State of the Province Address delivered by North West Premier Prof Tebogo Job Mokgoro, at the opening of the North West Provincial Legislature convened on Friday, 15 February 2019 in Mahikeng
The Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Hon Suzan Dantjie
The Deputy Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Hon Jane Manganye
The Judge President of the North West Division of the High Court, Judge Monica Leeuw
The members and representatives of the Inter Ministerial Task Team
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Provincial Legislature
Members of the National Assembly with us today
Members of the National Council of Provinces
Mayors and Speakers of our 22 municipalities
The Chairperson of the North West House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Moshe Mabe
Kgosi Jeff Montshioa,
Kgosi Nyalala Pilane,
Kgosi Lencwe Makapan,
Le Dikgosi tsotlhe tse di teng mosong ono,
The leadership of the governing African National Congress
Leaders of other political parties
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Captains of Industry and Business Leaders
Members of the Academia
Religious Leaders and members of the Clergy
Members of the media
Baagi ba Bokone Bophirima
It is indeed my honour and privilege to stand before you to deliver the last State of the Province Address of the 5th Administration as it nears the end of its
Before I proceed Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge in our midst, the presence of the son of the late struggle stalwart and internationalist
extraordinaire, Moses Kotane, e leng Rre Joseph Kotane, who is here with us on behalf of the Kotane family and most importantly on behalf of his mother, Mme Rebecca Kotane - who turned 107 on Tuesday and unfortunately could not be with us due to old age - and acknowledge the presence of the Chief Executive Officer of the Moses Kotane Foundation, Mr Steve Mashia.
Honourable members, we will, tomorrow, be celebrating and hosting Mma
Kotane's birthday with her and the people of Phela-ya-Mmatlhako at Phela village as well as visit the late Comrade Moses Kotane's family home and reburial site to lay a wreath and pay our respects for the role they both played in the emancipation of our people.
Madam Speaker, allow me to congratulate our Grade 12 class of 2018 who made us proud by obtaining an 81.1% pass rate; which is an improvement by 1.66% from the 79.44% achieved in 2017.
But special mention must go to David Mark Dodkins from Bergsig Secondary School in Bojanala Platinum District; who was the national top performer in the 2018 matric exams. He obtained full marks in both Mathematics and Physical Science, in addition to his other distinctions.
Another special mention must go to Mameka Graduate Mathole from Vuyanimawethu Secondary School in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District who obtained 100% in Physical Science.
Honourable members, in addition to these two exceptional individuals, I wish to acknowledge the achievements of Dineo Debra Njoro, a Grade 11 learner from Bethel High School in Ngaka Modiri Molema District who made us proud by obtaining position three in Southern African Development Community's Secondary Schools Essay Competition; whose topic was on the Role of Private Sectors in assisting developing nations in Southern Africa.
Madam Speaker, I stand before this august house; seven months after being elected Premier of the North West Province, which I addressed upon my election and promised to, among others, bridge the trust gap that had manifested itself between government and the people of this province. I had also committed to provide leadership that seeks to bring hope and renewal amongst our people following unprecedented waves of unrest and violent protests that had gripped the length and breadth of our province towards the end of April last year as well as the beginning of May; where many of our people took to the streets to voice out their frustrations in relation to our inability or unwillingness to deliver basic, quality services as a provincial government, including of course, local government.
In addition, honourable members, the most important task at hand at the time was instilling confidence in a public service that had become fractured, and hope to a population that had become despondent, as well as bring stability to a government that had all but lost track of the social contract it had entered into with the electorate from the outcome of the 2014 National and Provincial Elections; that of ensuring that we deliver services meant to improve the lives of the people of the North West.
Madam Speaker, we would do well to remember that the President and Cabinet resolved to intervene in the province - clearly because of the labour and civil unrest that had spread like wildfire throughout the province; our social and health services were on the brink of near collapse and Cabinet invoked Section 100 (1)(a) and 100 (1)(b) of the Constitution in all Provincial Government departments and appointed an Inter-Ministerial Task Team to oversee the implementation of those intervention measures. We, then, had to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the IMTT, led by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on agreed protocols as well as the Standard Operating Procedures on the Section 100 interventions in the identified departments.
Honourable members, the Section 100 intervention was, in the main, informed by the failure to provide administrative leadership and effective oversight to service delivery departments, especially on the part of the Office of the Premier.
As a consequence and as a matter of fact, the entire provincial administration underwent a massive and generalised breakdown in governance, service delivery, accountability and deterioration of labour relations.
Madam Speaker, we can today, without any fear of contradiction, report to this august house and the people of the North West Province that significant progress has been made in steering this province in the right direction and strengthening the capacity of government to deliver quality services to the people, as well as mending the broken bridges between ourselves, communities and organised labour.
The intervention is making advances in addressing the governance and service delivery challenges facing our Province.
To date six senior and executive managers have been suspended, and are facing disciplinary action. The Head of Department for Public Works and Roads has been suspended and is facing disciplinary action related to serious financial misconduct. The Head of Department for Health is currently facing a disciplinary hearing for serious financial irregularity.
An additional five officials in the Department of Health are facing disciplinary charges linked to fraud, corruption and transgression of Treasury regulations and the PFMA involving more than R 350 million. In the Office of the Premier, two Chief Directors have been suspended on charges linked to irregular payments in relation to the NEPO Data Dynamics ICT contract. Investigations against 11 other officials in the Office of the Premier are currently underway.
The Departments of Education and Sports Development and Community Safety and Transport Management report that while no formal charges have yet been put to employees, investigations are underway, and consequence management is imminent.
Madam Speaker, the Office of the Premier is reviewing a further 31 cases of corruption and maladministration that were reported to an investigative unit established in the Office of the Premier prior to the intervention. These cases will be referred for disciplinary action, if found to have merit.
Ladies and gentlemen, four junior officials and one middle manager are facing disciplinary processes related to corrupt conduct, dishonesty and fraud at the Department of Social Development.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, is handling forty nine (49) cases involving theft, fraud and contraventions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004, related to the North West Province.
The status of these cases is as follows:
Ten cases are on the court roll for trial;
Twenty one cases are pending decision by the National Prosecuting Authority;
Fifteen cases are pending investigation;
In three of the cases, the NPA declined to prosecute;
The total amount involved in these cases is R2,497 billion;
Madam Speaker, in addition, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is handling forty four (44) matters involving procurement irregularities; maladministration; theft of state properties; irregular sales of state shares and properties; interference by the Executive in the administration; shoddy work by contractors and payments for services not rendered.
I am therefore cautioning Members of the Executive not to interfere with the Supply Chain Processes in departments; with the aim of creating self-benefit in the Administration.
The status of the matters being handled by the SIU is as follows:
There are five matters where the Premier has already signed requests to the President to issue proclamation for investigation;
Three of these matters are covered by the currently issued proclamation and are under investigation;
There is still another twenty matters on which the SIU is waiting for more information;
Three of the matters are under investigation by the Hawks and are included in the 49 cases of the Hawks reported above;
Three of the matters have been investigated and finalized;
Seven of these matters have been closed because of insufficient evidence;
Two matters have been referred to other agencies; and
One proclamation has been drafted for the President's signature.
Over and above the external investigations referred to, we have made substantial gains through the establishment of effective internal control systems, addressing irregular expenditure, illegal contracts and outsourcing, reoccurring audit findings and pursuing disciplinary and criminal actions against officials and others implicated in fraud, corruption and financial misconduct.
Madam Speaker, the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week that an investigating directorate dealing with serious corruption and associated offences, in accordance with section 7 of the NPA Act will be established is a welcome relief to us.
We should bear in mind that this progress happens at the back of a recent announcement of the Auditor-General on the PFMA Audit outcomes which revealed a total disregard for financial prudence in the North West Provincial Government; and it was found that this disregard had been happening for four consecutive financial years since 2014/15, without any commitment from government to resolve such bad financial control and the lack of appetite over that period to implement consequence management control as well as commitment to clean government in the province.
Madam Speaker, I am therefore pleased to report that, in the last seven months, we have managed to curb reckless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure in the Provincial Government and we have put systems in place to ensure financial discipline now and in the future.
It is very important that we do all that we can to reassure our people that this government is committed to serving them as well as delivering services, while cleansing itself of all corrupt elements that might still be within our midst.
We should ensure that we continue to protect and nurture this democratic government; this is a government for which a lot of people laid down their lives so that we can live in a just and equal South Africa; where our people are given equal access to services by a corruption-free and well run government that is responsive to the needs of its populace.
That is why our people have continued to entrust us, since the dawn of democracy, with a five year renewable mandate to continue with our ongoing commitment to ensuring a better life for all; we dare not take that mandate for granted - it is that social contract that we have entered into with our people that empowers us to change their lives for the better.
Preparations are being made for the transition to the sixth administration to ensure continuity, and preserve and advance the gains made by intervention.
During his State of the Nation Address of 2019, President Ramaphosa indicated that Government has identified the following five most urgent tasks that need to be undertaken to improve the lives of our people:
Firstly, we must accelerate inclusive economic growth and create jobs.
Secondly, our history demands that we should improve the education system and develop the skills that we need now and into the future.
Thirdly, we are duty bound to improve the conditions of life for all South Africans, especially the poor
Fourthly, we have no choice but to step up the fight against corruption and state capture.
Fifthly, we need to strengthen the capacity of the state to address the needs of the people.
Madam Speaker, the North-West Province accounts for a total population of 3.85 million, which translates into 6.8% of the total population in South Africa.
Honourable members, this province ccontribute 6.8 % to the South African economy, as well as 6.8% to this country's tax revenue and we receive 6.8% of the equitable share.
Between 2006 and 2017, the provincial population growth averaged 1.64% per annum which is very similar to that of South Africa as a whole which was 1.54%.
Ladies and gentlemen, our provincial population is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.3% from 3.8 million in 2017 to about 4.06 million in 2021, whereas the provincial average annual economic growth is projected by IHS Markit to reach 2% in 2019 and 2.8% in 2021.
Therefore, we need to align our programmes to enhance economic growth in line with the Stimulus Package announced by the President as a province.
Madam Speaker, it is a given fact that infrastructure; and transport infrastructure in particular, is accepted as a pre-condition to economic growth, and we have come up with initiatives that are currently supporting the National Development Plan objective of creating access to socio-economic opportunities on safe, trafficable roads.
