lives and service to the attainment of our liberation. We also welcome the decision by the President to Launch the National Youth Development Agency on June 16 which will provide wide range of youth services, empower and create opportunities for youth to get gainful employment.
Government through the Expanded Public Works programme (EPWP) will involve young people in job creation opportunities, skills development and maximum participation in government programmes and activities.
In the light of the current serious local and global economic challenges, we must put every effort into ensuring that we build productive, profitable and job-creating partnerships between government and the private sector.
We must act in unison to find practical and innovative ways that must lead to the growth in the economy, as well as stimulate and attract investors to the province.
We have also noted with great concern the down scaling of the mines and the retrenchment of workers at a large scale. The economic down turn is already impacting on the livelihoods of our people, especially the poor who will have to be re-skilled, we will need strong partnerships with all sectors so that we succeed together.
It is for this reason that we are trying to ensure, in our efforts that the economy is not only based on mineral commodities; but also focus on enabling diamond beneficiation and jewellery manufacturing by creating a centre of excellence for diamond cutting and polishing, Jewellery Manufacturing and Services. This will ensure that the Province as a whole benefit from such opportunities.
The challenge is to expand our manufacturing sector and diversify the economy of the province. The next five years requires us to really explore options and stimulus packages that our economic cluster can pursue, the role of government in all spheres and the attraction of long term investment.
Through SMME’S Procurement-Mentoring we must stimulate and sustain the small and medium enterprises that serve as a safety net as they provide gainful employment and have the potential to grow.
The Provincial Government through the implementation of the Broad Based procurement and Empowerment principles, procuring locally can realize new opportunities and ensure that our economy weathers the storm of economic decline.
It is a matter of considerable seriousness to the Government, especially in this particular period of our history, to promote a dynamic economy which will make it possible for increasing numbers of people to be employed and share in rising standards of living.
As such, the Provincial Government will convene an urgent Economic Summit in September with all the role players i.e. business sector, labour, Civil society to find common ground to weather the economic downturn and map the way forward.
The Provincial Government will continue to market and showcase the Northern Cape as a Premier tourist destination to contribute to its prosperity and economic value. The province has a rich heritage and offers diverse activities and experiences for visitors to explore and enjoy. The Northern Cape Province was also chosen as the focus of World Tourism Day activities in the country for 2009. This international event comes with a host of opportunities to confirm the province as a destination of choice. We also like to congratulate the department of Tourism for their outstanding achievement of winning the Premier’s Excellence Award, winning the Gold Award for outstanding performance. It also won two additional PMR awards for tourism and service delivery.
We will develop and promote tourism in all its facets, such as:
- SMME benefits
- Tourism Hospitality
The Department of Environment Affairs and Nature Conservation In partnership with Buyisa will contribute an amount of , R1.40 Million to fund a Waste Recycling Project in the Frances Baard District: in the towns of Warrenton, Windsorton and in Barkly West in 2009/2010. Dikgatlong Waste Recycling cc has been identified by the District Municipality as the BEE for the project.
It has also planted 100 000 trees during this financial year as a joint initiative with the Department of Agriculture and Department of Water Affairs as part of the greening our environment campaign. We will plant 2 000 trees in Pixley ka Seme District at a cost of R30 000. 00. The planting of palm trees in Kimberley along the Airport Road and along the Nobengula Road Extension from the new Prison Complex to the New Legislature Building will be completed this financial year,
The Province, through the department of Environmental Affairs and Nature Conservation will commit resources for a study and to develop a strategy to deal with the impact of climate change in our Province.
The agricultural sector remains one of the main sectors of the economy in the province and will as a matter of urgency continue to intensify its productive activities.
Through the Department of Agriculture we will provide agricultural assistance to emerging farmers to enable them to become commercially viable.
We will pay urgent attention to rural and agricultural development and Land reform to ensure that we revolutionize our rural communities. These are the communities that experience the harshest conditions of poverty, lack of access to land and basic services such as water and sanitation. We will also ensure that all agricultural activity to a large extent bolster rural development.
The Northern Cape has identified value-adding and marketing to increase production. We received an allocation of R45 million from National Treasury that is used to kick-start implementation, for Vaalharts and Rooibos tea project, respectively. Work at these two projects is in progress.
