Address outlines ways to vision

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From a marquee tent on the Hantam Sports Ground in Calvinia, the premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, delivered this year’s state of the province address (Sopa).

Among those he welcomed, was “tannie” Hester Stander and Jeremy DeWee as his “special guests”.

Saul emphasised, among other things, the following:

  • 12 000 jobs were gained in the last quarters of 2022. The total number of persons employed in the province is 336 000, with the number of unemployed persons decreased from 116 000 to 95 000. These are the lowest unemployment figures in the province in 14 years. The province has the lowest unemployed rate amongst the youth at 30,1%.
  • An expert team will assist with district-based interventions to tackle youth unemployment. This will be concluded by August, after which implementation will take place.
  • In May, a tyre granulator facility, with an investment of R15 million from the provincial government, will be launched in Kimberley.
  • Plans are afoot to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Eastern Cape on the development of a green hydrogen corridor. Nationally, a R600 billion investment pipeline has been identified and designated as part of the Green Hydrogen Programme. Of the nine projects, four are located in the Northern Cape. They are the Prieska Power Reserve, Ubuntu Green Energy Hydrogen Project, Upilanga Solar and Green H2 Park, and Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen Development Programme.
  • With the N14 Industrial Corridor in mind, phase one of construction of the Upington Industrial Park will start in the new financial year. The Kathu Industrial Park has received support from Anglo and Infrastructure South Africa to fast-track implementation.
  • A total of 16 Northern Cape roads have been signed over to Sanral, with Sanral opening an office in the province.
  • Through Operation Vala Zonke, 23 000 m² of potholes were filled.
  • The Northern Cape remains the future of the mining sector in the country. “Hence, we had many interactions with mining companies and have concluded various social compacts in the area of skills development, small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) support and Corporate Social Investment.”
  • The Department of Water and Sanitation is funding 42 projects in the province, of which seven were completed. Planning is underway for 12 regional bulk infrastructure projects which will focus on bulk water and sanitation challenges at various municipalities.
  • The National Treasury has allocated R1,9 billion to the Sol Plaatje Municipality to improve water and sanitation services.
  • The Sol Plaatje University (SPU) had 3 693 registered students for 2022. For the 2023 academic year, 28 454 applications (undergraduate and postgraduate) were received – an increase of just under 9 000. SPU has spent since its inception in 2013, a total of R2,2 billion on infrastructure development.
  • Vital in achieving an 80% matric pass rate, is early childhood development (ECD) centres, as about 75% of children in the province do not have access to ECDs.
  • The local government anti-corruption forum was launched to deal with corruption cases at a municipal level.

Find the full speech on the Facebook page Northern Cape Provincial Government.

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