As a result, we have put in place a Roads Recovery Plan to improve transport infrastructure and to assist in reducing the maintenance backlog in the past year for the Province; and from that, the following are milestones that we have reached over the last seven months;
Construction work on a bridge in Taung,
The upgrading from gravel to surfaced standard roads totalling 124 kilometres in the province,
Rehabilitation work totalling 697 000 m2 of the province,
Resealing work totalling 92 100 m2 and
Re-gravelling work totalling 22 kilometres of the entire circumference of the North West.
We have undertaken a total of 32 road maintenance projects in the third quarter of 2018 and those will be completed by the end of next month, at an estimated cost of R430 million. We aim to use these projects to promote contractor development and to benefit emerging contractors.
Madam Speaker, as part of our infrastructure programme aimed at accelerating economic growth and stimulating development, as well as job creation, we will prioritize the upgrading of 60 kilometres of gravel roads to surfaced roads, undertake the rehabilitation of 510 000 square metres of surfaced roads, undertake road resealing work totalling 500 000 square meters, embark on the re-gravelling of 97 kilometres of gravel roads and perform 62 472 square meters of blacktop patching in the next financial year.
In addition, specific transport infrastructure projects that will reach completion by the end of the financial year, or that have reached completion include the following:
Phase 2 of the rehabilitation and upgrading to a dual carriageway of the 30 kilometre long Road P28/4 from Rooigrond (Mahikeng) to Lichtenburg;
The rehabilitation of Road of 48 kilometre long Road D408 from Itsoseng to Goedgevonden through Springbokpan;
The rehabilitation of Road P3/4, on the N12, from Road R503to Archbishop Desmond Tutu Street in Matlosana;
The rehabilitation of the 8 kilometre long Road D201 from Sekhing / Pampierstad to Kgomotso;
The upgrading from gravel to surface standard of the 7 kilometre long Road D402 through the villages of Manamolela to Deelpan to Kopela;
The light rehabilitation of critical sections of the 13 kilometre
long Road D170 from Khunwana to Mokope;
The light rehabilitation, repair and resealing of the 3,5 kilometre long Road D170 from Khunwana to Geysdorp;
The light rehabilitation, repair and resealing of 4 kilometre long Road Z414 from Majemantsho to the mines;
The re-gravelling of Road D639 P65/1 from the Moretele
road P63/1 to Fafung and from Fafung through Ga-Habedi; and
The upgrading from gravel to surface standard of the 27 kilometre long Road D479 from Khunotsoana village to the TJunction of N4 and Tweefontein. In our efforts to continuously improve and maintain a world class road infrastructure in our province; I am pleased to report that, as a result of our partnership with SANRAL, a total of R4,54 billion has been spent in the current financial year and 1461 jobs were created in the process and we are forecasting that for the next financial year, we are going to spend an additional R732 million towards the upkeep of our road infrastructure.
Honourable members, as we value and appreciate the immense benefits derived from the partnership with SANRAL, we continue to appeal to the National Department of Transport for a review of the Swartruggens Plaza Toll Fee on the N4, as it disempowers struggling motorists trying to make a living.
We shall intensify our engagements in the next three months. We will also assess the condition and structural firmness of government buildings in the 2019/20 financial year with the intention to inform the maintenance plan or plans for such buildings so as to prioritize their maintenance in accordance with the outcomes of the assessments.
The health and safety of our employees, Madam Speaker, is of paramount importance in this regard.
We had an earthquake in 2014 and we are still sitting with a number of public buildings and private dwellings which were damaged by the earthquake; they haven't been repaired.
I have now given a clear instruction to relevant departments to ensure that all affected areas - including the recent floods in Taung, the storms in Ratlou that have damaged people's houses and the damages to the Vuselela TVET College in Taung - are urgently attended to.
In addition, as part of our efforts to accelerate economic growth and job creation, we have re-established brickmaking plants in the past few months and they are now ready for operation; as part of our Expanded Public Works Programme related to infrastructure development, and those plants should be fully operational by the end of March this year.
This initiative, Honourable Members, has created a total of 239 jobs so far and we believe that once all the 12 brickmaking plants are fully operational, the number of jobs will increase in the next financial year.
We have successfully completed the construction of both the Tshing and Matlwang Dual Purpose Community Libraries as well as the Boikhutso Dual Purpose Library in the JB Marks Local Municipality and the Ramatlabama Six Hundred Community Library in the Mahikeng Local Municipality; with the sole intention to ensure that we have an educated youth and inculcate a culture of reading amongst our communities. These libraries have contributed to job creation, where the staff compliment in our community libraries stands at 179 but with the belief that this number will increase once we have completed and handed over the Stella Community library in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District, the Oukasie Library near Brits and the Redirile Community Library in Derby in the next financial year.
Madam Speaker, as part our Infrastructure Built Programme as well as to demonstrate our commitment to the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the 2018 State of the Nation Address for the total nationwide eradication of unsafe and inappropriate sanitation facilities within the next three years, all unsafe pit toilets in the remaining Hundred and four (104) schools in our province will be prioritised and replaced with safer and hygienic toilets for learners before the end of the next financial year.
By the end of the 2019/20 financial year, there should be no school with pit toilets in the North West.
Our physical infrastructure project list, in pursuit of excellence in education, will be heavily biased towards the eradication of Pit latrines and addressing insufficient sanitation, upgrade and replacement of unsafe buildings, and building of laboratories, libraries, administration blocks, nutrition centres, and Grade R classrooms in schools.
In order to achieve all these, we will strengthen our engagements with the building industry, existing and potential strategic partners, business and donors. We will fast track the handing over of completed school building projects to the concerned communities across the province in the next financial year.
Madam Speaker, in addition, this government is in the process of completing multi-purpose sport complexes in Manthe in Taung and Ipelegeng in Mamusa; both of which are 93% and 60% complete respectively as we speak but we are aiming to fast track their completion in the next financial year.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are well on track with the acceleration of the necessary physical infrastructure improvements to our health facilities with special emphasis for this year on the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital, Witrand Hospital, Potchefstroom Hospital, Gelukspan Hospital, the Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital's Casualty ward, the Delareyville Community Health Centre and the Ventersdorp Bulk Pharmacy. We will ensure the availability of a functional boiler and back-up generators with specific focus on all hospitals, community health centres and 24 hour service clinics.
We have procured 20 planned patient transporters, with 48 ambulances which will improve the response time and coverage of emergency medical services.
Madam Speaker, the end of this financial year heralds the beginning of the new era for the community of Ventersdorp with the implementation of Tshing Mega Project, commonly known as the N14 project, which is a multi-year project in the jurisdiction of JB Marks Local Municipality.
This is one of our foremost catalytic projects that is intended not only to provide services to the community but revitalise the area through building new settlements in line with the Spatial Plan and the NDP. The development will go a long way in alleviating poverty, through the creation of temporary and permanent jobs and the project will include the development of a mall through private funding, and create over three thousand mixed housing opportunities, which will include bonded houses, social housing and breaking new ground, commonly known as RDP.
The project will also assist in enhancing the current provision of services for Ventersdorp in general and Tshing in particular such as the supply of water and electricity through the construction of bulk water reservoir and electricity sub stations.
The project will also see the construction of additional bulk sewer in the area. All this will be funded through the Municipal infrastructure grant and the human settlements development grant
The project will commence at the end of this financial year including stages such as the packing of stands in the area, followed by installation of internal reticulation of water and sewer; which will run concurrently with the construction of bulk services. On completion of above mentioned the development will go into the next stage which would be the construction of a mall, houses, small and medium size factories, etc. It is worth mentioning that the Municipal Planning Tribunal has issued a conditional approval of the township establishment which required certain conditions to be met before a final approval is issued.
The municipality and the province have committed to ensure that the said conditions are met, and ready to be presented to the MPT that will sit on the 22nd of February, after which all processes mentioned above will ensue.
The Department of Local Government and Human Settlement has been directed to audit all existing settlements in the province to ensure that they have been formally and properly declared; in terms of the requirements of the Municipal Planning Tribunal.
Honourable members, in addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality in the province, the 5th Administration focused on strengthening, reinforcing and ensuring collaborative efforts and consolidation of resources towards the implementation of radical economic transformation initiatives to achieve the fundamental objectives outlined in the National Development Plan.
As part of our efforts to bolster industrialisation; through the North West Development Corporation, we have begun to implement the Platinum Valley Special Economic Zones Programme so as to create a new mining supply that speaks to capital equipment manufacturing, renewable energy, agro-processing zone and general manufacturing in the Mogwase Industrial Area.
This is our contribution as the North West Province's Investment book to the economic stimulus as declared by the President.
The primary aim of this project is to attract Foreign Direct Investment valued at R4-billion with a potential to create 6045 new but sustainable jobs over a 5 year period, and the North West Development Corporation has been identified as the implementing agent to drive this project.
Therefore Madam Speaker, the province will be hosting a Trade and Investment Conference in the Bojanala District on 14 March 2019; informed by the outcomes of the Presidential Investment Summit that was held recently.
This conference is expected to showcase Platinum Valley Special Economic Zone opportunities, among others attract investments to create the much needed skills and jobs.
To this end, through the North West Development Corporation, we have made great strides in advancing the agenda and mandate of economic development, job creation and empowerment within the North West Province.
It is our goal and driving passion to be at the forefront of economic acceleration and growth resulting in more job creation, sustainability, innovation and prosperity for all.
With regard to beneficiation, we are walking the talk as we have a jewellery manufacturing incubation at the Orbit College in Bojanala.
We have now moved beyond the phase of policy uncertainty around the SEZ; our application is before the SEZ Board to be declared a licensed SEZ. The role of an SEZ is to support the economy of the province; not necessarily aimed at stimulating mining only.
Madam Speaker, another catalytic project is the R4-billion Matlosana N12 Development which spans some 1 114 hectares on both sides of the N12 Treasure Route Corridor. The project is situated between the mining towns of Stilfontein and Matlosana, in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality and it is a fully integrated mixeduse development.
Honourable members, the project has attracted interest from a public equity investment to the tune of R550 million for the acquisition of a 60% shareholding which is expected to assist in kick-starting the infrastructural backbone that will support investment into the area.
The R1.2 billion catalytic Matlosana meat processing plant is another bankable opportunity soliciting for investors.
The focus of this business venture will be the slaughtering of cattle and pigs as well as the processing of red meat products.
We envisage that the plant will slaughter and process approximately 500 cattle and 1,000 pigs per day as there is an increasing demand for red meat products in South Africa, as well as abroad. We are indeed working together to grow the North West and South Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen, approximately 60 SMMEs with a turnover of between R250 000 and R1 million were placed in an intense incubation programme for a period of 12 months; where the aim is to make a significant impact on the growth acceleration of a cohort of high growth Potential SMME's. Out of those placed in the incubation programme, 38 SMME's have graduated in November 2018 and are ready to stake their place in the growth of the provincial economy.