- of the Rooibos tea in the Niewoudtville area, R15 million
- the rehabilitation of Vaalharts irrigation scheme R30million
The massification of livestock as priority projects that will contribute towards the national campaign of increasing food production. The programme of increasing Nguni Cattle aimed at improving the animals owned by emerging farmers and land reform beneficiaries
In addition to the objective of increasing production of high value commodities, these projects will also contribute towards local economic development and job creation in their respective areas as well broader objectives of agrarian and rural development.
The high input costs has contributed to a drastic rise in food prices, which has affected, in the main, people who are poor and whose ability to buy food and feed their families was significantly reduced. However, food security interventions will continue as part of government’s war on poverty.
Interventions will include provision of production such as fertilizers, seeds, plants and irrigation equipment etc. Inputs for the establishment of food gardens and other income generating initiatives to empower communities to sustain their livelihoods and to provide our communities with technical skills and financial resources to productively work the land and create decent work in rural areas.
As a pro-poor government, we have launched the War-on-Poverty Campaign, of which already 500 of the poorest- of- the- poor- families in our province has been targeted. We will aggressively expand this War-on-Poverty Campaign, by making sure that all our people that are living in abject poverty receive relief from such initiatives.
On the 19th of June 2009, we will be celebrating the restoration of the land to it’s rightful people in Riemvasmaak. This is a community who was denied the right to land by the draconian Natives Land Act of 1913 that led to many Africans being subjected to a cruel peasantry life. The Regional Land Claims Commission will restore 46 000hectares as the last phase of the Riemvasmaak land settlement package to the tune of R76 million. In 2008, the Regional Land Claims Commission successfully negotiated a partial land restoration settlement for 657 households of 1654.3521hectares of land worth R28 million. Much is to follow for the Riemvasmaak community in respect of government’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme which translates into them benefiting from a wide range of government services. This holistic approach shall be unveiled before the end of this year.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As part of our commitment to expand the Public Health System, is to ensure that a large proportion of the population have access to health facilities thus reducing social inequities and the burden of disease. A substantial number of clinics have been opened throughout the province. Another Nine more clinics are targeted for completion in 2009.
The construction of the Upington hospital has started. Planning and construction of De Aar hospital will commence in 2010. These massive projects and others will be undertaken without any further delays. It is vital for the department of Health to continue to ensure that we provide optimal health care as per the required level of care at each facility. We will through the Department of health ensure that these health facilities are properly maintained, staffed and stocked with the necessary medicinal supplies.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic poses a serious challenge to the province with regard to the prevention of new HIV infections. The provincial prevalence rate for HIV is currently at 16.1 which is the second lowest in the country; it also shows signs of stabilization. With more than an estimated 18 000 HIV positive adults and children residing in Northern Cape, the HIV & AIDS epidemic is in need of aggressive treatment and care options. At the same time, an increase in TB prevalence is seen, leading to co-morbidity for HIV and TB.
We will as part of our Care and Support to people living with HIV and AIDS and the number of people supported will increase in 2009/10. A notable increase will be seen in the provision of Anti Retroviral Treatment. To improve access to Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART), the number of fixed Primary Health Care facilities accredited as ART service points will increase from 15 to 21 in 2009.
We take this opportunity to hail the effective and compassionate work that Home Based Care Workers are doing in our communities. We encourage them to remain an example of the compassionate society we need to build, following the example of compassionate leadership of former President Nelson Mandela.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of illness and deaths worldwide and our province has got a high burden of TB. For the next five years, starting in the current financial year, we must continue to improve the cure rate of new smear positive patients at first attempt to 75% in the 2009/2010 financial year and MDR & XDR facilities will be upgraded to address the management of this complicated TB strains.
We also experience severe shortage of scarce skills in the Health Profession, in an effort to address this we have 206 bursaries for students in the 2009/10 financial year to study in various fields in Health Sciences; these also includes 100 bursaries awarded for students to study Nursing.
Bursary allocations are subject to students meeting entry requirements at the Universities. This must act as a motivation for learners in all grades, especially those from poor families who otherwise would be trapped in a cycle of poverty. This government like no other wants to make real change in the lives of young people. To address the shortage of doctors, we will be retaining 50 Community service doctors. The Department of Health have also sent 5 students to be part of the Clinical Associate Programme launched in 2008.
