State of the Province address by North West Premier, Prof Tebogo Job Mokgoro

STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS BY NORTH WEST PREMIER, PROF TEBOGO JOB MOKGORO, DURING THE FIRST SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE 6TH NORTH WEST PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE IN MAHIKENG ON FRIDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2020
Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Hon Susanna
Dantjie
Deputy Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Hon Viola
Motsumi
Judge President of the North West Division of the High Court, Judge
Monica Leeuw and members of the judiciary present
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the North West Provincial Legislature
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party in the North West Provincial
Legislature, Hon Paul Sebegoe
Members of the National Assembly from the North West, who are
present in this house this morning
Honourable Delegates to the National Council of Provinces
Former Premiers of the North West present
Executive Mayors and Speakers of Municipalities in this province
The Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Moshe Mabe 11
The leadership of the governing African National Congress in the North West; ably led by the Co-ordinator, Cde Hlomani Chauke and the Alliance Partners
The leadership of the Labour Movement Members of the Diplomatic Corps
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service,
Lieutenant General Sello Kwena; I wish to extend our sincerest welcome to you on behalf of the Provincial Government and the people of the North West Province
Distinguished guests
Members of the media
Citizens of the North West Province
Dames en Here
Bagaetsho, dumelang.
Honourable Members, on Wednesday the 12th February 2020, I had the honour and privilege to visit the home of Mme Rebecca Kotane to join the family in celebrating her 108th birthday. We took the opportunity on behalf of the people of the North West and South Africa at large to thank Mme Kotane for the blessings of her life, courage and inspiration.
In all the challenges and difficulties we still have as a Province, we are proud to still have Mme Rebecca Kotane in our midst. Her life is a daily reminder of the unique and rich contribution of this Province to the history of our country, in particular our contribution to the struggle for nationalliberation.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mme Kotane is in good health, and she sends her blessings and good wishes to all the people of the North West. In her honour, the Office of the Premier will announce a number of social collaboration programmes with the Moses Kotane Foundation, the Ruth Segomotsi Mompati Foundation and the JB Marks Foundations. The rich history of the North West is an important cultural heritage that holds opportunities for social cohesion but also presents untapped potential for economic benefits for tourism.

Honourable Speaker, as South Africa today observes the sinking of the SS Mendi 103 years ago, wherein 616 South Africans perished, allow me to quote from renowned Setswana poet, MS Kitchin, when he wrote about the sinking;

“Mephato e boile, bone ba sa tlhokafala, re saletse go oketsa diphatlha ka diatla fela”.

This is a poetic but profound reminder to those of us who still love this province, having survived our recent and turbulent past, to appreciate what our committed hands can play in closing the gaps that came about from our differences.

Honourable Speaker, we also take the opportunity of the State of the Province Address to celebrate the achievements of men and women of the North West whose achievements propelled the name of our Province to greater heights.

Join me as I welcome one of our Province’s finest human exports – Presley Chweneyagae; fondly known as Cobra to his adoring fans, Mokwepa; re a go amogela mo mosong ono.

Honourable Members, we congratulate the matric class of 2019 for their achievement of 86,8% pass rate – an all-time high, if you ask me. With the class of 2019, as a Province, we have put our best foot forward and moved to top three in the country.

Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Andries Lukas Schoeman from the Hartebeespoort High School; who obtained seven distinctions and in the process, scored a total of 1695 marks in all subjects excluding Life Orientation, with an average of more than 90% in his subjects, making him the TOP ACHIEVER for the NSC Class of 2019 in the North West.

We congratulate Ms Constance Kgomotso Pilane from Mafenya Primary School and Ms Genevieve Classen from Fields College, both of whom are top achievers in the 2019 National Teachers Awards.

We congratulate the North West Cricket Association and the people of Tlokwe for the successful hosting of the T20 under 19 Cricket World Cup.

We are further pleased to inform the Province that Tlokwe will again play host to the world by hosting the Hockey Junior World Cup, the first on African s oil. The date for this tournament will be announced at a later stage.

We thank the North West University for their role in providing technical support during the bid for the Hockey Junior World Cup.

This expertise should be made available to Provincial Government through tourism, sports and recreation functions to develop a coherent Provincial Events strategy to inform our approach to benefit from the global and national MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) economy.

We are also pleased to report that there is growing interest from major PSL teams to bring official fixture games to the Province. This has necessitated the need to consider the refurbishment of Mmabatho Stadium in Mahikeng. The MEC for Public Works and Roads will provide further details during the Department’s budget Speech.

Honourable Members, these and many more achievements in our Province tell a story of a Province on the move, determined to make a decisive break from our immediate history of instability.

The people of the Province remind us every day not to take for granted the painful scenes of instability that characterised our Province before June 2018. That is a constant reminder of how close we have come from the precipice.

This message was cemented by the outcome of National and Provincial elections in May 2019 through the shaping of a Legislature in our current configuration, an institutionalized constitutional social compact arranged through different political parties’ electoral strengths.

This social compact is proven to be alive each time the Honourable Carren Visser from the Democratic Alliance, calls to inform me of water challenges in Sannieshof in the Tswaing Local Municipality.

This social compact is alive and well when Cllr Molefi from Ward 08 in the Matlosana complains to me about housing; when Calvin Zondi from Bloemhof calls on government to prioritize local participation in procurement processes; when Mme MaSeleka from Lehurutshe calls me to highlight the scarcity of water in Ramotshere Moiloa and when Mme MaMokoka from Mogwase calls to register her concerns about poor governance and service delivery.

We are a government that listens to its people.

Honourable Speaker, this social compact is brought home sharply when residents of Vryburg publicly conveyed their appreciation of this Government intervention after a long suffering of dry taps.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have all worked hard together to build the North West. Our Province is on the mend, let us re-double our efforts to permanently confine the North West of 2018 to the past, never to be revisited.

We have invested energy, focus and resources in stabilizing the situation in small part through the leadership of the Premier but mostly by collaborative inputs of various role players led by ANC deployees, labour unions, SANCO, community leaders, opposition parties, churches, business etc.

Honourable Speaker, the ANC Interim Provincial Committee Lekgotla identified key priorities for the province; these are job creation, water, roads, rail infrastructure and electricity; among others.

The Lekgotla concluded that the socio-economic infrastructure represents a cardinal prerequisite for economic growth and we are on course to ensure that we, as the Provincial Government, meet this prerequisite.

The African National Congress has also placed Job creation, particularly targeting youth and women, as a pre-eminent.
As per the Lekgotla resolution, we have agreed that all government departments should report quarterly on job creation, apprenticeships, learnerships, internships, EPWP, and Community Based Programmes.

In addition, the Office of the Premier should on quarterly basis, monitor and report on progress pertaining to the foregoing.

Honourable Speaker, the Lekgotla also concurred that the District Development Model should be implemented this year and further recommended that one issue per district should be prioritized.

Honourable Members, we acknowledge the leadership provided by Dikgosi and the North West House of Traditional Leaders under the leadership of Kgosi Mabe, working with the Premier in prioritizing social cohesion in the North West.

Honourable Speaker, you will be aware that Cabinet invoked Section 100 of the Constitution for implementation in the North West in May 2018.

This intervention saw the takeover of five Provincial Government Departments under Section 100(1)(b) and the issuing of Ministerial
Directives to five more departments under Section 100(1)(a).

I am pleased to report that this intervention is yielding positive results in the effort to stabilize this province, as well as to address governance and service delivery failure, and to root out corruption.

A review of monthly unrest statistics from the South African Police Service reveals a steady decline in violent protests in the province since the start of the intervention; with only six unrest incidents recorded in the province last month.

This compares very favourably with statistics for January 2019, in which 26 unrest incidents were recorded and reflect a 15 fold decrease since the violence of April 2018; when police recorded 91 unrest incidents. The data shows that we are making significant progress towards becoming a stable and peaceful province, through our collective efforts.

Honourable Members, we owe a debt of gratitude to the many policemen and women who have responded to the call of duty, often under difficult circumstances, whenever violence flares up.

With regard to improving governance and financial management, the Auditor General has recently noted improvements in the control environment of departments under administration and has acknowledged
this as an encouraging trend.

Reflecting on some of the achievements we have seen since the start of the intervention, I would like to highlight the ongoing and far reaching improvements in the North West Department of Health, where the intervention began.

The paralyzing backlog of debts owed to suppliers has been cleared allowing for the procurement of vital equipment and medicines; the intervention has resolved the many issues that had resulted in widespread strikes, as well as lifting the moratorium on filling posts.

Many of our hospitals were without CEOs.

This is no longer the case, with permanent appointments to Moses Kotane, Koster/ Swartruggens, Nic Bodenstein, Job Shimankane Tabane, Gelukspan and Schweizer Reneke Hospitals.
Processes to fill all other vacant CEO positions are well underway. Thedepartment recently took possession of 48 new ambulances, which is
another important step to rebuilding the capacity of our public health system.

These improvements are reflected in improving public perceptions regarding our public hospitals, as measured by the GCIS tracker survey. As you may be aware, the Head of Department of Health was dismissed for serious misconduct in January this year. We expect to appoint a new Head by June this year, and a new era beckons for public health services in the North West.

In the Office of the Premier, the ICT Project Management Unit service provider contract has been cancelled, putting a stop to the ongoing wasteful expenditure. We are ensuring tight controls to prevent reoccurrence of irregular and unauthorised expenditure.

Working closely with the Department of Public Service and Administration, we have now approved organizational structures for all departments that comply with the DPSA policy directives.

In the Department of Education, there has been interventions to improve financial management and oversight of infrastructure projects, including the appointment of new bid committees and training on contract management.

Eight investigations relating to infrastructure procurement have been instituted, while at the same time, the close monitoring of conditional grants has resulted in improved spending levels.

Seven schools, including three that had been under construction for more than five years, have been completed as a result of the intervention.

The Department of Public Works and Roads has 13 new capital road construction projects worth R900m, that are being implemented and through the intervention, we have been lobbying for an increase in the allocation for road construction from the national fiscus.

In the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management (COSATMA), the intervention team has made major breakthroughs towards resolving irregularly appointed scholar transport contracts.

Investigations, including by the Special Investigating Unit into scholar transport contracts, have revealed criminality, including the inflation of kilometres written into Service Level Agreements, pointing to systematic collusion between officials and contractors to defraud government.

In December 2019, the High Court set aside the scholar transport contracts and we are now preparing a new contracting process, which is expected to be completed by November 2020.

This new process is expected to result in savings of over 40% of what we were paying under the previous contracts. The Court has allowed us to procure scholar transport services on a month-to-month basis using verified routes, so as to avoid the negative impact on learning and teaching.

The SIU and Asset Forfeiture Unit have commenced with processes to recover the funds defrauded from government.

Honourable Speaker, criminal referrals have been made to the NPA in relation to this fraud.

In addition to the SIU investigation into the scholar transport contracts, the President has approved four other SIU investigations.

At the Moretele Local Municipality, the SIU is in the process of setting aside a contract worth more than R200 million.

The SIU is investigating the procurement of ambulance and health services in the province, as well as fraud investigations at the North West Development Corporation and the North West Department of Public Works and Roads.

We have successfully lobbied for additional resources for the Mmabatho Serious Commercial Crimes Unit of the NPA, which will triple the current capacity of specialised prosecutors.

This increase in capacity will go a long way to addressing one of the critical blockages in the justice value chain.

Honourable Speaker, Section 100 intervention is moving into its second and last phase, ending August 2020.

This follows on the visible stabilisation of the Provincial Government, and transversal work streams have been established to enable an integrated response to cross-cutting challenges.

Honourable Speaker, the North West is ready to take part in and benefit from the opportunities of the smart city development announced by the President during the State of the Nation Address.

In this regard, our focus will be on the Hartebeespoort Dam and surrounding areas.

I am in discussion with the Premier of Gauteng so as to give effect to this initiative.

The Province will finalize the Provincial Growth & Development Strategy which shall be anchored on 4 (four) Provincial Strategic Development Corridors to drive the North West’s participation in and contribution to the national effort to grow the economy.

The Eco-Tourism Corridor in the Bojanala District, supported by the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the automotive industry in the Madibeng area and the mining business opportunities across the district; representing the first of those corridors.

Honourable Speaker, our Platinum Valley Special Economic Zones Programme is intended to create a new mining supply that speaks to capital equipment manufacturing, renewable energy, agro-processing
zone and general manufacturing in the Mogwase Industrial Area.

We are in discussion with the Presidency and the DTI.

There are already five Black Industrialists operating on site and nine investor companies that have shown interest to operate on the site; a creation of about 1076 jobs is envisaged.

We have started discussions with the Rustenburg Local Municipality last year, to explore the feasibility of a University of Technology in the area to provide specialized skills demanded by the ever automating mining industry and to support the growing commercial economy of the region.

We are also in discussion with the Presidency’s Infrastructure Development Unit, to seek collaboration and investment opportunities around the SEZ and other economic projects in Bojanala and other
Districts.

The N12 corridor in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District should achieve a deliberate spatial development integration of Matlosana and Tlokwe by directing commercial and residential developments towards the N12 to integrate the economies of the two towns.

We are working with various mining houses in the Matlosana Local Municipality to seek mutually beneficial solutions as mining activities in the area decline. Discussions are at an advanced stage for an announcement of a unique community development project and mining SMME funding initiative through partnership with ANGLO GOLD ASHANTI.

Honourable Members, as we announced in the last SOPA the N14 development in Ventersdorp has been launched with the appointment of contractors.

Honourable Speaker, the economy of Ngaka Modiri Molema is largely held back by lack of development of Mahikeng as the capital city, and in particular our failure over the years to develop the Mahikeng Airport precinct.

We are in discussion with the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) to provide technical support and management of Mahikeng Airport Development precinct.

We believe that Mahikeng has potential to develop into a viable aerotropolis to connect the North West to the rest of South Africa’s economy and the world.

Provincial Government will support the initiative to resuscitate Mahikeng’s economy through investment in social and economic infrastructure.

Through our Memorandum of Understanding signed with the North West University, we are prioritizing focus on education and learning, capitalizing on the comparative advantage of the Ngaka Modiri Molema District and Mahikeng in particular.

Honourable Members, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District is an important strategic agricultural area for the North West Province and has negatively been impacted by drought which threatens many people’s livelihoods.

In an effort to minimize the scourge of drought and general water shortage, we will build government borehole sighting, drilling and reticulation capacity aimed mainly at livestock watering provision with a further potential to assist with human drinking water where necessary.

Honourable Speaker, we will be embarking on a process of establishing a fodder bank within the Taung Irrigation Scheme and other possible areas within our Province.

This way, we will mitigate the impact of drought and climate change by having fodder to farmers at an affordable price.

We have implemented 59 drought intervention projects in the province to mitigate the impact of drought in the agricultural sector to the tune of R31 million; in the process creating a total of 667 jobs ranging from creating fir-belts, de-bushing and drilling of boreholes.

Honourable Speaker, we have rolled out 44 173 bags of fodder to 2 221 drought-stricken farmers in Kagisano Molopo and Greater Taung; as drought relief packages.

Government will revisit the feasibility of beef beneficiation project in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District through a public private partnership model to build abattoirs and other infrastructure required to enable the intervention.

Honourable Speaker, for many years, our communities have been complaining about road infrastructure and challenges relating to water provision.

These challenges have resulted in a need for urgent intervention which has been hindered by inadequate provincial resources.

Notably, the Provincial Road Maintenance Grant from National Government is largely meant for the maintenance of roads to the exclusion of upgrades and construction of new roads.

Honourable Speaker, in response to these challenges, the Provincial Executive Council resolved to top slice funding from the equitable share in order to ensure that the government respond urgently to the need for upgrade of roads and provision for water.

Honourable Speaker, in our endeavour to make a significant impact on the growth acceleration of a cohort of high growth potential SMME’s,

we have adopted a new type of SMME support and development programme called the North West Growth Acceleration Programme (NWGAP).

A total of 60 SMMEs with a turnover of between R250 000 and R1 million have been placed in an intense incubation programme for a period of 12 months, ending in November 2020. This program also serves as a feeder to the National Gazelles Programme of the Department of Small Business Development, aimed at improving the uptake of the North West Province’s SMMEs.

Ladies and gentlemen, since we incepted the project three years ago, the 121 companies that participated in the programme have managed to sustain over 400 jobs in their respective sectors.

Honourable Speaker, until now four companies that applied have been approved for turnaround interventions to the value of R2 million with a potential to create and sustain 44 job opportunities as well as protect their existing contracts with suppliers.

The Business Rescue Programme will be implemented with partners such as Productivity SA and other possible investors to support SMMEs that have been in existence for 4 years and have employ more than five staff members.

An amount of R5 million has be set aside for this intervention.

The Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism and SEDA have signed a three year partnership a 50:50 joint funding and implementation programme in this regard.

We have put in place a programme is to support informal traders in all the four districts through business development interventions and provision of business tools and equipment in partnership with local municipalities, Informal Traders Associations and SEDA.