Honourable members, tourism remains one of the major drivers of the provincial economy and we have made some gains as well as experienced some challenges which have served as lessons going forward in growing the sector.
In 2018, the province received 140 456 international visitors; we had over 1 million bed nights utilized and these visitors spent an estimated R453 million in their stay in our province.
Madam Speaker, we have since established the Provincial Human Resource Development Council that was launched by the Deputy President, the Honourable David Mabuza, in Rustenburg during the 3rd quarter of 2018.
Honourable Members, the Council is chaired by the Premier and made up of representatives from labour, business, youth, women, community and structures representing people with disabilities.
Madam Speaker, the main purpose of this structure is to coordinate skills development in the North West and ensure that a working partnership is created amongst all social partners to tackle youth skills, unemployment and marginalization from economic participation.
This structure shall in the next three months complete a comprehensive Provincial Human Resource Development Strategy and a clear implementable Provincial Skills Development Plan, with real targets to deliver key critical skills required to build capacity in Government, and grow the economy of the Province. We invite the private Sector to join us in this effort, and partner with Government to address structural challenges in our economy by launching the Presidential Youth Employment Services Programme in the North West. The Council is further mandated to ensure that the Provincial Skills Development Lekgotla, to be held later this year, focuses on and produces a plan on how the youth of our Province will be assisted and empowered to take advantage of opportunities available in the 4th industrial revolution. We have provisioned 12 303 tablets for learner use, 1 465 tablets for principals and 1 100 laptops for teachers.
This however illustrates a huge backlog that must still be addressed to achieve the situation of 1 learner 1 tablet provisioning;
116 Principals were trained by Intel and IT Master on School Technology Planning in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati
100 teachers received training on Mindset Broadcast solution and a further 85 teachers trained on Cloud in the Box (CLOX).
50 subject advisors were trained by the Department of Basic Education on the Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE) Learning Management system
Teachers in the 29 schools benefiting have been trained in the e-library solution
Furthermore, 1200 teachers; 300 per district, will receive training on ICT skills to incorporate E-Learning and Digital Education Programs will be installed in 100 schools and training will be provided for proper use of the content targeting Villages, Farms and Townships. Teachers in the 20 schools that received laptops will receive training on Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE) management in learning and support. We have provisioned e-learning content through internet connectivity to 100 schools for research purposes.
Honourable members, a 100 more schools participating in the MST grant will receive 20 tablets each for the current financial year. We currently have 43 learners at the Denel Training Project in Kempton Park; who are citizens of the North West. Twelve of these learners are training as artisans in Aircraft Mechanics, ten have enrolled for Electrical Engineering, twelve of them are doing a Fitter and Turning course while nine of them have enrolled for Welding. They have completed their one year theoretical training and are currently attached to selected industrials for practical skills for a further two years ending in 2020. It is our expectation that these learners will successfully complete their study programmes and gain employment to make a meaningful contribution in society.
Madam Speaker, in conjunction with the MerSETA, 89 students are undergoing quality upskilling in various trades to qualify as artisans. 29 of the 89 are training as Artisans/Apprentices and have been enrolled for a 24 Months training for a period of three years from 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year. 60 of these are graduates Interns in Agricultural Programmes over a period of 3 years from 2017 to 2020.
Furthermore, through the Construction SETA (CETA) 35 youth of the North West Province are following upskilling programmes in the built industry.
We will establish a Provincial Innovation Hub in Mahikeng this year, and further three regional Innovation Hubs in the other Districts in the next two years, under the Coordination of the IKATISONG School of Governannce in the Office of the Premier.
The Centre for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) have committed to work with us in the roll out of this project.
The North West Provincial Government remains committed to skilling young people by providing them with apprenticeship opportunities to qualify as artisans in the various technical fields of expertise.
Therefore, 200 young people were enrolled to participate in the three year plumbing apprenticeship program which was a partnership between us and Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA).
Despite the challenges faced in rolling out the program, 93 successfully passed plumbing trade tests and qualified as Artisans.
Madam Speaker, in addressing youth unemployment as a pressing priority, we have made a commitment to continue to support young people who aspire to become commercial farmers.
As a result, 120 unemployed graduates in the agricultural sector have been placed in farms as part of experiential training and learning on a three year program.
Furthermore, we are implementing a memorandum of Agreement with Taletso and Vuselela TVET Colleges to jointly ensure that we provide in-service training & internships to those students who have just completed their studies in Agriculture.
This will also extend to youth participation in Waste Programs, Land Care Programs, Comprehensive Agricultural Support Program and the Ilima-Letsema Program aimed at creating lasting and sustainable employment for young people.
With regards to growing the tourism economy, we will train 200 culture guides and 40 adventure guides in the coming financial year.
Through the National Youth Service Programme, we have exposed young people to training in various areas including Mixed Farming and Agriculture, Entrepreneurial Skills Development, Bricklaying and Construction.
Madam Speaker, for the current financial year, 300 young people participated in the mixed farming training and 350 young people are participating in the Youth leadership Programme.
A total number of 684 work opportunities were created for young people through the Social Sector EPWP Incentive Grant thus far.
Honourable members, of critical importance is that the participating youth receive accredited skills development training, monthly stipends, protective clothing or corporate wear and where applicable tools of trade.
Honourable members, our province has experienced severe drought in the past five years and the recent summer season has not been an exception; we have since requested drought relief assistance from the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The negative impacts of drought on the agricultural sector cannot be understated and during the 2018/19 budget adjustment an amount of R31 Million was set aside to implement drought intervention projects to mitigate this impact. These projects include veld care or bush thinning, drilling of boreholes and water reticulation.
Honourable members, our province has experienced severe drought in the past five years and the recent summer season has not been an exception; we have since requested drought relief assistance from the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
However, Madam Speaker, while waiting for a decision on that request, on Thursday last week, we distributed emergency bags of fodder to Tosca in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District; which is the area hardest hit by the drought. As a stop-gap measure, we have also re-prioritised an initial amount of R3.9 million for the purchase of bags of fodder which will be rolled out to Kagisano - Molopo and Greater Taung Local Municipalities in the next week to assist drought stricken farmers in those areas. We will continue to identify unspent funds within the current budget to re-direct for emergency fodder relief until the end of the financial year, and as soon as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries grants approval on the allocation of funds, the emergency fodder relief scheme will be rolled out to other districts of the province.
Even though not enough, we are greatly encouraged by the rains that we have been experiencing in the province.
In addition, Madam Speaker, in October 2018, we were allocated R309 million by National Treasury for drought relief.
However the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is responsible for the management thereof and ensuring disbursement to benefitting municipalities while the Department of Local Government and Human Settlement plays an oversight role in this process.
Madam Speaker, as part of the initiative of National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to identify 450 farmers in the whole country, each province was tasked with the identification of 50 farmers to take part in the Black producer commercialization.
We have so far supported those farmers with production inputs, farm equipment and training on use of new agricultural machinery and will continue to roll out for the as part of the five year program.
Madam Speaker, in line with the national initiative to introduce the National Health Insurance (NHI) together with a multi-pronged quality improvement programme, we will continue to improve the quality of community based programmes as well as the quality of services in clinics, Community Health Care Centres and hospitals.
An issue that has recently become of serious concern to us has been the reappearance of racism at a number of our schools and we condemn such apartheid-type practices in the strongest possible term.
We will be holding a School Safety Summit; as had been earlier planned before the end of the financial year.
Madam Speaker, local government remains the cornerstone of our ability to deliver basic services to our people - they are at the coal face of service delivery and their effectiveness and efficiency is of paramount importance to us.
However, our municipalities have been found wanting on this score - simply put they are in a dire state and about 19 of the 22 municipalities in this province were on the brink of near collapse; totally in a dysfunctional state.
One recent disturbing event has been the VBS Saga.
Madam Speaker, we have completed forensic investigations into the VBS matter in the four affected municipalities, namely Madibeng, Moretele and Mahikeng Local Municipalities as well as DR RSM, where state funds in excess of have been irregularly invested into the VBS Mutual Bank and lost.
We have instructed the affected municipalities to take the necessary steps against the implicated officials; both management and where proven, councillors.
In addition, the governing party has taken the necessary measures to deal with those political functionaries responsible.
Sadly, the performance of our municipalities and provision of basic services has been on a decline over the years. Our municipalities have also been regressing in terms of audit outcomes, their response to community needs, and execution of their legislative responsibilities. All our 22 municipalities are under administration; some are placed under Section 139(1) (a) of the Constitution; some are under Section 139 (1) (b) while other are under Section 137 of the MFMA.
However, we have seen significant progress since we appointed Administrators at some of the worst performing municipalities; and in due course, we shall table a detailed report to this august house on the progress witnessed in those ailing municipalities.
In this regard, we will continue to ensure that the quality of Administrators we appoint is of high standard.
Madam Speaker, progress has been registered at the Ditsobotla and Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipalities, and this bodes well for a positive future for our municipalities.
In respect of Ditsobotla, we would like to thank Clover (SA), AfriSam and LaFarge for this support.
Mmusakgotla, mo kgweding ya Seetebosigo morago ga go tlhomiwa ke ntlo eno e tlotlegang ya gago, re ne ra dira thulaganyo ya go ipega mo boeteledipeleng jwa Ntlo ya Rona ya Segosi; e e eteletsweng pele ke Modulasetulo Kgosi Moshe Mabe. Re itumelela tirisano mmogo eo re na leng yone re le puso le Ntlo ya Segosi le Boeteledipele botlhe jwa Segosi mo Bokone Bophirima. Bogosi ke jone Puso ya ntlha le ya bofelo mo bathong ba rona.
Madam Speaker, the Baphalane Traditional Community under the leadership of Kgosi JJEM Ramokoka has in the recent past engaged in violent community protests which resulted in, amongst others, the destruction of both public and private property, and an unprecedented closure of schools. Service delivery was brought to a grinding halt.
We intervened decisively and appointed an Intervention Team by invoking provisions of section 9(3) read with section 10(1) and 10(2) of the North West Traditional Leadership and Governance Act 02 of 2005.
This team is constituted by a rare breed of committed public servants, led by Mr Itumeleng Mogorosi as Convenor. They worked tirelessly, under tremendous pressure and trying circumstances - to some extent life-threating - to bring stability at Ramokokastad through extensive engagement with all relevant stakeholders.
