Lucas focuses on job creation in Northern Cape SOPA

2017-02-23 18:00
Northern Cape SOPA. (Ntozake Mthukwane)

Northern Cape SOPA. (Ntozake Mthukwane)

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Local government's plan for SA's economic powerhouse

2017-02-20 15:16

Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday deliver the State of the Province Address in the West Rand.WATCH

Kimberley - Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas says she wants to prioritise job creation and accelerate economic growth in the province.

Lucas on Thursday presented her State of the Province Address without any disruptions.

Her address focused on accelerated economic growth, in line with radical economic transformation.

"As a province, we will priorities job creation for the rural motive forces for local development," she said.

Lucas also announced that a provincial planning forum would be established to address a growth strategy.

She said that the provincial government was in desperate need of strategic partners and, in order to address the skills deficit, she promised a single application point for bursaries.

READ: Northern Cape State of the Province Address delivered amid ANC tensions

'Highest matric pass rate'

Lucas hailed the sterling work done by the Sol Plaatje University, which not only had a good pass rate in 2016 for Information Technology, but had also increased their intake.

The university enrolled 1 050 students this year, compared to 124 in 2013.

"We also recorded the highest matric pass rate of 78.7%, which was an increase of 9.3% compared to 2015."

Among her special guests was a delegation from the Republic of China, led by their consul general.

Lucas said her government would continue its twinning agreements with China and Namibia.

Reacting to her address, provincial DA leader Andrew Louw said: "This was another classic example of poor yearly rhetoric from Lucas."

"Sylvia Lucas is a wounded leader. This year is an ANC elective year, so her utterances of local economic development are a leap to further patronage," Louw said.

'We will disrupt her when she replies'

EFF leader George Nyakama said that they had decided to postpone their disruptions until the SOPA debate.

"We will disrupt her when she replies next week."

In a strange turn of events, the SOPA debate will not be held in the legislature.

Speaker Kenny Mmoeimang announced that the debate would take place on February 28 at the Warrenton Multipurpose Centre.

The ANC's Zamani Saul welcomed Lucas speech, saying it was in keeping with their electoral mandate.

This week, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was apparently called to defuse the tensions between Lucas and Saul.

"I'm hearing of media reports of tensions between us ahead of the conference. The secretary general is not a high level intervention; it's a case of him just doing his normal duties," Saul said.

Read more on:    sylvia lucas  |  kimberley

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