Mathabatha promises more houses in ‘improved' Limpopo

2015-02-24 16:04

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The wheels of service delivery were set in motion for Limpopo and 19 000 houses will be built by the end of March 2016.

This was a promise by Premier Stan Mathabatha in his state of the province address earlier today.

The premier also promised to create 429 000 jobs by 2020. This, he said, was entailed in the recently finalised Limpopo development plan.

He also promised to keep the provincial administration and finances stable, keep service delivery going and deal harshly with the corrupt.

Apart from a number of economic boosts in terms of new investment projects, housing was the highlight of his speech.

Mathabatha said the province has built “no less than 300 000 houses to benefit about 1.4 million households” in the past 21 years of democracy.

Housing projects, however, came to an abrupt stop owed to massive tender irregularities.

This was part of the reasons that led the province to near-collapse under the leadership of former Premier Cassel Mathale and saw Limpopo being put under Section 100 (b) administration late in 2011.

The province had to withdraw a R900-million housing project amid tender irregularities.

Mathabatha said to prevent any irregularities and to ensure success on the housing projects he has established a task team to help fast-track procurement, and ensure enhancement of project management and implementation.

After having campaigned for some time for section 100 administrators to leave his province, Mathabatha seemed relieved when he said earlier today: “It is for the first time since I assumed this responsibility that I am addressing this august house without the section 100 administrators looking over our heads”.

However, he commended the administrators, who have previously been accused of delaying service delivery, on a job well done.

“We are indeed appreciative of the work they have done,” the premier said.

“As we meet here today we can proudly say that Limpopo is a much better place than it was before December 2011. We are delighted that the financial position regarding cash, solvency and budget has been stabilised.

“There is no doubt that there is a significant improvement in the administration and corporate governance of the province, especially the financial management systems.”

Mathabatha said his administration had learnt a lot from the administrators and promised that he would not let the province down or let it return to the state when it was so broke that it couldn’t afford to pay public servants’ salaries in December 2011.

“As a province, we have also taken much-valued lessons from the work of the [administration] team. To that effect, we would like to once again commit to do everything in our power to ensure that the province does not return to the December 2011 situation,” he said.

He also revealed that the Limpopo development plan had been finalised.

“We now have a blueprint to guide and put our province on a higher trajectory of economic growth and development,” Mathabatha said.

The development plan will focus on enhancing basic service delivery, and accelerate economic activities and the industrialisation process.

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