Honourable members, the preliminary reports from the ongoing investigations necessitated and enabled appointment of the administrator, Dr Ditaba Rantsane who has commenced with his duties, as this, we strongly believe, was in the public interest.
The investigations are at an advanced stage and at an appropriate time, the findings and recommendations of the Intervention team will be processed and a report will be provided to the relevant stakeholders and the community.
Ke kopa baagi ba nne pelotelele, ba letle dipatlisiso go tswelela go fitlha ko bokhutlong.
The trust deficit in government has understandably reached chronic stage, and there is a need to work on re-building and restoring trust and confidence.
Madam Speaker, should there be any wrongdoing, law enforcement agencies must do their work without interference, favour, fear, or prejudice.
Leadership of these institutions must act responsibly.
In the meantime, there are actions that must be undertaken as informed by the observations from the investigation which is in progress.
I have instructed the Department of Culture, Arts, and Traditional Affairs to, as a matter of urgency, address the following issues and report monthly:
Review the North West Traditional Leadership and Governance Act to address gaps, and regulations must be developed and implemented. .
Resolve all disputes relating to Bogosi and Bogosana, these are contributing significantly to some of the challenges that are experienced.
Develop policies and Standard Operating Procedures for implementation in all traditional councils, this will improve governance, administration and compliance.
Develop and implement an accounting framework for Traditional Councils to improve accountability in the use of public resources. Treasury must provide necessary assistance in this regard.
Improve records management in Traditional Councils.
Provide personnel capacity for Traditional Councils to address functions such as book-keeping, accounting, and general financial controls.
In instances where the Traditional Authority has entities established for the benefit of Traditional Communities, develop framework to guide establishment of governance structures such as Board of Directors, Trustees, etc.
In line with section 35 of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Act, conduct a skills analysis of members of the traditional council and provide a training programme aimed at improving their skills base, this must include leadership and management. I urge all departments to continue to execute their constitutional mandates without being reminded, the intervention team exists as a project and there must be continuity.
Honourable members, in January 2018 the Provincial Government re-established the Commission of Inquiry into Traditional Leadership Disputes and
Claims in respect of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela, Batlhako Ba Leema as well as the Bapo Ba Mogale I and II.
The Commission finalised its hearings on 29 June last year and we should be receiving the final report before the end of next month.
Furthermore, other Commissions of Inquiry were established to probe succession disputes in respect of the Bahurutshe Ba Ga Gopane, Bakgatla Ba Mmakau and Barolong Boo Seitshiro.
The said Commissions were appointed after protracted legal battles.
Two of the Commissions, namely those that are mandated to handle the Bahurutshe Ba Ga Gopane and Bakgatla Ba Mmakau succession disputes have made substantial progress and are expected to conclude their work by the end of next month.
Madam Speaker, during the period under review, the construction of three traditional council offices were completed; namely those of the Batlharo baga Masibi, Barolong baga Phoi and the Batlhaping baga Maidi and they will be handed over to the traditional authority before the end of next month.
In addition, in the 2019/20 financial year, one new traditional council office will be constructed for Bahurutshe ba ga Shuping.
Ladies and gentlemen, the reconstitution of traditional councils was supposed to have taken place in the previous year, but that was put on hold owing to the delay in the promulgation of the enabling legislation.
However, the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill was eventually passed by the National Council of Provinces last month and we are hopeful that it would be signed into law shortly.
As a result, we are expecting the reconstitution of traditional councils to take place during the course of 2019.
Honourable members, we have been inundated with memorandums from various communities throughout the Province soliciting interventions with respect to service delivery and governance challenges in both provincial and local government.
Common issues which are raised with respect to protests pertain to Water and Sanitation, Roads, Human Settlement, Health Services, Unemployment, Electricity, gangsterism, drugs, stock theft, fraud and corruption.
MoAfrika o rile; "Ngwana yo o sa leleng o swela tharing".
Bagaetsho ba tsholotse dikeledi.
Re le puso re a lo solofetsa gore re utlwile mme re tsweletse ka go baakanya moo go senyegileng teng.
Madam Speaker, just to demonstrate and reiterate our commitment to resolving challenges, the following key interventions have, as a way of example, been implemented;
In Ramokokastad, an Administrator has been appointed.
In Ventersdorp which is part of JB Marks Municipality, we have unlocked the N14 Development Project.
Other areas were intervention is ongoing include Moretele and Molatedi.
Ladies and gentlemen, having taken stock of outstanding issues still to be addressed, we are adopting an integrated approach to mitigate and decisively address issues raised.
In the next few weeks an inclusive Provincial Team, led by the Office of the Premier and comprising other relevant departments and entities, will be holding extensive engagements with each of the four district municipalities and their respective local municipalities on challenges in their areas and how to collectively find solutions to those challenges.
Thereafter, Madam Speaker, a one all-inclusive engagement with all the affected provincial and national departments based in the province will conclude these arrangements.
The thrust of these engagements will be to come up with intervention plans in the short, medium and long term basis.
These plans will be costed, have responsibilities assigned and time bound meaning they will in practical detail what is going to be done, when, what resources will be used and who will be responsible to ensure that these tasks are carried out.
Once the plans are concluded they will be signed off by both the Political principals and Accounting officials responsible for those organisations.
All the long term interventions will be incorporated into the Annual Performance Plans and Integrated Development Plans in order that they can be executed in the subsequent financial years.
