READ Premier Mabuyane's State of the Province Address 2019 Eastern Cape
RNEWS / 29 JUNE 2019 - 16.07 / STAFF REPORTER
Bhisho - Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, on Friday delivered his maiden State of the Province Address at the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in Bhisho.
The Premier began by acknowledging the role of the first Premier Raymond Mhlaba.
“We will work with the Mhlaba family and the Raymond and Dideka Mhlaba Foundation to mark the centenary of Oom Ray next year with year-long activities to honour his leadership, sacrifice and legacy,” Mabuyane said.
“We are here today to outline our Programme of Action for the next 5 years. This Programme of Action is derived from the electoral mandate from our people & the Provincial Development Plan - our Vision 2030 blue print.”
The Premier said that time of talk without action is over.
“We have stated categorically clear to the executive, mayors and government officials that we have only three ground rules to adhere to. We must talk less, we must do more & we must open lines of communication with our people,” he described.
Mabuyane stated seven priorities will be pursued by his administration - Economic transformation and job creation, education, skills and health, reliable and quality basic services, spatial integration, human settlements and local government, safe communities, a capable, as well as an ethical and developmental state.
“The first critical item on the agenda of the Sixth Administration is to stimulate our economy to create jobs.”
He said that his government will focus investments on six key areas: manufacturing, agricultural production and processing, the oceans economy; skills development and youth employment, SMME support, tourism, the creative arts, township and rural economic development.
“The automotive sector remains loyal to our province and continues to contribute significantly to our job creation efforts. We want to commend VWSA, Mercedes Benz, BAIC and Isuzu for their recent investments in our province,” he said.
“We will continue to work with the [automotive] sector to achieve inclusiveness that opens opportunities for black suppliers throughout the value chain; from the provision of raw materials to the dealer network.”
The Premier said that work is underway to upgrade the infrastructure of Industrial Parks, at Komani, Vulindlela, Fort Jackson, Somerset East, Butterworth and Dimbaza, to create jobs in these small towns that were once vibrant economic hubs.
“Working together with our municipalities we will ensure that investors are attracted to these parks to create jobs for our people.”
He also said that Government will establish a Provincial Investment Council to drive investment across the province.
Premier Mabuyane added that 16 projects will benefit from the R336.9 million that has been allocated for this financial year. These projects will create new sustainable jobs for the people of the Eastern Cape.
“In our interactions with the people of our province, both young and old, they express their desire to work the land. Our focus this term will be on stimulating the commercialization of livestock. We will improve support for feedlots, dipping tanks,” the Premier said.
“We will heighten the introduction of more black emerging farmers in the processing of commodities, such as horticulture, deciduous fruit.
“We want to ensure that the production of cannabis is characterized by deepened social facilitation with our traditional leaders, communities, current producers and business people.”
He added that the work that had been done over the past few years at Magwa and Majola Tea Estates needs to be re-energized.
“The Rural Agro-Industrial Initiative (RAFI) has been approved as part of the 16 Projects of the Provincial Stimulus Package and the 50,000 hectares of land identified in the participating districts will be planted within the next 5 years.”
He said that in September the Eastern Cape will launch the Oceans Economy Master Plan, which will outline the direction we want to take on the oceans economy.
“We can safely commit that we want to serve the ordinary fisherman. We will improve the working conditions of local fishermen in our coastal towns and graduate them from subsistence fishing to commercial fishing,” Mabuyane said.
“Our support package for them [fishermen] will include provision of small fishing boats and facilitating reforms in the process of acquiring fishing licences.
“I intend to push for the development of the small harbours in Port St Johns, Port Alfred and Gonubie to create jobs in these small strategic towns during this term.”
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER