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Batho Pele Principles

Limpopo is in the third position in terms of job creation

By Maanda Mulaudzi

According to the Stats SA Labour Force Survey, Limpopo has created 147 000 jobs in the year 2015. In the third quarter of 2015 alone, the province created no less 59 000 jobs. In the whole country, Limpopo is in the third position after KZN and Gauteng in terms of job creation.

 

Honourable Chupu Mathabatha said this in his State of the Province Address to the Fifth Limpopo Province Legislature at Jack Botes, Polokwane on 26 February 2016.

The Premier further told Honourable Members of Legislature that Whilst the Province was  much better as compared to the national average of 25%, the rate of unemployment in the province remains unacceptably high at 18.9%.

“Government Service and Trade, which includes tourism, remain the biggest employers in the province”.

“We have also reduced dependency index from 8 (eight) in 2006 to 6 (six) in 2014. This means that in our province, for every one person employed, there are, on average, 6 people who depend on the income of that person”.

“Although this drop in dependency signifies progress, it is still unacceptably high and we must therefore work much harder to reduce it to at least 3 (three). This will significantly improve household income”. In the previous state of the province we announce a planned Investment involving the South African Women Investment Holdings, Jidong Development Group and China Africa Development Fund. This R1.65 billion investment was for Mamba Cement Manufacturing Company in Thabazimbi”.

“It is with great pleasure to announce that the construction of the plant is now complete. It created 231 permanent jobs and 550 temporary jobs. The project has been commissioned with the final 30 day plant test due in March this year. 50 South Africans will be trained in China on how to operate this type of plant. They will be sent in groups once the commissioning of the plant is completed”.

“Last year, I also announced another investment worth R38,8 billion for the establishment of a South African Energy Metallurgical Base Project in the Musina Special Economic Zone.I am happy to announce that our SEZ application, one of the first in the country for that matter, has successfully served before the National SEZ Advisory Board in January this year. We are awaiting the final approval by Cabinet before the end of next month”.

We are also hopeful that our second application for the establishment of SEZ in Tubatse will enjoy similar support.

“Once approved, these Special Economic Zones will attract more investments, and obviously put our province on a higher trajectory of economic development”.

“Our trade and investment mission to Russia in October last year was also a success. The Bashkortostan Province of Russia expressed keen interest to invest in our envisaged Special Economic Zones”.

“In this regard and in an effort to strengthen the existing economic relations with Russia, a cooperation agreement on areas of common interest between Limpopo and Bashkortostan Province is being finalised”.

“Last year I made a commitment to convene a Provincial Water and Sanitation Summit to deal with water management and related challenges in the province. I am happy to announce that the Summit has since been convened. The summit, amongst others, resolved that a Limpopo Water Master Plan should be developed as a matter of urgency. The development of this plan is at an advanced stage and will be finalised before the end of April 2016.”

“As part of the process to unlock the Northern Mineral Belt with Waterberg as a catalyst, Medupi Unit 6 achieved commercial operation last year in August. We expect the first synchronisation of the 2nd Unit, that is, Unit 5, to take place in the 2nd half of this year and to achieve full commercial operation in the 1st half of next year”.

The contribution of Medupi Power Station to the National Grid has brought much needed relief in terms of energy supply in the country. Load-shedding has indeed become a thing of the past”

“Limpopo is currently enjoying the number one spot in the domestic tourism market space. Most South Africans enjoy visiting Limpopo.”

“The planned rollout of the broadband infrastructure programme is expected to cover over 80% of the provincial population, including government institutions such as health and educational facilities”

“In the previous state of the province address, we committed an amount of R1.2 billion to roll out more than 12 major road infrastructure projects across the province. We are proud to announce that we made significant progress in this regard. The projects we have constructed include 4 bridges, the upgrade of 407 km gravel roads to tar, and the rehabilitation of 173 km of tarred roads.”

“It is also worth mentioning that we are in the process of upgrading the following roads from gravel to tar:

§ Ga-Phasha, Mampuru, Tukakgomo to Makgabane

§ Mmotwane/Legolaneng, Mohlalotwane, Moeding, Serithing to Ramogwerane

§ Makuya to Masisi

§ Apel to Mmabulela

§ Morebeng to Sekgosese

§ Matsakale, Altein to Shangoni Kruger National Park Gate

§ Marken, Segole to Gilead; and

§ Settlers to Witlaagte

It is also my pleasure to announce that by the 1st of April 2016 the contractors of some of the remaining “Bermuda” roads will be on site”.

“Last year we announced that we have managed to open Madzivhandlila and Tompi Seleka Agricultural Colleges. The student enrolment for both colleges has since increased from 140 in 2015 to 222 in 2016”. The colleges are indeed fully functional and have begun to make an impact in skills development in the agricultural sector. There is no doubt that we are well on track towards producing crop and animal scientists in the province.This year, the focus will be on developing the infrastructure and administrative systems of the colleges to keep up with the standards set by the Council on Higher Education”.