Honourable members, working together we will ensure that lack of integrated approach is a thing of the past, and knowledge sharing or capacity building takes place between all parties involved.
Madam Speaker, I have, therefore, issued out strict orders that extensive monitoring and evaluation should be followed and supported by sporadic site inspections as well as interventions to fill gaps identified.
This will bring certainty that what is reported to have been done indeed has been done to address service delivery challenges that our people continue to face on a regular basis.
Madam Speaker, all Provincial Departments have been directed to ensure that all service delivery commitments for the current financial year are fulfilled. No Department will be allowed underspend their appropriated budgets for 2018/19 Financial Year in the face of such dire suffering of our people.
Honourable members, one of the critical findings of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team related to the inability of the Office of the Premier to play its constitutional obligation to ensure better coordination and direction of the functioning of Provincial Departments in order to achieve both Provincial and National Government goals.
In order to respond to this challenge, we will create a Strategic Transformation Unit in the Office of the Premier, tasked with the mandate of managing key transversal functions which are critical to enhancing state capacity and delivery of services in Departments. This unit will assist the Office of the Premier to hold Departments and Accounting Officers, including those of key public entities, accountable and detect and intervene in critical areas of system failure to avert collapse of services.
Honourable members over the past few months, we have identified points of service delivery across Provincial and Local Government which are more prone to failure and thereby compromise service delivery. These are in:-
Technical and Infrastructure Units in Municipalities;
Finance and Treasury Departments in Municipalities;
Water Delivery Units in Districts Municipalities;
Units responsible for Community Development and Environment in Municipalities;
Infrastructure and Engineering Services in Public Works;
Infrastructure Unit in the Department of Education and Sport Development;
Infrastructure Chief Directorate in the Department of Health;
Human Settlement Chief Directorate in the Department of Local Government and Human Settlement;
Finance and Supply Chain Management Units in All Provincial Departments;
Labour Relations Directorates in all Provincial Departments;
Service Points in seven areas in Social Development Department;
Mahikeng, Matlosana, JB Marks, Moretele, Rustenburg, Taung and Ramotshere Moiloa.
Madam Speaker, in the coming two months, I will be visiting all the service delivery points identified above to ensure that critical interventions are implemented.
All public servants employed in these critical areas will be better advised to pull up their socks before we meet them. There is no space for failure in these areas of Government service delivery.
Honourable members, we have learned lessons since 2014 in terms of the current configuration of Provincial Departments regarding the clustering of Government functions to improve efficiencies and service delivery. We are proud to report that our previous reconfiguration of Provincial Departments passed the Auditor General's scrutiny. We will take this institutional capacity into the next process.
The Province has already done sufficient ground work in liaison with National Government to ready ourselves for President Ramaphosa's determination on how the state will be reconfigured. We welcome the direction and guidance of President Ramaphosa in this regard and the North West will be one of the first Provinces to implement this Presidential directive. The reconfiguration will be done in a manner that ensures that no jobs are lost in the process; among other the centrality of the disability programme will be given the prominence it deserves.
Madam Speaker, we will continue to ensure that we strengthen the capacity of the state, including filling of vacancies.
Madam Speaker, we would like to take this opportunity to pass our heartfelt and sincere thanks to the main cog of our service delivery machinery in the North West - public servants; without them, we would not have seen ourselves through the past seven months.
I had an opportunity to interact with all public servants upon assuming office and following those interactions, we have seen a changed and progressive public servant in the North West.
We appreciate your contribution because you have set us on a path to prosperity.
In addition, Madam Speaker, allow me to thank my family for their understanding and support as well as allowing me the space and opportunity to undertake this enormous task of being Premier of the North West.
Furthermore, I would like to thank the Premier Support team and the entire staff of the Office of the Premier for the sterling work they have done so far in ensuring that I carry out my function diligently at all times as well as all the men and women who are contributing to this government moving in the right direction.
Madam Speaker, I would also like to thank the African National Congress and the entire tripartite alliance for having entrusted me with the responsibility of laying a solid foundation, so that there is our province becomes stable and progressive with guaranteed continuity for the incoming administration.
I am confident, Honourable members, that we have done enough, though more still needs to be done, to bring stability and some sort of semblance to the North West Provincial Government since the unfortunate upheavals of April and May 2018, as well as bridge the trust deficit that existed between government and the people.
We have seen more tyres moving vehicles and children to school than them burning on the streets of our province.
My interpretation of the mandate of this intervention period is to ensure these tyres move the economy and the people away from the burning fires.
Madam Speaker, our people have successfully demonstrated the power of active citizenry and if that energy is pointed in the right direction; it will go a long way in building better communities that are able to work with government.
With that, we are ready to steer the 5th administration to a smooth transition and a solid handover to the 6th Administration, post the May 8, 2019 National and Provincial Elections.
In conclusion Madam Speaker allow me to borrow from Thomas Sankara when he said ... . "Our revolution is not a public-speaking tournament. Our revolution is not a battle of fine phrases. Our revolution is not simply for spouting slogans that are no more than signals used by manipulators trying to use them as catchwords, as code words, as a foil for their own display. Our revolution is, and should continue to be, the collective effort of revolutionaries to transform reality, to improve the concrete situation of the masses of our country". That time is now and, let us grow the North West Province and South Africa together.
Ke a lo leboga.
Issued by: Northern Cape Office of the Premier