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Batho Pele Principles

Limpopo is the lead producer of high value agricultural products

 

By Maanda Mulaudzi

Premier Chupu Mathabatha announced that his Province had identified agriculture as one of the strategic drivers of the economy. He said this during his State of the Province Address to the Fifth Limpopo Provincial Legislature at Lebowakgomo on 26 June 2014.

 

He said that as the province we are the lead producer of high value agricultural commodities, tomatoes at 60%, and potatoes at 21%, citrus at 32%, avocados at 58%, and mangos at 75%. And that Citrus, avocados and macadamia nuts were our largest foreign income earners.

With regard to the improvement of health services in the province, Premier Mathabatha announced that his government had set aside no less than R145million to purchase and repair critical equipments for all our hospitals in need. These items include boilers, autoclaves machines, laundry machines, theatre equipment, kitchen equipment, electrical generators, mortuary and kitchen refrigerators.

He also announced that his province was also purchasing no less than 50 ambulances in this current financial year in an effort to improve the response time of our Emergency Medical Services (SMS)

In order to alleviate the shortage of doctors in our province,Premier Mathabatha told members of the Legislature that his government had at the beginning of this year sent no less than 110 students to Cuba for medical training as doctors and that this current financial year the province is committed to further resources to send another group of 110 medical students to Cuba. He also welcomed the recent announcement by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address that by January next year, the first intake of medical students will be enrolled at the new medical school at the University of Limpopo. He commited his government to offer bursaries to this first intake of medical students.

He said that his government was in the process of identifying struggling municipalities that would become areas of focus in the implementation of the programme of action over the next five years. Government ‘s support to municipalities would be based to challenges such as poor accountability and relationship with the communities, problems with the political administrative interface, poor compliance with the legislative and regulatory frameworks. Corruption and fraud, lack of paper planning and poor project management, lack of forward and integrated planning on current and capital projects, at times lack of suitably qualified and skilled personnel and, above all, none and under-expenditure of the Municipal Infrastructure.

Premier Mathabatha said that it is unacceptable that communities around Nandoni dam in Vhembe District and other water resources were not the primary beneficiaries.” On contrary, we find that water from these sources is being piped to faraway places while local communities remain without even a single drop of water. As government, we are going to ensure that this situation is reversed as soon as it is possible for the benefit of the communities in question”. he said.

“To improve the accessibility to policing services, the province has increased its police stations from 84 to 97. These have been augmented by the establishment of 42 satellite stations in rural areas and we will be establishing many more over the next five years’.

The Premier also announced that his government had recently paid the salary arrears and scale adjustment for traditional leaders and that other tools of trade for traditional leaders would be a subject of priority attention for the provincial government in the current financial year and beyond.