The eradication of the humiliation of the poor
The State of the Province Address (SOPA) took place on Friday at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre. The Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul welcomed all in attendance from the ambassador of China, Mr Songtian to the veterans of the struggle.
The address started with the premier highlighting the disadvantages that black and coloured people sustained during the reign of the apartheid era. The Premier emphasised that the 6th legislature needs not just address these issues but also create a platform on how the situation can be combatted. The 6th legislature will embark on a journey that entails few luxuries in order to utilise funding for the poor, “We therefore commit to put ourselves at a disadvantage by pursuing an extremely modest lifestyle,” Dr Zamani explained. The 6th legislature’s key role is to serve and nothing else, there will be no tolerance for corruption and only people that are qualified for certain positions shall attain them.
A functional government is key in improving the lives of the average South African and having a person with the adequate qualifications and skills in a department is of utter importance.
The President’s seven key roles that need to be implemented throughout the country shall also be part of our province’s five year programme of action in the pursuit of a modern, growing and successful Northern Cape:
1 – Economic Transformation and job creation
2 – Education, skills and health
3 – Consolidating 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
Unemployment is rife in South Africa and the Northern cape is no exception to this. With an unemployment rate of 26,7% and half of the unemployed being the youth, the 6th legislature will focus at building the province to ensure job creation but also to equip the youth with skills as it is clear that a skillful workforce is needed. The private sector needs to join forces with government to benefit the people of the Northern Cape. Sol Plaatje University was established in 2014 and now has an approximate 2000 students furthering their studies. The office of the Premier has already allocated R15,8 million towards the Premiers Bursary Fund. Including the R20 million by other provincial departments there is a total of approximately R36 million for bursaries in this financial year.
The 4th industrial revolution has been a national topic of discussion and the Northern Cape is not staying behind on this one. Agriculture is one of the primary sources for economic growth in the province and with high technology such as drones, the task of monitoring vegetation and its growth rate is bound to become simpler, further assisting with the threat of food scarcity.Electronic Stock Visibility Systems will be implemented at clinics and hospitals, to minimise patients not getting treatment due to it running out. With the system, it will alert staff of the availability of medicines. A computer aided ambulance will be interlinked with call centres in Kimberley and Upington, “It will be like an Uber,” Dr Saul explained. 185 libraries will be connected to the internet by 2021, 200 Wi-Fi hotspots will be established in the province as the internet has become a fundamental part of most people’s lives, especially the youth and if utilised correctly it can only better student results.
The Executive Mayor of the Province Mr Patrick Mabilo explained that he is 100% behind the Premier and his ideals as they are inspiring to say the least, “I am deeply inspired by the visionary leadership from the premier. Since the elections he has not missed a single step and has attained consistency. The core of his address was identifying Sol Plaatje as an epicentre for the developmental needs of a city, I aim at working in alignment with the vision of the premier”.
The 2017-2018 audits of municipalities were appalling; this affects the quality of the delivery of services. Municipalities will have to be liable for their operations and government will keep them accountable so as to ensure that services get delivered and that work gets done.
To the critics questioning whether his vision is realistic and can actually be implemented, Dr Saul commented, “Impossible is not a fact, it is an opinion”.