Honourable Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Cooke’s Lake Information Centre, with the exception of the existing office block, will be used to host a permanent flea market and R8 million has been set aside through funding by the Department of Small Business Development.

Together with the National Department of Tourism, we will be commencing with the completion of the Manyane Game Lodge and the Lotlamoreng Dam development projects. Government will ensure that
these projects are implemented with full consultation with and participation of Barolong Boo Ratshidi Traditional Council.

The project will commence in April this year.

Honourable Speaker, all new rural roads projects to be implemented from the 20/21 Financial Year will be implemented through a new development model of labour intensity and small contractor development programme.

We are no longer going to theorise about localization, small contractor development and job creation.

A provincial policy framework will be adopted to ensure that designated rural roads are deliberately set aside for job creation, small contractor development and local participation through development of specifications and tender requirements that protects identified projects from dominance by empowered contractors.

This approach will be implemented on all projects for which contractors have not yet been appointed and the list of such projects will be made public to avoid gate keeping.

Honourable Speaker, we have implemented the multi-tenancy Office Park complex for Mahikeng.

We are finalising an agreement with the Public Investment Corporation to develop an office park on the Agri-Centre office park site to accommodate at least three Department that are in dire need of office space in Mahikeng.

Honourable Speaker, we are committed to the transformation of the wildlife industry in the North West Province. We will be making available 600 head of animals from the excess game in provincial nature reserves to emerging game farmers who will be selected through a transparent public assessment process according to criteria set in the Game donation and custodianship policy of the North West Parks Board.

Honourable Members, we are in the process of transferring 108 (Land portions – about 12 924 hectares – to Communal Property Associations as well as transferring a further 5 portions – 159.8 hectares – of land to Municipalities as a contribution towards the land reform programme and economic development in the Province.

We have also transferred 19,9 hectares to the Government Agencies and National Departments.

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that the Province will no longer seek the transfer of the Deeds Office from Vryburg to Mahikeng. We have heard the cries of organised business and the legal fraternity about the contribution of this Office to the economy of Vryburg and the District in general.

Honourable Speaker, there is no excuse for the Province and Municipalities to fail to meet the targets set for absorption and recruitment of our unemployed youth through Expanded Public Works Programme.

We will intensify the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) so as to maximise labour intensive measures to create jobs, and we intend to create an almost 200 000 job opportunities for the next five years, with Provincial Government Departments creating almost 126 000 work opportunities and Municipalities creating the remaining over 72 000 work opportunities.

These work opportunities would be created through infrastructure development and maintenance programmes, with provincial roads maintenance expected to contribute over 45 000 jobs, followed by the provision of social services that are inclusive of HIV/AIDS home community based care, early childhood development, agriculture support programmes as well as waste management efforts that are inclusive of urban renewal, cleaning of towns and parks.

We will be embarking on the second phase of the Vuk’uphile contractor development programme to accommodate approximately 160 new local contractors as part of developing our small, micro and medium enterprises in the province.

We have spent approximately R170 million on the programme in the
current financial year.

We have started with the implementation of the SMME sub-contracting programme aimed at poverty alleviation and development of our local SMMEs.

Honourable Speaker , 120 unemployed graduates in the agricultural sector have been placed in farms as part of experiential training and learning on a three year programme.

The North West University Business School has agreed to collaborate with Provincial Government by jointly tackling the important task to build skills & capacity of the state for efficient service delivery and to expose the youth to relevant cutting edge skills required in the world of 4th
Industrial Revolution.

Two digital incubators will be rolled out in the 2020/2021 financial year valued at a total joint of R16 million; namely the Mafikeng Innovation Hub in Mahikeng and the Leema Township Incubator in Mogwase.

Later in March, the Province will jointly host a Provincial Skills Development Lekgotla with the National Skills Authority (NSA) supported by various SETA’s to develop a Provincial intervention strategy to address challenges facing youth Not in Employment, Education or Training in the North West estimated to be at least 1 million by 2019.

We call upon private sector partners with reserve capacity to absorb young people for on the job training in partnership with Government and SETA’s.

In as far as implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is concerned, 235 017 out of 855 847 (27.5%) learners have access to information through connectivity.

We have digitised educational content for the following critical subjects to promote paperless schools; Accounting, Agricultural Sciences, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Life Sciences, Mathematical Literacy, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

The conversion of Temporary Educators is conducted in terms of Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) Collective Agreement number 4 of 2018. The Collective Agreement makes provision for Placement of Educators, in addition, as well as qualified graduates who received the state bursary.

In the province, the implementation of the collective agreement has been done through the Provincial Education Labour Relations Council (PELRC).

The management plan for implementation was thus agreed upon in chamber, in November 2019 and active conversion is being carried out on

True to the commitment we made in the June 2019 SOPA, we have so far converted 2691 educators from temporary to permanent employees.

Although we encounter enormous challenges with regard to expenditure of education infrastructure grant, we are on track with eradicating unsafe and inappropriate sanitation facilities – pit latrines – in 154 schools.

Honourable Speaker, the original target of 104 schools has been increased to 154; we have completed 112 schools so far, 36 Schools are currently under construction to be complete during this financial year and 11 schools are at a tender stage. As part of improving safety of learners at schools, 107 fencing projects have been prioritized over and above the initial 87 school fencing projects under construction at various schools.

Contractors have been appointed for the 63 additional school projects and 44 projects are at the procurement/ tender stage.

A total of 79 schools were identified with water supply challenges and the provision was made to supply water through drilling of boreholes.

Drilling of boreholes and installation of storage facilities is under construction in 52 school sites and appointment in the 27 remaining schools is almost completed and contractors will be handed over to the remaining sites in this month.

We continue to deliver comprehensive infrastructure projects beyond toilets – all new schools come standard with a laboratory, library and National Schools Nutrition Programme Kitchens.

Seven new schools have been completed and occupied. In addressing the challenges of infrastructure development while building our capacity, we have appointed the Development Bank of Southern
Africa to construct some of the schools in the province.

In addressing the challenges of learner transport, we have decided to expand the establishment and use of boarding schools, including Mega Farm Schools, with a view of improving learner access to schools.

Honourable Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Provincial Government and the people to the North West to extend our heartfelt condolences to all the families whose children lost their lives throughout the North West since the beginning of this year, including the family of Enock Mpianzi from Parktown High School who drowned in the our Province in Brits.
May his soul and others rest in eternal peace.

Bagaetsho, Section 100 (1) (b) was invoked in the Department of Health in March 2018 to address amongst others the weaknesses in pharmaceutical supplies management, financial and human resource
management. Since the intervention, technical specialists with vast pharmaceutical experience were brought in as part of the intervention plan. Much progress has been achieved but not enough to eliminate systemic challenges leading to medicine stock shortages and surgical supplies in our facilities.

We are moving at speed to address backlogs in our public health facilities. Since the June 2019 SOPA, I can report that 107 health facilities have
obtained National Health Insurance ideal status.

As part of our contractor, corporative development and SMMEs support, R100 million will be set aside for procurement of goods and services such as linen for health facilities through SMMEs; with preference given to local service providers and suppliers.

Honourable Members, I am happy to announce that we have increased the number of 24 hours health facilities from 68 to 77; as a result, Taung Gateway, Buxton, Matsheng, Moshana, Madibogopan, Obakeng, Bethanie and Madikwe clinics are now operating 24 hours.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am also pleased to report that the Provincial Council on Aids structures have been re-established and were launched by the Deputy President, Hon David Mabuza on World Aids Day last year.

We have appointed an Acting CEO and will be staffing the structure in the next financial year.

Honourable Members, as promised in the last SOPA, we have ensured that each ward in the North West is allocated a team of Social Services professionals comprised of Social Workers, Social Auxiliary Workers, Community Development Practitioners and Social Work Supervisors.

The department of Social Development will Intensify awareness on gender based violence through community engagements by reaching 14 648 persons and strengthen shelters for victims of gender based violence in partnership with stakeholders.

The National Department of Social Development has allocated funding for the appointment of 10 (ten) social workers who will support the fight against gender based violence by providing psychosocial support to 9450 victims.

Honourable Speaker, we intend to create a further 1300 EPWP jobs
through refurbishing of Community Arts Centres, the revitalized Provincial
Cultural Festivals, Library programmes, 40 learnership and internship
programmes in the Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation.
We will also be filling vacant senior management posts at the Mmabana
Arts, Culture, and Sport Foundation as well as the 40 vacant funded posts
at the Department of Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation in the 2020/2021
financial year.

Renovations are currently underway at Mmabana Mahikeng and we are envisaging appointing service providers that are on our contractordevelopment programme for the three envisaged construction projects in the next financial year.

In its efforts to ensure that services are widely accessible in 2020/21, the Mmabana, Arts, Culture, and Sport Foundation will, through the artistic sport programme; specifically aerobics – which includes modified fitness classes, according to the needs of the target group – expand its services to reach older persons, pregnant women, and people with disabilities in all the four districts.

This programme will create work opportunities as a contribution towards fighting poverty and unemployment.

The Foundation will further implement the Mmabana Talent search initiative, and will go throughout the four districts to search talent, and ensure that identified artists are developed, and supported with the involvement of the Mmabana alumni.

Honourable Speaker, with all these, the foundation will be re-positioned to become a formidable competitor in the arts, culture, and sport fraternity, and contribute towards development of the creative industry.

Honourable Members, we are pleased to report that stability and normalcy has been restored in Ramokokastad and the adjoining villages; following a period of violence and turmoil in that area in the recent past.

Honourable Members will remember that, as an intervention, we appointed an Administrator to take over the affairs of the Baphalane Traditional Council in December 2018 in line with the provisions of the North West Traditional Leadership and Governance Act; as well as appointing a team of investigators to investigate the root causes of the problems in Ramokokastad.

A report was handed over to the Premier at the end of last month and accordingly released to the community on Saturday, 08 February 2020 at a community meeting held in Ramokokastad. The recommendations of the report will be implemented accordingly.

We have released the Commission reports into the Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela and Batlhako ba Leema in August and September 2019 respectively, as committed in the June 2019 State of the Province Address. We have begun implementing the recommendations of the reports.

Regrettably, the release of the Commission report into the Bapo ba Mogale I and II was interdicted and the matter will be heard in court in March this year.

We have also released the report into the succession disputes of the Bakgatla ba Mmakau and we are adhering to the recommendations of that
report.

Honourable Speaker, the succession dispute report of the Barolong Boo Seitshiro has been finalised and we will be releasing it in due course.

There are delays in the work of the Commission handling the succession dispute of the Bahurutshe ba Gopane, and is most likely to ask for an extension to enable them to complete their assignment and produce a report.

The completion and handover of Traditional Council offices of the Batlharo Ba Ga Masibi, Barolong Ba Ga Phoi and Batlhaping Ba Ga Maidi has been hampered by theft of solar panels and electricity challenges, amongst other things, and therefore has been postponed until those challenges are fully addressed.

Honourable Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our traditional leaders – Dikgosi – in particular appreciate the leadership provided by the North West House of Traditional Leaders under the leadership of Kgosi Mabe, and the Executive Committee of the House.

Sedikwa ke ntja pedi ga se thata! Mabogo Dinku aa Thebana!

Honourable Speaker, between 1994 and 2019, we have delivered almost 270 000 completed houses with over 5 300 of these delivered in the last
financial year.

In the next financial year, we will provide housing units and prioritise the upgrading of informal settlements as agreed with municipalities. We delivered 89 housing projects across the province amounting to 5 026 units costing R 661 million.

Honourable Members, title deed restoration remains critical to the security of tenure for our people and to this end, 6 395 title deeds will be prioritised. Of the 6 395 title deeds to be restored, 655 are for military veterans across the province.

Honourable Speaker, this year we are prioritizing some of the following areas for housing development; Taung, Stella, Verdwaal, Bokamoso, Meriting, Letlhabile, Borolelo, Khuma, Rulaganyang, Kanana,
Leeudoringstadt, Sonderwater and Toevlug.

In the June 2019 State of the Province Address, we committed to the construction, refurbishment and upgrading of various water provision sites across the Province.

Honourable Speaker, most of those are at an advanced stage towards completion while others are in the pipeline for prioritized implementation this year.

We have completed and commissioned the Dinokana Water Augmentation project, the Ganalaagte Boreholes and Sewer Pump station refurbishment project, the Naledi Water Augmentation Phase 1 and 2 project as well as the Tshing Cent Fall Sewer Line project.

Most, if not all, of our other water projects that we had committed to giving priority attention to are at between 80% and 95% completion; and they will be completed this year across the four districts of the province.

