Tuesday, 20 August 2019

State of the Province Address 2019 by Premier Cde Zamani Saul

State of the Province Address (SOPA) by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr. Zamani Saul, on the occasion of the First Session of the Sixth Legislature

5th July 2019

Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley

The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature;

Members of the Executive Council;

Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces;

Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature;

Deputy Minister for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes;

Deputy Minister for the Department of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu;

Your Excellency, Ambassador of China, Mr Songtian;

Consul-General of Namibia, Mr Kandjii;

Consul-General of the Netherlands, Mr Messerschmidt;

Assistant Consul-General of the United States, Ms Stotesbury;

Judge President of the Northern Cape, Judge Tlaletsi;

Heads of State Security Services;

Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA); 

Mayors and Leaders in our system of Local Government;

Our Honoured Traditional Leaders;

Veterans of our Liberation Struggle;

Heads of State Institutions supporting our Constitutional Democracy;

The Director General, Heads of Department and Leaders of the Public Service;

The Vice Chancellor of Sol Plaatjie University, Professor Ballim

Secretary of the ANC and opposition parties

Leaders of the Alliance

Government Officials;

Captains of Industry

Distinguished Guests;

My special guests, our Griquas rugby team, Mr Katlego Sehemo, the 8 learners from Carnarvon High. I will reflect later on the significance of their attendance.

Ma Flatela and Flatela family

Fellow citizens of the Northern Cape;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen

Honourable Speaker

I would like to start the State of the Province Address in an unusual way, by posing a question. What is our struggle all about? 

Our struggle, Madam Speaker is about eradication of the disempowerment and humiliation caused by poverty in the Northern Cape. Because of our history of racial oppression, the poor are predominantly Black, by Black I mean both African and Coloured people.

We cannot win the fight against this humiliation of the poor unless we are convinced that this is a just struggle. The first test on whether we are convinced as leaders that this is a just struggle, is the extent to which we are prepared to make personal sacrifices to create an advantage for the poor. If we fail the test of making personal sacrifices, then our commitment to eradicate the humiliation of poverty in the Province remains a mere pretext.

Hence, as the Executive of this sixth Administration we will be the force of example by cutting back on Executive luxuries and frills to ensure that the little resources that we have as the Province are directed towards development projects. In this regard, we therefore commit to put ourselves at a disadvantage by pursuing an extremely modest lifestyle by seeking the modest and absolutely necessary benefits of the Ministerial Handbook. 

For the past few weeks since the inauguration of the sixth Administration our road users in the Northern Cape have been spared the disrupting impact of blue lights, the Provincial Administration has been spared a frenzy for purchase of new cars for politicians and our people of the Northern Cape took a deserving break from imposing official portraits of the Premier and Members of the Executive Council. These nice-to-have institutional practices and cultures do not form part of our electoral mandate.

We commit to immerse ourselves in the daily lives of the people of the Northern Cape and we will try our best to resolve their problems.

During my inaugural speech, I made a commitment to the unemployed youth of Lerato Park that we will identify those that did Grade 12 to enrol them in different vocational and artisanal training programmes from July this year. Just the following day, I led a group of volunteers and all Kimberley-based senior managers in government from door to door to seek and find unemployed matriculants.  We found 400 young people and the first 90 will commence with their training at the TVET college on the 9th of July 2019. 

We will roll out the programme to all other districts in the province. This demonstrates our commitment to find workable and practical solutions to resolve our people’s problems. 

It is in this regard, that we invite all political parties in this august chamber to join us in the struggle to eradicate the humiliation of poverty and unemployment. In our conduct, we should not reduce the problems that our people face to sterile sparring matches between the different parties. 

Madam Speaker

Let me continue by stating that I am extremely humbled to deliver my maiden State of the Province address as we celebrate the silver jubilee of democratic South Africa, a significant milestone in the struggle for political and economic freedom of the black majority of this nation.  A milestone that demands of us to reflect on our journey that started on 27 April 1994 when the people of the Northern Cape Province, together with millions of South Africans elsewhere, stood up in their numbers to overwhelmingly vote for freedom, democracy and social justice.  A vote that led to the birth of the Northern Cape, officially becoming one of the nine provinces, that constitute the Republic of South Africa as we know it today under the capable democratic rule of the African National Congress, the premier organisation of our people’s liberation. 

It is, however, important to juxtapose the journey that started in 1994 against what exactly the ANC-led government inherited as they took over the reins of government. We all know that before the historic dawn of democracy in 1994, the Northern Cape was part of the old Cape Province, one of our provinces of apartheid South Africa, a country then world renowned for its racial segregation and division. A country where the black majority were brutally oppressed where the quantity and quality of government services as well as opportunities in the economy depended on race, gender and class and where the first priority of the security and justice machinery was to serve and uphold the oppressive apartheid system.

We indeed inherited a South Africa with extreme social and economic structural problems.  The Northern Cape was even worse off in that regard, having been the “Cinderella” part of the Cape Province and as the largest in terms of land size yet most sparsely populated of the 9 provinces of democratic South Africa.

We intrinsically inherited a system of government and economy that was engineered and constructed to primarily advantage and serve the needs and the interests of a minority white population, with little if any regard for the needs of the historically oppressed.  A brutal system of deliberate under-development and marginalisation left us a legacy of a profound inequality gap and high levels of poverty and squalor amongst Blacks, a legacy that stubbornly still prevails to a large extent.  

Our inheritance was one where the dignity of Black people was trampled upon, having been robbed of our land. Our people were called derogatory names, adult black men and women grossly belittled by being addressed as “boy” and “girl”, stripped of any right to have a say in any matter that affected them. They had no right to vote or associate with whom they wanted or to move freely where and when they wanted.  A divisive system that forcefully removed Black Africans to enclaves and Bantustans along ethnic and tribal lines, undermining our fundamental values of African brotherhood and unity. 

And so our African fathers and grandfathers became migrant labourers to fend for their families, leading to the fragmented family and absent father phenomenon in our Black communities. That is our history, that is where we come from. We inherited a deeply fragmented and segregated system of government, from schools, to health services, from welfare services, public transport services, to the point of carrying different identity documents.  Lest we forget, how African pensioners received the smallest pensions, only once in 3 months. How our education and schooling systems were intentionally geared at preparing blacks for menial jobs. Management positions at work and certain jobs were exclusively reserved for a particular race and gender.  Our people had to perpetually pay rent for the houses which they were living in, having no ownership of property, no access to running water, no electricity or proper sanitation, far from the white economic centres.

Within this context, the Northern Cape as an entirely newly established province had to commence the transformation journey towards a democratic dispensation from a zero base. Under the leadership of the African National Congress, we started to build the foundation of the society and province that we are part of today, exactly 25 years since the first democratic elections on 27 April 1994.  The establishment of a new democratic provincial government with vast distances to cover, poor and ageing infrastructure, deep rooted inequality, poverty and yes, the restoration of the dignity of our people, proved to be some of the biggest challenges for the province, specifically because the national equitable share formula used to allocate funds to provinces did and still does not favour our province with the lowest population and vast distances. 

The 25-year journey to a better life that started in 1994 was therefore not easy and whilst yielding some successes along the way, there are remnants of our oppressive past that remain persistent. Over the last 25 years we have started with the mammoth task to restore the dignity of Black people. Taking the cue from the first democratically elected President of our country, the late icon and statesman, Tata Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela when he had the following to say during his first State of the Nation Address on 25th May 1994: “Our definition of the freedom of the individual must be instructed by the fundamental objective to restore the human dignity of each and every South African. This requires that we speak not only of political freedoms. My government's commitment to create a people-centred society of liberty binds us to the pursuit of the goals of freedom from want, freedom from hunger, freedom from deprivation, freedom from ignorance, freedom from suppression and freedom from fear. These freedoms are fundamental to the guarantee of human dignity. They will therefore constitute part of the centrepiece of what this government will seek to achieve, the focal point on which our attention will be continuously focussed.”  