“In 2015 Limpopo alone registered an unprecedented student enrollment of 101 575 sitting for Grade 12 examinations, an increase of 39.2% from 2014. This is a massive achievement, particularly for an under-resourced province such as ours. Although in percentage terms our 2015 Grade 12 results have decreased by 7%, the actual numbers confirm that we have passed more learners than ever before. In qualitative terms, we have also increased the number of learners with bachelor pass from 16 325 in 2014 to 20 992 in 2015”.

“We have set ourselves a target of 80%, and we simply cannot afford to regress any further.

“In this regard we call on all stakeholders, parents, educators, learners and organs of civil society alike, to join government in its efforts to provide an uninterrupted learning and teaching in all our schools”

“As we promised, we have bought no less  than 150 state-of-the-art ambulances in this financial year. The next financial year will see us purchasing more ambulances, including Planned Patient Transport and mobile clinics to assist in those areas where we still have shortages”.

“To improve the availability and accessibility of medicines, we have approved direct deliveries of medicines to two tertiary institutions and four regional hospitals in the province. 

“Today I feel proud to announce to the people of Limpopo that a medical school in the province is no longer just a pipe-dream. It is a reality. This medical school which is at University of Limpopo admitted its first group of 60 students last month.As the provincial government, we have since offered these students full bursaries to the tune of R10 million for their studies”.

“We are also delighted to announce that finally the province will have its own academic hospital. The process of appointing a developer is underway. The construction should commence by November this year”.

“These also complement successful programme of sending young people to Cuba to study medicine. In September last year we sent yet another group of 110 students to Cuba. To date we have 394 students who are at various levels of study in Cuba. We expect 19 of these students to return to the province next year for their final clinical training.”

“We are also happy that province is winning the war against maternal mortality. We have reduced incidents of maternal death from 226 in 2014 to 145 in 2015. Our aim is to completely eradicate these preventable deaths”.

“Some of the municipalities in these areas will amalgamate whilst others will be disestablished after the 2016 local government elections. Waterberg District Municipality continues to lead by example. The District Municipality together with Bela-Bela and Lephalale have received unqualified audit opinion.We also have the Capricorn District Municipality leading by example. The District with its local municipalities of Polokwane and Molemole has also received unqualified audit opinions. The Sekhukhune District Municipality and its local municipality of Makhuduthamaga have both received unqualified audit outcomes.”

“Nevertheless, we have noted that there are some municipalities that continue to get unacceptable audit opinions despite these concerted efforts to support them. I am particularly concerned that these municipalities continue to be qualified in the same issues. These issues include poor record management, lack of proper asset management and non-compliance with supply chain policies”.

“Of particular concern are municipalities that continue to perform below par by receiving disclaimers and adverse opinions. These include Mopani District, Vhembe District, Ephraim Mogale, Thabazimbi, Mogalakwena, and Greater Tubatse. This is unacceptable, and must come to an end.In this regard I have directed the MEC for COGSTA  to ensure that necessary remedial actions are taken. I must emphatically stress that there must be consequences for poor performance.

“We are pleased that most municipalities are beginning to increase their MIG expenditure. For an example, last year we only congratulated two municipalities that had spent above 50% by the end of the 2nd quarter of the financial year. These municipalities were Bela-Bela at 55% and Giyani at 78%.

Today we have a sizable number of our municipalities that have spent above the 50% mark at the end of the 2nd quarter”.

“I am pleased to announce that as at the end of January this year, we have managed to build no less than 7740 houses for our people. This represents a 74.2% increase compared to 2000 houses we built in the previous financial year.

As promised, we have also handed over the Seshego Community Residential Units to deserving beneficiaries. By this we have ensured that these families have their dignity restored”.

“The government has listened to those of our people who are too rich for an RDP House yet too poor for a bond from a commercial bank (the gap market). The partnership between DPSA, CoGHSTA and RISIMA is ensuring that we are able to provide housing for the gap market. We will ultimately not have people, who despite working, are unable to provide shelter to their families”.

“The majority of our people are under the leadership of traditional leaders.It is against this background that I announced last year the introduction of a Medical AID benefit to our traditional leaders. I also made a commitment to purchase vehicles for traditional leaders as a way of assisting them to carry out their responsibilities”.

“It is my pleasure to announce here today that we have since delivered on this commitment. 105 vehicles have since been purchased for our traditional leaders. For the first time our kings will have a budget allocation to discharge their responsibilities. We have allocated no less than R5 million to two kingships in our province.”

“As we meet here today, we are happy to announce that the Cabinet has just taken a decision to completely withdraw Section 100 administration from our province. This is a sign and vote of confidence in our provincial administration. By the end of next month there will no longer be Section 100 in this province. The only department where the Cabinet has considered conditional withdrawal is Education. This is mainly on account of the outstanding challenges in respect of supply chain and overall financial management”