It is also incumbent on us to fast-tracking Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV. We are prioritizing the acquisition of medicines and quality health care in this regard because once more the emphasis is on meeting the noble objectives of the Millennium Development Goals.
Given the fact that this government has been mandated to strengthen the skills and human resource base, education will be central to creating a culture of achievement and improving learner outcomes. Working together, we can do more and ensure that our educational outcomes improve, education is such a critical challenge for us; we shall and must improve and create a culture of excellence.
Obviously we cannot do this alone, education is everybody’s business. And as our President stated in his State of the Nation Address last week (and I quote), “Education will be a key priority for the next five years. We want our teachers, learners and parents to work with government to turn our schools into thriving centres of excellence.” (close quote)
In his State of the Nation Address, the Honourable President also reiterated our non-negotiables. “Teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching, with no neglect of duty and no abuse of pupils! The children should be in class, on time, learning, be respectful of their teachers and each other, and do their homework.” The role of parents and the entire school community is crucial in assisting government to turn our schools into thriving centres of excellence.
In yet another initiative to make education a societal matter, the Foundations for Learning Campaign encourages all families to make time to read. Research has shown that there is an overall performance improvement in a child who reads for at least 30 minutes a day.
Greater emphasis shall be given to Adult Basic Education to obliterate illiteracy and thus enhance the freedoms, dignity and opportunities for all.
The School Governing Bodies (SGB) Elections already started in all earnest in the province. For parents it is the most important engagement they have with the democratic process after the national and provincial elections.
I therefore appeal to all parents and guardians to make the time and get involved in our children’s schooling, and in so doing provide for the governance of our schools, to redress past injustices, and democratic transformation in education, develop our people’s talents and capabilities and facilitate community involvement in this all important task of the education of our children.
The Manifesto of the ruling party states that “we will continue to work towards free and compulsory education”, and as an immediate step towards that in this province we are proud to announce that 64% of schools are already declared No Fee Schools – 4% above the national target of 60%. A total of 137 623 learners will benefit from this initiative. This is with the intention of ensuring that all our children will stay in school and in so doing, together with our President, “we will increase our efforts to encourage all pupils to complete their secondary education.”
To further ensure access to education, increase learner performance and to eradicate learner drop-out, we will continue to provide learners with nutritious meals. The department has increased the number of learners benefiting from the School Nutrition Programme from 239 612 to 250 527. Furthermore, a total of 4500 learners in 195 Early Childhood Development sites will be fed in line with the Grade R expansion rollout programme in public primary schools.
The Department of Education will continue to monitor the utilization of funds allocated to schools, and will also provide financial management training and support to School Governing Bodies. I take this opportunity to remind SGBs that that they must submit their audited financial statement to the department or else they will not get their school’s second tranche of allocations.
The Northern Cape Education Department will also continue to strengthen the skills and human resource base of the province by developing the teaching profession through various initiatives and create conditions for effective school management by providing principals with the necessary training and administrative support.
The recent spate of gangsterism and violence in our schools is indeed a matter of concern. Indeed, Parents and communities have a crucial role to play to stem the tide of violence in our schools. Our churches should also be applauded for the laudable role they are playing in spreading the message of tolerance and peace.
In this regard we will implement an integrated school safety plan which will ensure that school will become safe and caring child friendly schools. This plan will also target alcohol, drug and substance abuse in our schools. To this end a provincial school safety forum has already been established. To further strengthen the creation of safe and caring schools, a partnership with UNICEF to the value of R5,3m is currently unfolding.
In our endeavor to speed up community infrastructure and to provide schools with basic services we will comply with the minimum basic standards for water, sanitation and electricity, and will also complete the construction of the four new schools in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District (3) and the Frances Baard District (1).
In pursuance of realising the target of universal Grade R by 2010, the department will continue to expand and provide high quality learning programmes (Grade R) to all five years-olds in the province. Grade R leaner enrolment in public funded schools will be increased to 13 000 (from 9 538 during 2008), additional 30 classrooms will be constructed in schools in order to enhance access to Grade R, A total of 797 Grade R practitioners at public schools and independent sites will be subsidised and 300 classrooms will be provided with outdoor and indoor equipment.
We will also embark on a vigorous and intense learner enrolment campaign for 2010 targeting children that are of school going age but are not at school. There can be no legitimacy of children not attending school. Through education we can unlock the limitless potential of the human mind and break the back of poverty in our society.
We are also committing ourselves to pursue the process of the establishment of a fully fledge university for the Northern Cape Province, but will obviously consult and collaborate with all the relevant stakeholders in this regard. The establishment of a university will be beneficial for both increasing the potential of the province but at the same time expanding our skills base to create infinite opportunities especially for our youth.
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 necessary for enhancing government’s service delivery.
The EPWP focuses on the use of labour intensive construction (LIC) methods for delivery of infrastructure for roads, water supply, sanitation, buildings etc.
The department of Public Works will spend R 1,287 billion on capital infrastructure over the next three years. The spending will be on the upgrading of roads, rehabilitation and Access roads. The amount set aside for Upscaling of EPWP projects for the next MTEF period is R330 million.
Description of identified roads for upgrading 2009/10 financial year:
The road between Ntsweng and Tsineng is currently gravel road of approximately 22km. It serves as a north-western link from Kuruman. R66 million has been allocated for this project.
The proposed road between Carnarvon and Vosburg is underway, which will enhance accessibility to basic services by the community of Britstown, and will also increase movement of agricultural products offered by Calvinia and neighbouring towns. The estimated cost for the project is R120 million.
The upgrading of 44km gravel road between Churchill and Bendel to surfaced standard is at an estimated cost of R86 million. This road serves as an eastern link from Kuruman. The community of Bendel and the neighbouring villages go through this road to Kuruman, where services are accessed, for example health services and schools as well as buying of groceries and other necessities.
The upgrading of 28km of road between Douglas and Campbell is underway and it serves the crop raising communities who have the businesses hub in Douglas. The design has been completed and the project will be advertised during 2009/10 financial year. The surface standard is estimated at a cost of R61 million. We are fully aware that the investment in public infrastructure is at the cornerstone of development and economic growth.
We will strengthen Co-operatives which seeks to build a spirit of community, good citizenship, social activism, moral regeneration and solidarity at the local level. The co-operatives development programme is one of government’s initiatives that are integral to poverty reduction through extensive job creation, income generation, and mobilization of resources and promotion of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment.
This will to a great measure also serve as our creative response to the current economic down turn and ensure we create medium to long term jobs.
Honourable Speaker, through this programme, the province seeks to create and provide an environment conducive to co-operatives growth and development and thereby enhancing sustainable development.
Given the housing backlog and the number of households that are still homeless in the Province, government remains committed to alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis through our persistent endeavours to eradicate the housing backlog and provide a home for all.
The Northern Cape has received R167 million from the national allocation for 2008/09 financial year for housing development. From this allocation 2007 houses were constructed and 1428 sites were serviced. 1043 houses and 1299 sites are currently under construction.
The Department of Human Settlement received R325million conditional grant for housing development in the province for the 2009/10 financial year. We will deliver 3913 houses and service 1171 sites in various areas in the province. It must be noted that this funding includes the additional R152million for 3 priority projects, namely: Upington, Leratong Park and Ouboks.
In Leratong Park, Kimberley, our vision as the provincial government is to transform Leratong park into a quality integrated human settlement providing a full range of urban amenities such as shops, schools, clinics and public transport facilities and addressing the needs of a range of housing types. The province has stepped up into the role as developer and has teamed up with ABSA bank as its implementation agent.
- Sufficient funding has been provided in the current financial year to move the various aspects of the project forward with vigour;
- A new layout is nearing completion that has the double benefit of saving us well in excess of R100 million rand and increase the number of units by nearly 1000;
- The tender of the first element of construction, a main road, closes on Monday as we will see the construction of labour intensive block paved road commencing soon
- The construction of internal services and the first phases of houses are anticipated from 2010
ABSA will complete a feasibility study to ensure high quality development and allow us to create a fully integrated human settlement. Much of the previous delay has been caused by the lack of sufficient bulk water, flush toilets and electricity connections.
Human Settlement Department will also assist all 32 municipalities to develop their housing sector plan which is part of their integrated development Plan (IDP) to ensure sustainable human settlements and avoid blue print planning (apartheid spatial planning)
In honour to support the plight and recognize the contribution which the Military Veterans have made in our Country, we can now proudly report that the Military Veterans Housing Assistance Programme has been approved by Government. Those that qualify are entitled to apply for this benefit.
Honourable speaker, we must all act together to intensify our fight against crime. The war on crime forms part of the key priorities as outlined in the ruling party’s manifesto. The recruitment of young people to fight crime in our communities must be applauded .The fight against crime and corruption in the province will definitely be taken to a higher level. Key amongst our priorities will be to strengthen our mechanisms and systems for integrated and collaborative work amongst all departments, institutions across all sectors of society and all communities in the province to ensure that we work together in not only fighting crime but also its underlying and contributory causes.
We want to add our voice to condemn the spate of violent murders that have been reported recently. The police must leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to book. As a civilized nation we cannot tolerate the horrendous crimes against women and children and the elderly in particular
Our programme will include amongst others the following
• Finalise and implement the various cross-cutting strategies such as the Provincial Anti-rape Strategy, provincial integrated strategy for the prevention of aggravated robberies (in support of the National Operation Greed)
• Roll-out the establishment of Local Anti- Substance Abuse Committees at Municipal level to coordinate the fight against drug and alcohol abuse within our communities.
• Mobilize and integrate work of SGB’s, PTA’s and CPF’s to ensure school safety issues are addressed coherently.
• Establish a Provincial Anti-Crime Forum and develop and implement a community safety model around the Street Committee Concept.
• Implement a project to upgrade the Kimberley 10111 Centre
• Pay special attention to prosecution of traffic offences especially driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with narcotic effects.
• Vigorously Combat the scourge of violence against women and children
We believe through these efforts we will succeed in reducing levels of serious and violent crimes in the province by the set target of 7 to 10% per annum.
In line with the department of Social Development’s aim to ensure the provision of comprehensive, integrated, sustainable services to combat vulnerability and poverty. We must thus continue ensure that the elderly, our children and people with disabilities who are entitled to receive social grants receive them. This will undoubtedly strengthen our battle against poverty. We must also provide to those that are indigent and destitute much needed relief in the form of social security assistance to enable them to have food on the table.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the collaborative effort between the Department of Science and Technology, the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the SKA South Africa Project Office to build a world-class instrument to do world-class science and the provision of the required infrastructure is still on track and will continue as part of our new medium term plans. The construction of the dish assembly shed and accommodation quarters has been completed, implying that the economic and infrastructure development activities in that identified part of our province is about to gain momentum and a media event is being planned in August 2009 , regarding the erection of the first dish on site. The event will be officiated by the Minister of the DST, the Honorable Ms. Pandor and the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms. H Jenkins.
As part of our commitment to democratic participatory and consultative processes, the NC province is actively involved in the legislative aspects of the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act (Act 21 of 2007) and the implementation of its regulations.
Sports play an important role in any nation and have the immense ability to unite all our people and contribute towards nation building. Though we are not chosen as the official host province for the FIFa world Cup 2010 we can still take advantage of this spectacular event and benefit as a province.
The 2010 unit remain committed to fulfilling in four key focal areas; namely establishing a base camp, Public Viewing Areas, Legacy programmes and promoting tourism.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mangaung Municipality which affords us the platform to participate in the greatest football extravaganza to be hosted by South Africa in 2010.
The Province has developed a Base Camp Bid Book to promote and assist in marketing the province as a potential base camp for teams participating the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The economic spin offs from a team setting up base camp and their supporters, will be huge for the province. We have already made presentations to representatives from England, Argentina and Brazil.
We are convinced that through Public Viewing Areas, we can bring the 2010 spectacle to the people of the Northern Cape.
Let us all unite behind Bafana Bafana as they take on the world’s best in the FIFA confederations cup. I would also like to join the President in welcoming all visitors to the country. May I also take this opportunity to kindly request you to buy your tickets in support of the beautiful game of soccer to fill the stadiums to capacity. This rare opportunity that our country experiences must inspire us as a province to stake our claim more prominently in the sporting World, we have said working together we will succeed; today I want us to rise to the challenge of being a competitive people in all respects.