In our pursuit to restore the dignity of each individual Northern Cape resident, we opened the doors of learning and as we gather today, more children and youth aged 7 to 24 attend educational institutions, more people above 20 years in the province have some form of formal schooling. We have introduced no fee schools, school feeding schemes, free learner transport, built 16 new schools and 304 new classrooms. We subsidize early childhood development and where in 1994 we had just under 5000 children from 0-to-4-years-old who accessed ECD, by the end of 2018 over 28 000 of 0-to-4-year-old children accessed ECD. We introduced Grade R and today we are within reach of the objective of universal access with 381 schools offering Grade R in the Province.  The number of Grade R practitioners has doubled over the same period and 97 new Grade R classrooms have been built.

One of the biggest achievements is the establishment of the first ever university in the Northern Cape. Named after one of the great intellectuals of the Northern Cape, Sol Plaatje University offers academic disciplines that are informed by the unique needs and characteristics of the Northern Cape, such as ICT and data science, heritage studies, paleo-sciences and creative writing in African languages. 

We have responded to the plight of the poor by building 70 511 RDP houses and restored the dignity of the poorest of the poor with the registration of 95 077 title deeds since 1994. The reduction of the title deed backlog remains an ongoing commitment.

87,3% of Northern Cape households lived in formal dwellings in 2018, ranking the province amongst the top 3 provinces nationally in this regard.  It is further also very encouraging to note that 63,8% of households in the Northern Cape live in houses that are owned and fully paid. In fact, the Northern Cape is also one of the top 3 provinces in delivery of electricity and water. 91,7% of Northern Cape households have access to electricity and 95,3% have access to piped or tap water. 

Our efforts to restore the dignity of our people, massively reduce poverty and roll back the extreme inequalities prevailing since the apartheid era have only begun to take effect. However, there are persistent challenges and areas that require us to reinforce and double the effort to ensure better results and accelerated delivery. Kufuneka sikhawuleze! We must hurry up! Ons moet nou spoed optel! Re tshwanetse re dire ka bonako! 

Madam Speaker

We are extremely concerned about our education outcomes, especially at the level of our Grade 12 results. Having been the best performing province in terms of Grade 12 results at some point, we have consistently regressed to be in the bottom three provinces nationally in 2018. We can hardly afford such a regression when only 27, 1% people 20 years and older have matric while only 8, 8 % have post-school qualifications. We cannot be content when lack of education or the years of schooling remains the biggest contributor to unemployment and when unemployment coupled with lack of education are the biggest contributors to poverty. Thus, the common denominator to unemployment and poverty is lack of or inadequate education. That means if we turn around the situation in the education profile of our youth, we will be on the right track towards addressing both unemployment and poverty. 

We therefore will have to address, head-on, the challenges and weaknesses in our education system to ensure we give every learner the best possible chance to successfully complete Grade 12.  Lack of basic teaching and learning material such as books, lack of teachers and teacher absenteeism, which according to the General Household Survey 2018; are the most common problems experienced in public schools in the Northern Cape, is equally a matter of serious concern that requires our immediate attention.

While the health profile in the Northern Cape has generally improved with life expectancy having increased from 52, 2 years to 60 years for males and 57,7 to 66,3 for females, we cannot say the same about the quality of our public healthcare services. The overwhelming majority, that is 72,8% of households in the Northern Cape, first go to a public health facility when they fall sick, simply because only 16% of individuals in this province have medical aid.  This clearly indicates that our poor and vulnerable people seldom have any other option but to rely on government health services for their health and wellbeing. 

I had the opportunity to experience, first hand, when working from the casualty ward of the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe hospital at least one day per week, what our public health service to communities actually looks like.  Our emergency wards and waiting area leave much to be desired.

Madam Speaker 

Although the number of Northern Cape households that were multi-dimensionally poor dropped from 11, 3% in 2001 to 6.6 % in 2016, poverty and unemployment remain the most stubborn fault lines and remnants of our inhumane apartheid past.  With household poverty levels at 54% and unemployment at 26% it should be clear that we have to rapidly increase our efforts to fight these devastating challenges, in fact we should declare a full scale war against poverty and unemployment that rob so many of our Northern Cape people of their dignity and keep them in the shackles of economic bondage.  

There can be no dignity for a father or mother who cannot provide for the most basic needs of their children and families. How does a father look at his child when he returns empty handed from standing on the corner of Schmidtsdrift Road for the whole day without any success of finding a “piece job” so as to take home a bag of mealie meal or a loaf of bread for his children to have something to eat? Especially now that it is holidays and the school feeding scheme is not available to his children. These are the real challenges that I am deeply concerned about. I will not rest until we find workable solutions to these difficult challenges that face our poor people. 

There are many more persistent challenges that confront us, amongst others, inequality or the gap between the rich and the poor.  In very few features of our society is the severity of inequality of our nation more obvious and glaring than in our spatial reality.  Recently the Times magazine featured this reality with a cover picture titled “The World’s most unequal country”, visualizing inequality in South Africa by showing how rich and poor can inhabit spaces that are right next to each other, but so different. 

The picture makes one think. Within the context of a Modern, Growing and Successful province, what is it that causes the value of adjacent pieces of land and properties to be so different simply because of who lives there? Why is a four-bedroomed house in Greenpoint on a bigger erf, cheaper than a 2 bedroomed house in Beaconsfield a few blocks away?  The vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful province must prompt us to rethink this. A developmental capable state and activist government led and served by out of the box thinking revolutionaries who are not comfortable with the institutionalised status quo, must be radically bold in challenging the existing colonial norms that continue to dictate and exploit the spatial economy in support of unequal development. 

It cannot be acceptable that modernisation from a development and architectural design perspective continue to persist on the so called prime land in town and the suburbs, whilst the overwhelming visible development in our townships and rural villages is sprawling shanties and low cost housing on land that is often regarded as non-prime. It is high time that these paradigms are challenged, lest we allow them to continue feeding inequality based on class and race. Leaving them unchallenged will seriously work against and compromise our efforts to bring about spatial justice and integration.  Our municipal councils should therefore be at the forefront in addressing this challenge. 

Madam Speaker

Despite these challenges, we dare not despair, nor falter. No challenge can be insurmountable!  Let us draw courage from the wisdom of our iconic and astute father and leader the late Tata Mandela at the occasion of his first State of the Nation Address as president of the democratic government when he said: “we must, …. regardless of the accumulated effect of our historical burdens, seize the time to define for ourselves what we want to make of our shared destiny.” 

Now is the time to seize the moment and define for ourselves what we want to make of our shared destiny. In my inaugural speech, just over one month ago, I provided some insights into what I hope is embraced as our shared destiny, when I shared my vision of a modern, growing and successful province.  I painted a picture that sought to give all of us an idea of what such a Modern Growing and Successful province looks like.  Of what would be the defining characteristics of such a province and destiny? 

I have used the past few weeks to start engaging different sectors on this vision, starting with senior government officials. I also shared the vision with other sectors of society including organised labour federations, the mining sector, Grade 12 learners, the youth on Youth Day, young fathers and mothers, Sol Plaatje Municipality, children during Child Protection Week and many others through the social and electronic media platforms in an effort to mobilise buy-in into this vision. This I did in pursuit of it ultimately becoming the provincial shared vision and destiny for the entire Northern Cape citizenry. 

