Today is better than yesterday, Noxolo Kiviet tells Eastern Cape residents

2014-02-21 14:16

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Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet in her state of the province address today assured residents of the province that “regardless of challenges we still face, this day is better than yesterday”.

She gave an account of her administration’s achievements and pronounced that the levels of poverty and inequality had declined since her administration took over in 2009.

What Kiviet said:

1. The economy over the past five years grew at an average rate of 1.9%, and unemployment over the same period averaged at 27%.

2. A special focus has been placed on transforming the province’s three ports, and Transnet is investing significantly in the project.

A total of R2.1 billion has been allocated to transform the Port Elizabeth harbour into a leading automotive export hub; R2.4 billion has been allocated to East London as a diversified cargo port; and the Port of Ngqura will get a R15 billion injection to develop it as a leading trans-shipment container hub for sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Through the Extended Public Works Programme, 707 286 job opportunities were created, exceeding the target of 489 920 the province had set. The province has also built 61 131 houses since 2009, against a target of 54 000.

4. In the past 20 years, 1 516 new schools had been built, 202 of which were built during the current term. A total of 1 467 were funded by the provincial infrastructure budget, while 49 were built through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative. Work has also commenced on the construction of 160 schools. At the end of current term, 362 new schools would have been built.

5. With the provincialisation of primary healthcare concluded in 2012, the incidence of TB has declined and the cure rate has increased from 60.9% in 2009 to 69% by end of 2013.

Antiretroviral treatment facilities have increased from 85 in 2009 to 790 in 2013, with beneficiaries in the same period rising from 102 186 to 273 305. Also, infrastructure repairs and rehabilitation are being implemented in 154 clinics and hospitals at a cost of R172 million.

What Kiviet didn’t say:

1. The premier did not say how the government would improve the matric pass rate, which was the lowest of all provinces in 2013.

2. There was no mention of the action that needed to be taken to improve poor audit results of municipalities in the province because of wasteful and unauthorised expenditure.

3. Kiviet did not make mention of the Buffalo City Metro scandal where more than R6 million was used to ferry mourners to former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December.

4. There was no clear plan on how the province would deal with the death of initiates in the province.

5. The premier also failed to say what the government planned to do to tackle the problems of overcrowding in schools, despite reports of more than 100 pupils in classrooms in schools, mostly in the former Transkei.

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