Modise to stress infrastructure, jobs

2012-02-16 07:04

North West Premier Thandi Modise will focus on infrastructure development and job creation when she delivers her state of the province address in Mafikeng tomorrow.

The North West is known for its poor infrastructure and is one of South Africa’s rural provinces with a high unemployment rate.

President Jacob Zuma mentioned the North West prominently in his state of the nation address last week, including the province in his five major geographically focused developmental projects. The province would benefit from a “greater focus on infrastructure connected to mining and mineral beneficiation,” Zuma said.

He further added that “ten priority roads in the North West will be upgraded” in the 2012/13 financial year and “we will expand the roll-out of water, roads, rail and electricity infrastructure”.

Potholes on the province’s roads, lack of water provision and general poor service delivery are among its ills.

Modise has admitted that her province’s road infrastructure is “not the best in the country”.

Construction on the badly potholed road between Schweizer-Reneke and Wolmaransstad that Modise promised would begin last year is yet to get off the ground.

Modise aligned her 2011 provincial address with Zuma’s “year of the job”, promising the creation of “10 000 labour intensive jobs” in the last financial year and she is expected to give a progress update tomorrow.

Modise’s speech, which will also mark the opening of the North West Provincial Legislature is expected to outline “achievements, challenges and programme of action to accelerate service delivery and increase the momentum to drive back unemployment, reduce economic inequality and poverty,” said her spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele.

This will be Modise’s second state of the province address. Unlike other premiers, she was only appointed in November 2010 to stabilise the province after her predecessor, Maureen Modiselle was recalled, raising hopes that as the ANC’ deputy secretary-general she would improve the province’s governance.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and former premiers Popo Molefe, Edna Molewa and Modiselle are expected to be among the 3 500 invited guests.

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