As the ANC government, we have received a reduced yet strong enough mandate to grow this province together. The vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful province is therefore in sync with the electoral mandate and well within reach.  Only if we all grasp the opportunity to become agents of the change that we want to see.  A change that must be tangible and translate into a life changing experience for many of our people and the better life for all, which this ANC government remains committed to deliver for the poor and vulnerable people of the Northern Cape.  

I am also alert to the reality that any wave of change brings about uncertainty, anxiety and resistance. In dispelling uncertainty, anxiety and resistance I suggest that we must interrogate the type of change that I postulate. 

The change I seek to advance will not be change for the sake of change. The change I seek to advance will not be change aimed at making the line of the bureaucratic system unbearable and uncomfortable. The change I postulate is to ensure that the 6th Administration moves in its true direction. The change that I postulate is to agitate for the dismantling of comfort zones and status quo- bias. Comfort zones and status quo bias have never and will never breed innovation, seamless service delivery and assist us in crafting “a Modern, Growing and Successful Province”. 

And that is wherein the opportunity lies. To bring about a change in the socio-economic landscape, we have the opportunity to rethink and dare to invent the future, not taking anything for granted but to identify the opportunities to modernise, opportunities to grow the province, opportunities to be successful and effective. To consider the lessons that we can learn from our mistakes and how we use those lessons to inform our efforts to build this modern, growing and successful province. 

During the past few weeks, I therefore used the opportunity to challenge the public service to start asking critical questions, to think and rethink what is it that is lacking, what is mediocre, where do we fall short to become this modern, growing and successful province. We need to confront and challenge the prevailing approaches, strategies, paradigms, comfort zones and attitudes which clearly seem to have been inadequate and falling short in ensuring that objectives are attained and the necessary changes in the socio-economic landscape of our beloved province and its most vulnerable people are realised. 

In seeking answers to these questions, we came to the conclusion that despite the challenges, there are some advantages and opportunities that, with collective effort, out of the box thinking, hard work and courage, can become the catalytic agents of our development into a Modern, Growing and Successful province. 

Our people remain the most valuable asset in our developmental agenda. As alluded to earlier, we have special guests in the audience to demonstrate the opportunity that our people present as Ambassadors of Brand Northern Cape.  

• Our own Tafel Lager Griquas Rugby Team who were recently crowned the 2019 champions of the Super Sport Challenge. 

• Katlego Sehemo is one of the first Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Data Science graduates of the Sol Plaatje University and currently an intern tutor at the Kimberley Maths and Science Leadership Academy. 

• We also have the eight learners from Carnarvon High School, who have been awarded a gold cup for “Inspiration” at the International Lego League competition which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in May this year.  

In addition to those present, I can also mention that forty-three of our young gymnasts are leaving today as part of Team SA to represent us in the 16th World Gymnaestrada in Dornbirn, Austria from the 7th to the 13th July. 

Another one hundred and four young dancers from the Amandla Dance Theatre are currently in Makhanda (formerly known as Grahamstown), participating in the world renowned annual National Arts Festival. About two weeks ago I hosted some of the over one hundred runners from the Northern Cape who participated in the Comrades Marathon. 

A group of students from Sol Plaatje University, were recently awarded second place at the National ITWeb Security Summit. We look forward to the product from Team Dumela becoming original digital Intellectual Property of the Northern Cape that will strengthen our local position in the 4th Industrial Revolution and galvanise stronger participation in projects like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

We acknowledge and congratulate all these true Ambassadors of our Province.  We further wish them well in all their endeavours to demonstrate not only the talent, hard work and resilience of the people of the Northern Cape, but also the real potential and opportunity that we have in our people. Therefore, the single most important investment is investment in our people. With a youthful population that we have, we will prioritise investment in education, skills training and development as a necessary intervention in building a Modern, Growing and Successful province. 

The Northern Cape is richly endowed with natural resources, from its world renowned annual Namakwa flower explosion, the bordering Atlantic Ocean with its pristine beaches, two of the big rivers namely the Orange and the Vaal flowing through it, its wildlife, the wealth of mineral and metal deposits, to its geographic space and in some instances pristine environment. Together with its strategic location bordering Namibia and Botswana as the western corridor into Africa and the alternative route linking the Western Cape with the northern provinces, these natural resources hold the potential for the rapid growth and development of the Northern Cape and to be the catalyst for the expansion of the Northern Cape tourism economy which we have until now only scratched the surface. 

Tourism is an opportunity that we have to exploit to its fullest.  We must use every opportunity to lure and attract visitors into our province, open up informal opportunities for our communities to penetrate the Airbnb and Uber markets. In this regard we are particularly encouraged to be hosting the National Boxing Championships for the Youth in the category of 17-18 years and Elite in the category 19-40 years here in Kimberley during this weekend. The championship is the first of its kind and will host 450 boxers from all 9 provinces. 

I am happy to further announce that that we will be welcoming the Bloodhound land speed record car and team to the Northern Cape yet again. This as the team, under new ownership, continues to plan its attempt to break the current world land speed record. All parties are at present doing detailed planning to ensure the hosting of a successful event. An exciting announcement will be issued by the Bloodhound Team next week. These are exactly the type of events that will enable the Province to benefit more from sports tourism as I indicated in my inaugural speech. 

Madam Speaker

The 6th Administration, is committed to building a new integrated service delivery and governance system. A system that will be people centred, with the sole purpose of creating a better life for all, whilst prioritising the poor and vulnerable people of our Province.  A public service that focuses on capitalising every opportunity, that enables and allows our people to realise their full human potential and restore their human dignity. A Public Service that is concerned about the delivery of services where and when the communities need them most, underpinned by the ethos of Batho Pele. A Public Service that understands and is passionate about its role as the bridge between the prevailing material conditions of the people and the better life that they desire. 

Our ultimate goal as an activist 6th Administration is thus to ensure the delivery of the right quality, right quantity and timely public services and interventions that will bring about positive change in the material conditions of the poor and vulnerable citizens of the Northern Cape.  Nothing less is and will be acceptable. 

Madam Speaker

The defining characteristics and attributes of a Modern, Growing and Successful province as alluded to in my Inaugural speech will guide us in all our efforts to radically and drastically improve the State of our Province. To this end the electoral mandate obtained through a 57% majority enjoins us to focus on seven programmatic priorities as articulated by President Cyril Ramaphosa, namely 

1. Economic transformation and job creation

2. Education, skills and health

3. Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services

4. Spatial integration, human settlements and local government

5. Social cohesion and safe communities

6. A capable, ethical and developmental state

7. A better Africa and World 

These priorities are being translated into Government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework for the 2019 to 2024 electoral term and inform our Province’s 5 year Programme of Action towards a Modern, Growing and Successful Northern Cape.

Allow me to now turn my attention to the immediate and intermediate plans, actions and interventions that the 6th Administration have started embarking upon towards turning the situation around and start creating our shared destiny over the next five years. 

In my inaugural speech I said that a Modern, Growing and Successful province is at the cutting-edge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and prioritizes quality education, training and retraining of the youth.

We must be upfront in acknowledging that the current state of broadband is not meeting the needs of the province. Broadband is the critical enabler and means for telecommunications and internet access. Therefore, as a starting point one of the key priorities of the 6th Administration is to develop a Provincial Integrated Broadband Strategy and Implementation Plan with the objective to improve access through provision of network infrastructure especially in rural areas, improve service delivery and operations through e-Innovation.  

Innovation is the precursor for our aspirations to modernise and grow the province. The Northern Cape Provincial Government in partnership with Sol Plaatje University (SPU) has established the Northern Cape Innovation Forum. The Forum, chaired by Sol Plaatje University, comprises government, business, academia and civil society, and is currently preparing an innovation baseline for the Province. Soon, I will be announcing a date for the launch of the Northern Cape Innovation Forum. 

Madam Speaker

Government services must be made accessible to all residents. In this regard, our efforts to improve service delivery to our people will have to urgently focus on ways to enhance and modernise the way we work and deliver services. Government must address the challenge of geographical vastness which is a major cost driver of service delivery in the Northern Cape. This 6th Administration will therefore find ways to move faster towards e-government by using technology to facilitate more accessible government services, allow greater public access to information, make government more accountable to residents and to become a more efficient and effective government in changing the lives of the poor people of this province for the better. 

Being at the cutting edge of the 4th Industrial Revolution requires an inclusive Information Society, one in which the use of ICTs will be harnessed to ensure that everyone has fast, reliable and affordable access to information and knowledge. This will enable our people to participate meaningfully in the economy.  To this end our plans for the next 5 years include 

 Fast-tracking internet connectivity to all 223 provincial libraries, starting with the connectivity of 185 and increasing to 200 libraries by 2021;

 Expanding the establishment of WiFi Hotspots using community libraries and Youth Service Centres as key implementation sites for the establishment of Hotspots; In this regard, Afrovation and the Wireless Access Service Provider Association, have approached Government to install 200 WiFi hotspots in the Province. Twenty sites have been identified in Sol Plaatje Municipality, for the first wave of installations. With the Technology Innovation Agency, we are looking at community telecom cooperatives to support these sites and sustain the wireless mesh project in John Taolo Gaetsewe District. 

 Exploring the plethora of learning opportunities and access to information and communication emanating from technology and the use of the internet;

 Creating a government portal to connect citizens to government services and access to information;

The Square Kilometre Array or SKA, the world’s largest radio telescope, is an example of some of the elements of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Its expansive broadband connectivity, high-performance computing, big data, data analysis all sit in our Province.  Together with SKA and the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology we are currently planning to host the SKA Science Exploratorium in Carnarvon. 

Education must be the epicentre of efforts to modernise the Northern Cape and be at the cutting edge of the 4IR. At the end of the 5th Administration, 97% (542 of a target of 556) of all schools in the Northern Cape had Internet Connectivity for Teaching and Learning purposes.   All efforts will be made to enable internet connectivity at the remaining 14 schools, improving learning access to approximately 299 000 learners by 2021.  The sustainability of this great initiative is a sterling example of what can be done when government works in partnership with the private sector.

The 4th Industrial Revolution requires of us to have future smart schools that produce future smart learners. This has prompted government to evaluate the flexibility and suitability of the curriculum in the accommodation of new knowledge.  It is therefore encouraging that the Northern Cape Province is amongst 6 provinces identified for the implementation of Robotics and Coding from this year starting in Grade 7. Robotics and Coding will enable learners how to use ICT tools to solve problems, apply digital, data and information management skills across subjects, and also achieve computational thinking and coding skills. 

The integration of these ICT skills in the teaching and learning environment will undoubtedly produce professionals for future jobs such as 3D Architects, data analyst, biotechnologists, etcetera. 

We will continue to foster Mathematics and Science in our schools, as we are acutely aware that our future will be a digital world, where our lives are shaped by computers and connected devices. I recently had the rare opportunity to visit the Math and Science Leadership Academy and I was awfully impressed at the level of innovation amongst the group of youngsters. The Academy is a model of a smart school and definitely an example of where we are heading with education leading the way towards a modern province at the cutting edge of technology, mathematics and science. 

 

The introduction of specialisation in Technology Subjects in our schools is an equally important intervention to prepare learners for careers in the fields that are required by the 4th Industrial Revolution. As such, our learners are now able to choose subjects such as Technical Mathematics, Technical Sciences, Civil Technology, Electrical Technology and Mechanical Technology which were never offered in the school curriculum before.  

E-learning is a channel and tool through which teachers can improve their teaching styles and improve learner outcomes. In an attempt to address the lack of ICT (e-learning) support to Mathematics, Physical Sciences and other high enrolment subjects in Grades 9 to 12, we have started rolling out offline solutions as a means to support especially new teachers. State-of-the-art technology and software is procured and distributed to enhance teaching methodology that leads to improved quality of teaching and learning. To date, 750 teachers have received laptops and 200 received data projectors.  This solution is currently expanded to Mathematics, Physical Science and Natural Science educators from this year onwards.

In its pursuit of creating opportunities for learners to strive for knowledge and achievement in new competencies, Multi-Purpose Interactive Learning Laboratories have been identified as a vehicle to boost youth development by providing exposure to a multitude of disciplines through 3D-modeling, simulations, virtual experimentation, robotics, coding, augmented reality and interactive charts.  An investment into these laboratories will undoubtedly improve productivity and learning outcomes, and also optimise the potential to deliver transformative and sustainable impact on teacher development and learner performance. 

The Robotics Team from Carnarvon High School are indeed inspiring innovators on whom we pin our hopes to help us fast-track the modernisation and innovation agenda of our province.  I reiterate that we need more future smart learners to articulate our vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful province.

Madam Speaker

Modernisation and innovation of frontline public services is the way to go if we are to be at the cutting edge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  To address the problem of long queues and waiting hours, the number of patients receiving chronic medication through the Central Chronic Medication Dispensing & Distribution Programme will be increased to at least 28 000 active patients. This will reduce the daily headcount and long waiting times at clinics and district hospitals. 

Patients often complain that they do not get their prescribed medication when visiting clinics. In order to address this problem of medication stock outages at clinics and district hospitals, frontline health facility managers will implement the electronic Stock Visibility System as an early warning system for medication stock levels. Effective implementation and monitoring of the stock visibility system will ensure that clinics and hospitals never run out of medication and no patient is ever sent away without receiving medication because of stock outs.  

Further to this, expansion of connectivity to 50 clinics and 14 hospitals by 2021 will enable the installation of technology and digital equipment to enhance clinical services at those facilities.  All Home-Based Caregivers will also be issued with computer tablets to improve data collection and report writing. At the same time electronic patient files will be implemented to improve file management. All these efforts will minimise medical litigations, reduce waiting times and enhance system efficiencies. 

I am also pleased to announce that a Computer Aided Ambulance Dispatch system will be operationalised in the call centres in Kimberley and Upington. This will ensure that we automate and modernise the communication systems to improve the response time of ambulances. Further plans are also underway to initiate a memorandum of agreement with the SKA towards the automation of similar communication systems in the surrounding towns and areas in the Pixley ka Seme and Namakwa districts.

Modern machinery and technologies are also successfully deployed in the day to day maintenance of roads by the government road worker teams. At present about 80% of day-to-day road maintenance is done by these teams and modern machinery and technologies have contributed to higher productivity and efficiencies in road maintenance. 

The province has acquired technologies to modernise its services such as the smart pen concept to capture and record data of their interaction with farmers. Agricultural Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) are also deployed to monitor rangelands in the province and determine the impact of climate on vegetation. This is all in pursuit of our aspirations to meet the demands of the 4th Industrial revolution in the agricultural space.

Madam Speaker

I am sure that it should be clear that our efforts to modernise the way we do our work in line with the demands of the digital revolution have really taken root. All the mentioned initiatives should demonstrate the commitment of this 6th Administration to move faster towards e-government and the use of modern technologies and applications in the delivery of services. 

