Mathale’s Sopa address: 5 things worth knowing

2012-02-16 14:27

City Press political reporter Sabelo Ndlangisa selects five things worth knowing about Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale’s state of the province (Sopa) address.

1. Limpopo government departments have the best kept financial records of all provinces, Mathale said despite a Cabinet intervention to clean up the provincial finances and restore proper administration in a number of Limpopo departments.

The province’s budget deficit is expected to balloon to around ­R2 billion this year.

2. The speech touched fleetingly on the intervention, with the premier pledging to support it. Mathale said his administration was working with the national government to address the issues that led to the intervention.

At a press briefing later, Mathale grudgingly accepted responsibility for the state of the finances in his province.

3. The provincial government has delivered over 46 743 low-cost houses since it began its term of office in 2009.

Mathale has promised to build more than 12 000 for residents “on time and (in) the places of their choice”.

4. Mathale reported back on his 2011 promise to create over 166 000 jobs by the end of March 2012 when the financial year ends.

He said over 126 000 jobs had been created by the end of December, keeping the province on track to meet its employment creation target.

This might prove to be a mirage as the latest Statistics SA report, which Mathale cited, showed a decline in job creation for the fourth quarter.

5. In line with President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address, Mathale promised to deliver on the major infrastructural projects.

They include the plan to integrate rail, road and water infrastructure in the western and the eastern parts of the province. This is expected to broaden the province’s access to goods and services.

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