Phumulo Masualle announces bold plans for Eastern Cape

2014-06-27 15:15

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Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle said his government will focus on seven strategic priorities over the next five years.

In his maiden state of the province speech in Bhisho today, Masualle said one of the key priorities was transforming the economy in order to create jobs while also focusing on rural development, food security, quality education and healthcare.

The fight against crime and corruption and integrated human settlement and building cohesive communities would also receive much needed attention from the government, he said.

“We will undertake a number of initiatives aimed at radical socioeconomic transformation through stimulating redistributive economic development and reducing income inequality.

“This is informed by the understanding that the current growth model is producing neither the levels nor the kind of growth required to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Masualle.

He said the province had also prioritised linkages with the mineral producing regions of the country in order to produce large-scale industrialisation in the province.

“To this end, we are working on an ore rail between the Port of Ngqura and Hotazel in the Northern Cape. This will be supported by a manganese export terminal in the Port of Ngqura, as well as a manganese smelter in the Coega industrial development zone.

Masualle, who is also the chair of the ANC in the province, said as the government, they were also positioning the Eastern Cape as a new energy hub of the country.

“We are already the lead province in wind energy and are set to benefit from the country’s diversification into both nuclear energy and shale gas,” he said.

The premier also announced other infrastructural priorities, including the completion of the Mthatha Airport terminal building by March 2015.

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