Our efforts to modernise and innovate must be inextricably linked to efforts to grow the economy.  As we prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we can anticipate an increase in the demand for highly skilled workers while the demand for workers with less education and skill will decrease. We need to ensure that we are equipping our youth to seize the opportunities that the 4th Industrial Revolution will present. 

We are facing the rise of a skills revolution and we need to centre our approach on human capital development and in particular the reskilling and up skilling of our youth. We need to prepare them for the fast-changing world of work and to ultimately reach their potential in this digital age. 

The doors of the private sector in providing opportunities to young people have been closed for far too long in our Province. It is therefore critical that we create a platform for engagement with the sector aimed at collaborative partnerships to unleash and drive a massive skills revolution in this province.  The creation of such an engagement platform and the mobilisation of resources towards the skills revolution will be the first priority of the Northern Cape Human Resource Development Council under the 6th Administration. 

The Human Resource Council will lead the skills revolution and ensure that education and skills development is geared toward achieving the provincial developmental agenda. In addressing human resource development challenges in the Province we will focus on 1) early childhood development 2) Improving primary and secondary Education 3) Building a demand-led skills development system that focusses on inclusive economic growth and 4) Enhancing youth skills development and life-long learning, thus continuing to expand opportunities for post-school skills development opportunities in the digital age.  Education, Skills development and Training is an investment, an investment in our people, the most valuable asset that we have. 

The Northern Cape Human Resource Strategy will be finalised and approved by September 2019. The Strategy will enable us to address the mismatch between industry demand and the available skills as well as skills the province need to be at the cutting edge of the 4th Industrial Revolution.  The Strategy will be implemented through an Annual Skills Development Plan in support of the Provincial Growth and Development Plan. This will be done in partnership with the education and training sector. 

For a coordinated integrated approach towards the skills revolution under auspices of the Human Resources Development Council chaired by the Premier, it has become important to centralise all bursaries of all departments within the Office of the Premier.  The Office of the Premier already set aside R15.8 million to be transferred to the Premier’s Bursary Fund. The combined budget allocated for bursaries by all other provincial departments is R20 million, bringing the total provincial budget for bursaries for this financial year to about R36 million.

The Province, in partnership with the relevant SETA’s, also initiated contractor development and skills development programmes with a particular emphasis on empowering youth and women, which will gain further traction during this financial year. The Programme will train youth in the various skills development incubation programs in solar renewable energy and artisan construction towards a formal qualification.  

Currently, the Artisan Construction Programme, which is a 3-year incubation programme, makes provision for 90 youth of which almost 28% are women. The Phakamile Mabija Apprenticeship is a 3-year youth artisan incubation programme with an intake of 25 women. The S’hamba Sonke Contractor Development Program is a 3-year contractor incubation program including 32 grade 2-4 contractors which we recruited for the programme. Eight (8) woman owned companies and 15 youth owned companies were included in the programme.

The Office of the Premier earmarked R7m for a youth skills development project for the 2019/20 financial year.  The project is aimed at training 132 learners with portable skills of which eighty-eight will be trained in Basic refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance and forty-four in security. 

Another proposal for various Learning Interventions in partnership with the Services SETA was approved for an amount of seventy-nine million rand. This project will target four thousand four hundred and forty young people for bursaries for undergraduate and post graduate studies respectively, internships, learnerships, various skills programmes and apprenticeships.  

The 4th Industrial Revolution offers the mega potential to transform and realign the Northern Cape economy and our society. To equip students for the 4th Industrial Revolution requires a holistic approach to curriculum development and teaching that will give them the ability and agility to keep pace with innovation and meet the challenges of this new world of work. Sol Plaatje University will not only be required to develop the skills needed today, but also those that will influence the technological advances of tomorrow. From the initial intake of 125 students in 2014, enrolment in 2019 has grown to over 2000.  By 2025 student enrolment will be at the maximum of 7500. From a modest academic staff of 10 in 2014 it currently employs over 400 academic and support staff.  Further expansions require the University to consider the introduction of courses in the fields of renewable energy and mining technologies as the emerging niche and historical primary economic sectors of the province.  

Madam Speaker 

According to the latest available statistics from StatsSA, GDP growth was the highest in the Northern Cape in 2017 at 2.8% on the back of strong performance of both mining and agriculture as our primary economic sectors. While we are awaiting the statistics for 2018, we are concerned about the effect of the performance of both primary sectors and especially mining which recorded contraction in 2 consecutive quarters in 2018.  

This slowing performance of our economy prompts us to pull out all stops to urgently pursue increased levels of investment into our economy.  To this end the Provincial Investment Booklet, Provincial Growth and Development Plan and Provincial Spatial Development Framework is being finalised for approval by no later than end of September 2019. This will be timeous for the Investment Conference on 5 to 7 November 2019 as announced by the President in his State of the Nation Address.  The Terms of Reference and all administrative processes, including the appointment of members of the Investment Council will be finalised by December 2019, for the Council to start its work in January 2020. 

Work towards the establishment of a Northern Cape State Mining Company is underway. The Interdepartmental Task Team has commenced with investigations and due diligence processes towards determining the best options and route to go. Our aim is to have all processes finalised and decisions taken so as to register the Company within a year from now. 

The development of Kimberley as the epicentre of a Modern, Growing and Successful Province is firmly on our agenda. The meeting as undertaken in my inaugural address has taken place and an Integrated Planning Committee was established to coordinate and steer the work towards the realisation of this objective. 

We recognise that the level of growth experienced has not been sufficient to tackle poverty and unemployment. However, with decisive action, executed with diligence and urgency, the Northern Cape can speed up the pace of economic growth and accelerate transformation. Growth and transformation go hand in hand. Transformation must enable all our people to fully share in expanded job and wealth creation, while boosting incomes for all citizens.

The economy of the Northern Cape has not created sufficient jobs to sustainably reduce unemployment. Therefore, the employment crisis necessitates that the focus should not only be on the creation of jobs, but it is also imperative to address the crisis of job losses and retrenchments. 

Doing so will require boldness, resolve, innovation, collaboration and creativity. It is to this end that I can confirm that the establishment of the War Room on Unemployment as committed in my inaugural address is well under way and will be fully operational by October 2019.  Through the War Room we will identify opportunities to create jobs through the Presidential Job Summit Commitments & Initiatives, the Private Investment pipeline in our Northern Cape Provincial Growth and Development High Impact Projects and the Employment Tax Incentive targeting 22 000 Youth who are not in employment, education or training, including unemployed graduates.  We have tasked the National Youth Development Agency to develop and maintain a database of young unemployed graduates in the province for this purpose, while the Office of the Premier will develop a database of all young people who have been on learnerships and internships for tracking of absorption into labour market and economic participation. A similar database will also be separately maintained for young persons with disabilities. 

I also made a commitment that support functions in government will be used to create decent and sustainable jobs. In this regard we will introduce phased in-sourcing of support functions such as security gardening, cleaning and catering services. 

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) remains an enabler for job creation, resulting in economic empowerment of communities in the Province, with specific focus on women, youth and people with disabilities.  We are targeting 7132 EPWP work opportunities in the Infrastructure sector for the current financial year and a further 19 560 for the combination of all sectors of the province, amounting to a total of 26 692 work opportunities. 

Infrastructure can be regarded as the bedrock for growth and development and creates many opportunities for job creation. The infrastructure network efficiently delivers electricity, water, sanitation, telecoms and transport services and powers the economy of the Northern Cape Province.  It further supports manufacturing, trade and exports and gives residents of the Province a means to improve their lives and boost their incomes, effectively contributing to improving the human dignity of all.

The 6th Administration will therefore focus on increased investment in infrastructure and maintenance to boost the economy and create the jobs so desperately needed by our people, in particular the unemployed young people. 

As I remarked in my Inaugural address, we are investigating the possibility of the establishment of a Northern Cape Construction Company that will help to build RDP houses and roads. A multi-sectoral task team has been set up to look at the modalities of the State-owned Construction Company which we envisage will be established and operational towards the second half of next year. 

In addition to that, we will review the mandate of the Public Works to include the total Provincial infrastructure function and expertise. This will be further boosted by the improvements in the infrastructure planning, design and implementation capacity as alluded to in my Inaugural address.  

Through these interventions we envisage a 30% reduction in government spending on outsourced infrastructure construction as tangible initiatives aimed at de-tenderization.  

Government has launched the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative aimed at the eradication of pit latrines at schools.  Twenty-five pit latrine eradication projects will be implemented in the current financial year. The construction of 17 new schools, within the John Taolo Gaetsewe, Pixley Ka Seme and Frances Baard districts over the next 3 years, five of which is planned to be completed by the end of this financial year.  Seventy projects earmarked for the upgrading and additions to schools and maintenance of 113 health care facilities will also be prioritised this year. 

Preventive maintenance remains the most important and cost-effective measure to maintain our paved provincial roads under constrained funding levels. To this end, R1.4 billion is set-aside over the 3-year period up to March 2022 to ensure that we improve the overall condition of our provincial road network in the Northern Cape. 

The Province will continue to create and foster joint ventures with the mines and other stakeholders for roads construction and maintenance, especially in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, where the increase in mining activities has an impact on our road network. A number of projects are planned for the Province including upgrading and rehabilitation of roads in JTG, bridge maintenance, resealing and road audits and safety projects that entail road signs, guard rails, etc, and road contractor development programme linked to routine road maintenance. 

The Sol Plaatje University infrastructure programme will take ten more years to complete and will eventually cover an area of one hundred and ninety thousand square meters. The university managed to incubate 6 local Black and women-owned companies from its construction projects. The second phase is underway, with twelve projects on site. Future projects include the construction of the South Campus Dining Hall for the provision of two thousand meals per sitting, and building on a section of Oppenheimer Gardens to create a Great Hall and a civic square that will be bordered by the law courts, municipal headquarters, the art gallery and the theatre. 

Madam Speaker, the agricultural sector in the Northern Cape draws its strength from the two river systems namely the Orange and the Vaal Rivers, and if utilised correctly, these rivers can be the backbone of agricultural and rural development in this province as well as ensuring adequate production of food. It is immediately clear that while these river systems provide an economic opportunity for the growth of this sector and the province, participation by our youth needs stronger focus. It will therefore be the focus of this administration to seek out eighty young agricultural graduates and link them up with willing commercial agricultural enterprises for in service training. It is expected that upon completion of a two year programme, these graduates will form their agricultural businesses as SMMEs. This further confirms our commitment to youth and training development.

We are furthermore redefining our relationship with institutions such as Unisa, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and Tshwane University of Technology that require Work-Integrated Learning for their students to complete their diplomas / degrees in the fields of Animal Health, Animal Production and Veterinary Technology. Formal agreements will be signed with these institutions to ensure proper implementation. In the spirit of youth development, the department is currently supporting seven youths with bursaries in the field of Veterinary Science, and two young scientists pursuing their PhD in Agricultural sciences.   

Agricultural Water in the Northern Cape is an economic opportunity and it is therefore clear that if we are to have a successful and growing agricultural sector, this administration needs to ensure the full utilization of water rights. Unused water rights rob the province of growth, industrialization and participation of our small scale farmers in the agricultural value chain. With immediate effect, this administration will review all agricultural water available, who these rights belong to and whether they are used or not. Central to this, will be the review of Water Equity Schemes and whether they benefit the intended beneficiaries such as farm workers. Done correctly, this could unlock further development of over three thousand hectares of fallow land in this province for food security and exports of high value crops.

Water for Livestock has been identified as an impediment to the growth of the livestock sector in this province; this is further compounded by persistent agricultural disasters such as drought especially in the Namakwa district and parts of Pixley Ka Seme. This means the growth of the cattle industry in JTG suffers, the brand Karoo Lamb suffers, the number of wool or mohair producing animals is reduced and all these affect how beneficiation or industrialization of these products fuels growth of the province. This therefore calls on the province to be resolute in developing climate smart solutions and accelerate the provision of water for livestock. 

Five Agricultural High Impact projects have been identified that require substantial public and private sector investments. These projects will also form part of the Investment book of the Northern Cape provincial government. It is in these projects that the highest number of jobs, three thousand seven hundred, will be created in this sector.  This discounts further job creation in related industries.  It is also in these projects that clear plans will be developed for beneficiation of agricultural products such as raisins, table grapes, dates, trout fish and rooibos.

It is our desire as the 6th Administration to see a strong emergence of black industrialists and to this end, the Commercialisation of Black Producers Programme will be utilised to empower 6 black farmers in this financial year. It is expected that these black producers in the Agricultural and agro-processing field will be job creators and mentors for younger farmers in the province.  

We will promote and support initiatives to enhance household food security through the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme to implement urban agriculture and support community and institutional food gardens. We are promoting household backyard poultry farming where we will support beneficiaries with broilers and layers for egg production. This is intended to improve household nutrition and generate income for other household needs.

We will develop a sustainable agriculture strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change and identify new growth areas for production as well as diversification to new agricultural products that will ensure food security. This forms the core mandate of agriculture and in terms of exports, we commit to an export readiness of smallholder farmers where they will be assisted to be registered for Good Agricultural Practices, Global Alliance, Nakoya Protocol etc. This will ensure seamless market entry in high value markets. To this end a three-year contract has been signed with Perishable Products Export Control Board to ensure seamless inspections and registration of farmers. 

The province will also enter into agreements with other bodies such as Raisins SA, Agricultural Research Council, South African Pecan Nuts Association and others to ensure that appropriate and relevant farmer training is expedited and our farmers comply with all the necessary standards. 

It is important to note that we have honoured the twinning agreement with the Karas region of Namibia in terms of trade in live goats. Botswana has now been included and there is a big opportunity for expansion as more emerging farmers in Namibia are presenting animals to procure.

Several meetings have taken place with Brazil and Chinese traders to expand the Rooibos and beef markets respectively. The Province however still has difficulty penetrating the Russian or Indian markets in terms of BRICS.

Land reform to advance landownership as part of restoration of the dignity of our people, remain a key priority of this government. This Administration will therefore develop a Provincial Land Reform Strategy, which will dovetail with the national strategy. 

Supported by national government, we plan to acquire fifteen thousand seven hundred and sixty hectares of land for 2019/20 with an allocated budget of eighty-three comma five million rand to accelerate land redistribution in the Province, prioritising smallholder farmers, farm-dwellers and labour tenants, military veterans, Agricultural Graduates and the Youth in the Province. 

In addition, an amount of R240 million has been set aside for Land Development and restitution for post settlement support during the 2019/20 financial year.

While the Province is known as a mecca for adrenaline and extreme adventure sport, much more can be experienced. The Northern Cape Province is home to the ancient San people. The natural and cultural uniqueness of the province makes it distinctly different from other provinces within South Africa. The Northern Cape takes pride in its scenic beauty, natural phenomena and abundant plant species. A variety of tourism experiences relating to cultural and natural wonders are found along provincial corridors and attractions. 

The SKA is a world-class astronomy initiative that can be used to yield tourism benefits, thus contributing to local economic growth. The construction of the Carnarvon SKA Exploratorium as mentioned earlier in my speech, is aimed at developing a science-tourism visitor’s centre of local, national and international significance.