Honourable Speaker, four of our municipalities irregularly invested public funds into the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

Disciplinary processes have been concluded at the Mahikeng Local Municipality and the Hawks investigation is ongoing; at the Moretele Local Municipality, the disciplinary process was concluded and report handed to the Council. The Council then terminated the employment contract of the Municipal Manager, however legal opinion found the Council’s decision to be unlawful and unjustifiable. The Council has not yet acted on their resolution and we will monitor developments in that municipality and provide a report in due course.

We have not yet received a report regarding the Madibeng Local Municipality while the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality report was handed to Council in December last year. However,
disciplinary hearing processes have since been postponed for more than four occasions after the Municipal Manager took the Municipality to court to oppose the disciplinary action.

The dysfunctional state of our Municipalities leave much to be desired and we have resolved to extend the implementation of Section 139 (1)(b) for an additional six months in the Mahikeng, Tswaing, Madibeng, Lekwa- Teemane and Ratlou Local Municipalities, until such a time we are convinced that they are on the right track to recovery.

Honourable Speaker, we expect to have a progress report on these interventions focusing on effectiveness, service delivery improvement and performance management, amongst others, by June this year.

We are currently providing training to the recently elected Mamusa Local Municipality Council on their roles and responsibilities, in partnership withthe South African Local Government Association in the North West. Honourable Members, we expect this process to be completed by the end of next month.

We are continuing to pay rates and taxes to municipalities as a way to alleviate the challenges facing municipalities; we have already paid a total of R210 million to date against an allocation of R331 million and remaining balance of R120 million will be paid in the third and fourth quarter of the financial year. These payments are aimed at supporting Municipalities in distress and to
ensure that they are financially viable.

Honourable Speaker, We have completed a number of roads projects in the current financial year and 13 new road projects are about to break new ground.

Some of those projects include the handing over the completed Madidi bridge that had previously collapsed as a result of over flooding, completing road D221 between Magogong and Manokwane in Greater Taung Local Municipality including the construction of the bridge on the Hart river stream and completing road R503 between Mahikeng and Bloubank.

We will also build a bridge as well as a 2km tar section in Lobatla village in Ramotshere Moiloa after the old culverts structure had collapsed, leaving learners unable to cross the stream to school during the rainy season.

Honourable Members, in partnership with SANRAL, we have nine active contracts in the Province, covering a road network totalling 2369km.

We are in the process of procuring contractors for 14 new routine maintenance contracts which are packaged based on Local municipal boundaries.

These projects will create opportunities for Local Emerging Contractors to bid for sub-contract work packages, such as pot-hole patching, fencing and grass cutting. The bid process for the sub contracts will be overseen by area specific Public Liaison Committees (PLCs) to ensure local participation, fairness
and transparency.

Honourable Speaker, together with SANRAL, we are implementing three major road rehabilitation projects.

We are upgrading the R511 from Brits to Beesterkraal, with a project value of R242m, the rehabilitation of the R53 from Potchefstroom to Ventersdorp, with a project value of R 158m and the N4 Pampoennek to R512, in Madibeng, with a Project value of R407m.

In the 2nd quarter of 2020, as part of this collaborative partnership between us and SANRAL, we will be awarding three construction contracts for the reseal of the N12 between Wolmaranstad and Bloemhof, costing R120m.

Honourable Speaker, together with SANRAL, we have conducted three stakeholder engagement events in the province last year to connect SANRAL with the communities, to communicate its projects, roll out plans and afford them the opportunity to participate in empowerment opportunities created or to be created by these projects.

In addition, over the past 2 years, we have embarked on a process of establishing Project Liaison Committees in the NW through which local stakeholders, via the elected representatives can have an active role in the projects.

We hope and believe that these engagements have managed to bridge the gap between us and local service providers, who are beginning to benefit from these projects.

Honourable Speaker, the Ikatisong School of Governance remains key in addressing the systemic challenges of public service delivery in the province, through structured and sustainable learning and development of public servants.

The Ikatisong School of Governance will undergo a comprehensive turnaround to ensure that this critical vehicle responds to the President’s call of a capable state that is able to address the dire socio-economic challenges confronting our people. It is critical that this institution be staffed by staff who are fit for purpose.

Mmusakgotla, kwa bokhutlhong, re saletse go oketsa diphatlha ka
diatla fela, ka tiro e tshaba diatla bagaetsho, re semeleleng rotlhe,
mme tse re di jetseng a di mele tsotlhe.
Let us work together to Grow the North West.
Ke a leboga.