State of the Northern Cape: 10 things worth knowing

2014-02-21 18:12

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In line with the ANC’s “good story to tell” theme, Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas highlighted improvements over 20 years in her state of the province address today. Andre Botha summarises the key points and what Lucas failed to mention.

What Lucas said:

1. Key transport infrastructure projects will continue. This includes the renovation of Port Nolloth – the jetty and revetment are being reconstructed. The De Aar Logistics Hub will be developed into a major materials supply depot to serve as a supply and storage facility for Transnet.

2. The Provincial Renewable Energy Strategy has been developed to unlock the province’s potential and position the Northern Cape to attract the maximum share of investment, both local and foreign.

3. A total of 23 new public schools and 296 classrooms were built since 1994. Six new schools will be built this year, and a mega-school with a mega-hostel in the Joe Morolong district at an estimated cost of R100 million will be built in 2015-16.

4. The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) created 65 424 jobs over four years. This is against the target of 72 450 jobs. Municipalities in the provinces have increased their performance by creating 20 276 under the project.

5. Since 1994 the government has built 62 592 new houses. A total of 17 633 sites were serviced and 16 917 sites were planned and surveyed.

What Lucas didn’t say:

1. No mention was made of consistent demands that the two members of her executive committee currently standing trial on charges of corruption, be fired. In fact, Lucas devoted only two sentences to corruption.

2. No relief for farmers in the drought-stricken province was announced. Relief is desperately needed in the province, after huge veld fires and a devastating flood caused more havoc for farmers.

3. While talking about jobs created under the EPWP, no strategy was announced to create permanent jobs. All job creation projects she referred to will provide mostly temporary jobs.

4. No clear plan to attract investment was announced, despite numerous references to how the province is ideal for investment. Apart from the already known projects such as the Square Kilometre Array telescope and solar power parks, no new investments were announced.

5. No plans were announced to increase the province’s growth rate, despite the current low figure of 2%.

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