The Province also needs to unlock tourism development opportunities of our beautiful coastal towns and regions (Wilderness Experiences, Beach Experiences, Coastal Experiences, Marine Experiences, River Experiences, Events and Festivals, Cultural and Historical Experiences, Mining Experiences).

The Northern Cape’s competitive advantage in energy resources, lies in the renewables, and specifically solar and wind. The abundance of these renewable energy sources, coupled with the Province’s large surface area, sparsely populated tracks of land, and limited agricultural potential makes it particularly suitable for electrical power generation from solar.

The potential for solar energy harvesting is widely recognised in the country and the Province, and as a result, many projects have been developed under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. 

The province will therefore advance the solar revolution in the Northern Cape through the establishment of a Renewable Energy Directorate. The Directorate will focus on how municipalities can enhance revenue collection through solar energy projects.  We will also lobby the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources to renegotiate all Independent Power Producer (IPP) contracts for optimal community beneficiation in construction and related activities which is currently not happening. Our people cannot continue to benefit only from menial jobs derived from these projects with no opportunity to acquire any skills. 

The Province will establish a One-Stop-Shop which will provide essential services to our existing and potential investors as well as opportunities to enhance investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare. Our ultimate objective is to provide seamless services to investors towards fast-tracking projects and reducing government red-tape. This will go a long way towards improving the business environment by lowering the cost of doing business as well as making the process easier. Localisation will also remain an important policy tool for building local capabilities and creating an inclusive and growing economy. A workshop was held in June 2019 in the Province to deliberate on these matters.

An important attribute of A Modern, Growing and Successful Province is safety and security for its residents. A province where our people, especially women and children, can freely enjoy their streets, without fear of being molested or abused. 

The Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy 2030 sets the direction for reducing crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime in the Northern Cape Province.  The Strategy moves from the premise that success in building safer communities is beyond the ability of the criminal justice system alone.  It requires a partnership approach within and across government departments and between government, private and business sectors.  

To this end, the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy seeks to bring together relevant crime prevention stakeholders at different levels and sectors to work together in addressing the wider issues linked to crime and anti-social behaviour.  

Emphasis will be on the establishment of community safety partnerships at a local level to ensure the integration of community safety services towards ensuring local solutions and responses to local crime and safety problems. We are also working towards identifying and enlisting the help of people like Mr Allen Visagie as positive role models and Ambassadors in the fight against substance abuse in the province. 

The safety and security of schools as learning and teaching centres can and should never be compromised. The Northern Cape School Safety Implementation Protocol was launched on 26th October 2018 in Maruping, John Taolo Gaetsewe. The protocol envisages to create Safe, Caring and Child Friendly Schools, where quality teaching and learning can take place and further address incidents of crime and violence in a holistic and integrated manner. 

To further increase police visibility towards enhanced prevention and response to crime two hundred and seventy-four SAPS trainees have completed their training and have been deployed to various stations within the Province. An additional one hundred and forty new recruits are currently undergoing their basic training at Graaff Reinet. 

With the levels of unemployment, poverty and other forms of vulnerability such as hunger, substance abuse and criminality amongst others, the demand for the social wage that represents government’s safety net has become alarming. Our key interventions will be aimed at building capabilities to spread the safety net wider so as to reach more of our vulnerable people, while we focus on empowerment and developmental interventions to render our people self-sufficient.  Our interventions during this 6th Administration will therefore be to:

• Improve the capacity for the delivery of social development services by appointing more social workers and community development workers and establishing 2 more victim support centres for victims of Gender-based violence and abuse in Seoding and Postmasburg, 

• Target people with disabilities for skills training, increased economic participation support and entrepreneurship

• Introduce measures to ensure early development screening for children with disabilities to reduce exclusion errors

• Integrate anti-poverty measures and programmes, including the Fetsa Tlala Food security programme through development and implementation of an Integrated Provincial Anti- Poverty Strategy. R26, 6 million has been set aside in this financial year to render food provision services to vulnerable communities and no-income households. 

• Expand learner transport services, school nutrition services and social relief of distress programme

• Provide sanitary towels to indigent girls in school and TVET colleges 

• Review and update Indigent Registers regularly to ensure no poor household falls through the cracks. 

We have to find a solution to the problem around school holidays when children from vulnerable households miss out on the one decent meal which they receive at school as part of the feeding scheme. 

We cannot be proud as we remain a deeply unequal society. We further have to be deeply concerned as our gains of achieving a non-sexist and non-racial society are reversed as we regress into a polarised society along racial lines.   Our collective singular most important task is therefore to promote and live the Constitutional values of non-racialism, non- sexism and tolerance. We owe it to ourselves as survivors of a brutal past and history of entrenched racism, hatred, division and segregation. We owe it to our children, who do not deserve to inherit a legacy of hatred, racism, sexism and intolerance. 

It should be noted that while much has been done to create a socially cohesive society, the ideal is still to be strived for. Increased interaction between race, class and gender whilst appreciating each other's humanity, reversing stereotypes and building trusting societies will eventually enable us to measure a barometer of progress in attaining these ideals.  Through the Sport, Arts and Culture programmes, the Province consciously fosters social cohesion. 

2019 is declared as the Year of Indigenous Languages and Government will use the opportunity to celebrate our diversity as a people in a bid to promote the values alluded to before.  Government will dedicate Heritage month 2019 that is the whole of September 2019, to celebrate through different events like community conversation on survival and protection of Nama, Xhu, Khwe and Nxu languages culminating in the celebration of National Heritage day on 24th September in Koeboes Richtersveld. The highlight of the day will be a dialogue on indigenous languages and education and awareness on the National Coat of Arms of SA which! KE E: /XARRA //KE in Xhu language. 

We will also capitalise on the opportunity by using it to promote cultural tourism especially during the annual Namakwa flower season, while at the same time identifying opportunities to establish Cultural Tourism SMMEs in these areas. 

Madam Speaker

The province's approach towards the development of the arts and culture has been to provide as many opportunities as possible to assist artists in marketing and growing their talents. Through the Mayibuye Academy programmes in music, drama, dance and crafts a platform is created for the development of artists and crafters contributing to the growth in the creative industries.  

Through Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme close to 9 000 participants will be engaged over the next three years with targeting learners and youth at risk.  In ensuring increased and sustained participation in Sport and Recreation and through organised active recreation events, we are aiming at reaching one hundred and forty thousand (140 000) participants.  These events and activities are used as the platform for promoting social cohesion and youth development as well as encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.

Madam Speaker 

Let me turn to the areas that will receive priority attention during the 6th Administration. The matric intervention programmes will be enhanced and support provided throughout the year to our Grade 12 learners across the Province. We need to take responsibility for our children and youth in preparing them for the future. High performing teachers in core subjects such as Maths and Science will be contracted and deployed to underperforming school to provide additional learning support. Compulsory study sessions will continue in high-enrolment underperforming schools. Support will also go beyond the normal school week with Grade 12 Saturday interventions in Life Science, Mathematics, Mathematics Literacy and business studies. 

Our target is to work extremely hard involving all stakeholders to radically improve our Grade 12 results. The quality of education is not an option but a necessity and fundamental right. Additional 3-day Grade 10 to 12 teacher development clinics will be conducted to assist teachers with planning with 21st century teaching methodologies and analysis grids. The Members of Executive Council will each adopt an underperforming school to provide intense support. Much as Education will be led by one executive, education is however a joint responsibility – these are our children. 

We currently only have such special schools for children with disability in two districts. These special schools will also be expanded to other districts. We also have to consider more technical and agricultural schools in our forward planning. 

The Northern Cape, more specifically the Frances Baard District, faces many challenges with the current school registration process. The annual camping of poor parents in front of schools from 4:00am in the morning and even overnight to secure school placements for their children is totally unacceptable and inhumane. We can therefore announce that from next year, 2020 the on-line school admissions registration system will be in place. 

The mandatory migration of Early Childhood Development from the Department of Social Development to Education, including the process of making 2 years of Early Childhood Development compulsory for all children before they enter grade one (1) is also underway.  

In response to a number of community concerns in pertaining to lack and efficiency of emergency medical services, the Province launched on 4 June 2019 the hand-over of 27 new additional emergency medical vehicles to address these concerns and improve service to our people. As part of the Ambulance service replacement programme an additional twenty-one emergency vehicles will be delivered this afternoon at Galeshewe Day Hospital and the remaining seventeen will be delivered within the next two months. Through the Provincial Emergency Medical Services College, the paramedics will also receive the necessary upskilling and training to ensure efficient delivery of emergency services.

Housing delivery and upgrading of informal settlements have slowed down during the last financial year. We will therefore upscale this programme. The Province will embark on vigorous and active programme to ensure that housing delivery meets the needs of all individuals, and the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) is no exception. This programme will be promoted throughout the province, and will seek to give individuals who do not meet the criteria for subsidised housing a golden opportunity to become first time home owners.

The sixth administration will create seven thousand five hundred (7500) housing opportunities over the next five years, including the full subsidised houses for qualifying beneficiaries, the middle income (“gap market”) sliding scale subsidies and rental housing. In order to achieve this Municipalities must embark on a process of beneficiary identification through the National Housing Needs Register and provision of bulk infrastructure.

We will through a robust effort and a structured year-on-year plan address the delays and backlogs in issuing of title deeds, thereby restoring land and property ownership and as such the dignity of our people. The province therefor plans to transfer one thousand three hundred and fifty pre-1994 and four thousand two hundred and forty post-1994 properties to beneficiaries over the five-year period. 

The delivery of basic services like water and sanitation will also be expanded. In that regard the 6th Administration has planned access to water and sanitation to four thousand one hundred and fifty households over the 5-year period. 

Spatial inequality will be tackled head on by this Administration by institutionalizing integration for spatial transformation and spatial justice. To that end we will prioritize the establishment of an Integrated Development Planning System and use Government land and buildings in urban and rural areas as a catalyst for integration towards spatial transformation and spatial justice. 

Environmental sustainability can only be achieved if the Province’s environmental assets and natural resources are protected and enhanced. It is of great importance to ensure environmental sustainability when addressing any of the Province’s developmental challenges. Even more, the Province should strive for resilience against the effects of climate change.

The drive to develop the green economy could become a catalyst for increased industrialisation, energy efficiency practices and increased employment in the Province. 

As we move into a new era, a new way of doing things, we need to reflect on whether our institutional arrangements and governance tools have facilitated or hindered our fight in the war against poverty, unemployment and inequality. What is clear is that the strategy, thus far, has been a top down approach and our people have said that they feel that they are not heard. I have already alluded to the fact that the 6th Administration puts people first!!

To advance the agenda of a capable developmental state, we will invest in skills development and a culture of lifelong learning for the public service.  Other interventions include amongst others

 Organisational restructuring of departments to properly align functions with structures (re-tasking and budget alignment)

 Diagnostic analysis of governance weaknesses in terms of management as well as line and support functions

 Joint project planning and budgeting protocols 

 Review of the High Impact Projects 

 Review of the Cluster system and Executive Council Secretariat 

 Capacitate the Planning, Research, Policy, Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Units across all departments and local government 

 Strengthening of the Head of Department (HOD) Forum to prioritise strategic and macro policy matters as well as the implementation of the key government priorities 

 Transfer and centralisation of the Youth coordination function within the Office of the Premier under a Youth Directorate. 

 Strengthen coordination functions related to Women, Children and People with disabilities and relocate to the Policy and Governance Programme in the Office the Premier. 

 Political leadership will champion Zero tolerance to corruption, to permeate throughout the Administration 

 Foster closer structured cooperation with state law enforcement agencies both at national and provincial spheres with regards to corruption 

 Enhance cooperation with the Auditor General and SCOPA to monitor and evaluate implementation of remedial actions to improve financial management and accountability

 Establish structured social compacts with organised labour, civil society, private sector, academia and other sectors and fraternities through the Provincial Growth and Investment Council and War Room on Poverty and Unemployment

 Structure Intergovernmental relations arrangements with National Departments and State owned Enterprises with a footprint in the province

 Demonstrate strong political ethical leadership whose primary objective is to serve communities. 

We are currently facing numerous challenges at Municipalities such as high levels of debt to water boards and Eskom, failure to spend MIG grants, weak financial management and governance.  Our communities are losing trust and confidence in local government and this can be seen by the increase in service delivery protests. We as provincial government cannot divorce ourselves from the challenges and problems of local government. 

We are indeed appalled with the results of the 2017-18 audit outcomes of municipalities, in particular the regression from 2016-17 with three municipalities regressing from unqualified with finds to qualified and two from qualified to a disclaimed audit opinion. Only one municipality, ZF Mcgawu has received an unqualified with no findings audit opinion.  The reality is that the poor performance of municipalities has a knock on effect with significant impact on the delivery of quality services. 

We take note of the Auditor General’s observations of the municipalities across the country that consistently achieved clean audits, “The best practices at these municipalities included stable leadership that is committed to a strong control environment and effective governance”.  

Through a multi-pronged approach, we will begin to systematically address the root causes within our municipalities through practical interventions aimed at improving the audit outcomes. We will therefore develop an integrated intervention strategy following the Local Government Lekgotla to be hosted by Provincial Government in September 2019.

Madam Speaker, the determinants of our success as a province, cannot be solely measured in its GDP or economic growth. A successful province must ultimately be measured as the sum of multiple factors.  The main determinant of governance is citizen’s demands and the extent to which their demands are met and satisfied. This means that we will only know whether we are successful or not based on the satisfaction levels of those who have given us the mandate to govern. The 6th Administration will therefore unflinchingly remain committed to delivery on the 7 priorities that are directly aligned to the electoral mandate given by the majority of voters in the Northern Cape on the 8th of May 2019. 

It is time for a new dawn, a new revolution, a paradigm shift away from being system servers to becoming people servers, driven by hard work and courage to create this better life that our people aspire to, to be a light that shines bright in a dark place, and a bridge for somebody in need.

I therefore call on all sectors of the Northern Cape society, business and corporates, labour organisations, non-governmental organisations, the faith based fraternity, academics and communities in general, to be receptive and join hands with government in embracing and rallying behind this one vision that all of us should share and passionately pursue.  We can and shall only be able to realize the vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful Northern Cape if we all make our individual and collective contribution and pull in the same direction.

I call on all companies – both in the public and private sector – to make a deliberate effort to seek out unemployed graduates and employ them.  

I call on all men and women, LGBTQI sector, NGOs, business, communities, one and all, to work with government to put an end to all forms of violence against women and children, especially the devastating scourge of femicide and rape. 

Join the crusade of change as we move together towards our shared destiny of a Modern, Growing and Successful Northern Cape. 

GOD BLESS the Northern Cape and all its people.

Contact

Amaqhawe Building
42 Du Toitspan Road
City Centre
Kimberley
8300
 
Tel:  053 831 2230
Fax: 053 832 4151
info@ancnortherncape.org.za

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