22 November 2012

South Africa: Eastern Cape Executive Takes Note of Progress in Developing the Province in Its 61st Meeting

press release

The 61st Executive Council Meeting of the Eastern Cape which met yesterday 21 November 2012 in Bhisho considered a number of submissions and endorsed a series of development projects championed by various departments.

The Executive Council, Chaired by Premier Noxolo Kiviet noted and appreciated progress made in executing a number of development intervention programmes aimed at accelerating development and fighting unemployment, poverty and addressing not just household inequalities but spatial development inequalities facing various regions of the Province which include:

1. Integrated Wild Coast Development Programme which seeks to stimulate economic growth and development in the highly depressed and underdeveloped eastern region of the Eastern Cape, with plans to establish fully fledged coastal towns in Port St Johns and Coffee Bay. The Executive Council appreciated the finalization of development plans and their costing which would begin with upgrading of bulk infrastructure.

The envisaged development of the Wild Coast will be boosted by the construction of the Wild Coast Meander and the planned construction of the N2 which together are set to build flourishing first post -apartheid towns in the province. They too will unlock the full tourism, agriculture, forestry and manufacturing potential of the region that today accounts for only... of the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Wild Coast is expected to be registered as a Special Economic Zone when the bill has been passed into an Act by the National Assembly. The Department of Economic Development Environmental Affairs and Tourism as the lead agency of government that works with various departments and municipalities will embark on an extensive stakeholder consultation programme soon;

2. Plans to construct a R7 billion Multi-Model Original Equipment Manufacturing (MMOEM) plant in the East London Industrial Development Zone which has capacity to manufacture six (6) different vehicle models as an incentive to many vehicle manufacturers who are keen to grow their market share in South Africa and the continent.

The project has received the blessings of the Department of Trade and Industry as well as an in principle support by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and is expected to create initially 1800 jobs in operations and initial supply chain services and over 4 600 in the future. The single automotive factory will be capable of producing up to 65 000 units per annum and is expected to start operating in 2017.

3. The Executive Council also endorsed the establishment of an inter-ministerial Oversight Body for the Government Fleet Management Services Trading Entity which has been successfully operating for over 10 months managing a 2299 strong government fleet of cars. The political oversight body will be led by MEC Thandiswa Marawu of Transport and Public Works and includes Provincial Planning and Finance MEC Phumulo Masualle, Local Government Traditional Affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane, Education MEC Mandla Makhupula and Health MEC Sicelo Gqobana.

The political Oversight Body seeks to ensure good corporate governance and overall efficiency of the Trading Entity that operating as a programme under the Department of Transport. The Oversight Body will be supported by an inter-departmental Technical Oversight Committee composed of Heads of Departments of Transport and Local Government and Traditional Affairs as well as Deputy Directors-General from the Office of the Premier and Provincial Treasury.

4. The Executive Council also noted progress made in improving overall life expectancy in the Eastern Cape and plans to intensify interventions at the Primary Health Care and curative levels of health care service delivery which contributed in the net positive improvement in the health status of the population of the Eastern Cape. Life expectancy improved from 57.7 to 5 8. 7 years for females and from 51.2 to 51.8 for males between 2009 and 2010.

General deaths from disease reduced by 13% while maternal deaths reduced by 17%. The Executive Council further noted efforts to improve the reach of immunisation or vaccination programmes against various diseases including the pneumonia covering 13 strains, supply of vitamin A supplements, and strengthening of other interventions to improve access to treatment of chronic illnesses with diabetes and hypertension being prioritised.

5. Progress made in piloting the National Health Insurance (NHI) in the OR Tambo District Municipality was also noted and appreciated, as an allocation of R11.5 million was made by the National Department of Health to advance the project. The province is strengthening its district health care system aimed at improving access to quality health care services for the most-needy communities.

The Exco noted with appreciation the training and allocation of 973 Community Health Care Workers (CHCW) in wards across the OR Tambo District Municipality as well as advanced training of 306 CHCWs in Integrated School Health Programme which is being run using state of the art mobile units. The call for all other departments to join hands in addressing infrastructure and other backlogs that inhibit the provision of quality health care was endorsed as well as the intensification of stakeholder consultations to secure sufficient buy-ins.

The 61st Executive Council Meeting of the Eastern Cape which met yesterday 21 November 2012 in Bhisho considered a number of submissions and endorsed a series of development projects championed by various departments. The Executive Council, Chaired by Premier Noxolo Kiviet noted and appreciated progress made in executing a number of development intervention programmes aimed at accelerating development and fighting unemployment, poverty and addressing not just household inequalities but spatial development inequalities facing various regions of the Province which include:

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