Fellow South Africans, by preserving our heritage and legacy, we have committed ourselves to honour those heroes and heroines who contributed to our struggle for freedom and equal rights. These include those brave men and women, who, against all odds persevered to ensure that the interest of our people takes centre stage.
Government will launch the project entitled ‘The History of the Liberation Struggle in the Northern Cape’. This project will encapsulate our role as a province in the liberation struggle, and will serve as a gift from our veterans to the youth of the province.
We will certainly see more memorials erected, commemorative lectures, burial sites declared and commemorative plaques erected. The current year will see the start of more research and identification of liberation struggle sites being done. The renaming process will also be given impetus through a process of community involvement and mobilization.
Apart from the Richtersveld becoming the province’s first World Heritage Site, the Wildebeest Kuil rock art site was also declared as the first new provincial heritage site since the implementation of the National Heritage Resources Act in 2000.
The performance of municipalities is critical for the realization of the mandate bestowed on us by the electorate to whom we owe this privilege to serve. Most municipalities are characterized by poor financial management systems and lack of effective and sound administration.
We need to strengthen the sphere of local government which is at the coal face of service delivery. As Government we will ensure that municipalities are fully capacitated to fully carry out the important task of improving the lives of the people. Ensure that Municipalities are absolutely functional and have sound financial management operations.
In an effort to improve service delivery and audit outcomes, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, through the Siyenza-Manje initiative funded by National Treasury, has placed a number of technical and financial experts as well as young professionals in most municipalities. It is expected that this initiative will substantially improve municipal performance and therefore service delivery. We will monitor developments in this regard.
We have no choice but to ensure that our townships are revitalised to change the conditions in which our people live, through the construction of roads, sealing of potholes, refuse removal, infrastructure development, clean water, sanitation, cleaning, greening, recycling and projecting the face of Townships etc.
As a government we are indebted to the ordinary people through whose taxes we exist as a government. We thus want to promote clean governance and ensure that we subscribe to the prescripts of sound financial management whilst ensuring that we deliver services to our people and meet the objectives of the Programme of Action as outlined. We must manage our finances towards quality service.
It is also important that we promote the unity and patriotism of all the people of our province, we must unite behind the national symbols of our country, such as our flag, national code of arms etc.to eradicate the racial divide . Most importantly our beloved flag is a potent symbol of unity in progress and it’s instantly recognizable to South Africans everywhere.
There is a need for each and every one of us to begin the process to master the basics of each other’s language, to communicate in simple and understandable language. We will introduce the relevant African language in identified schools, so that all languages can be understood and spoken in every part of the province.
The Premier of the Northern Cape and the Cabinet will assume and provide leadership in this regard!
May I extend my gratitude to Ministers Ms Dipuo Peters and Ms Tina Joemat – Pettersson,. We have always believed in their abilities and know that they will succeed and make our province proud.
I also want to extend my profound gratitude to all the people of the Northern Cape, in particular our Veterans, for their continued support and partnership in building our country.
TOGETHER WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE NORTHER CAPE:
- Let us all combat the social challenges confronted by our province
- Help our neighbours
- Take responsibility of our children
- Be the ear and voice of your neighbourhood
- We must make Northern Cape a better and prosperous , crime free place for all our children
Thanks to my family for their unending support, love and inspiration that cheers me on to carry out my task diligently.
Honorable Speaker now is the time of governing!
We must get down to work, we must work to succeed. As the Office of the Premier we shall review and put in place strict monitoring frameworks to ensure that the noble objectives that the people voted for are turned into real life stories. In line with the national directive, we will also make sure that our monitoring and evaluation system includes early warning system to assist us to detect affected departments and ensure that corrective action is taken when weaknesses are identified
When we presented our programme to the people during the elections campaign, we did so well aware that we are not presenting a fictional drama; it is thus time to work!
We will continue to benefit from the wise counsel of the many ordinary people whose interests we serve, we shall interface with every citizen through our work and outreach programmes, this is your government, black or white and together we can do more and succeed together.
I thank you