Source: Office of the Premier, Free State Provincial Government
Title: FS: Magashule: State of the Province Address by the Premier of the Free State, Bloemfontein
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
The Premiers of Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Free State Legislature and Members of Parliament
Executive Mayors, Mayors and Speakers
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners
The Director-General and senior managers of government
Judge President of the Free State High Court
Veterans of our liberation struggle
Our spiritual and traditional leadership
Our friends from the media
Comrades and friends
Ma-Free State a matle
Speaker, allow me as we present our State of the Province Address, to extend our warmest welcome to the Honourable Premier of Gauteng, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, the Honourable Premier of Kwazulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Honourable Premier of Limpopo, Mr Cassel Mathale, the Honourable Premier of Mpumalanga, Mr David Mabuza and the Honourable Premier of Northern Cape, Ms Hazel Jenkins.
Motsamaisi wa dipuisano, ere ka boikokobetso bo boholo re amohele ka hlompho e kgolo Morena wa Basotho le baemedi ba mmuso wa Lesotho. Morena Letsie wa Bobedi. Re re kgotso! Pula! Nala! Basotho ba batle, mailangwathela. Re boetse re amohela bohle baemedi ba ntlo ya Borena kwano Free State.
Honourable speaker, I also wish to acknowledge the esteemed presence in this house, of representatives and delegations from the embassies of the governments of Germany, Belgium, Canada, China, India, USA, Britain, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Mozambique, Angola, Sudan, Tanzania, DRC, and Libya.
Your presence here today, is an affirmation that our frontiers of human solidarity in search of a better world order will forever expand. We value your presence in our province, through a number of projects and initiatives aimed at advancing the lives of our people.
Re a le amohela kaofela mona Free State, lefatsheng la Masele, re le amohela ka diatla tse mofuthu. Free State ke karolo ya naha ya Afrika Borwa, hammoho le kontinente ya Afrika.
We dedicate this State of the Province Address to the memory of the late comrade Joyce Kgoali, who was an African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee deployee to the Free State. During her life, she taught us to always put our people first in everything we do.
Mr Speaker, the achievement of democracy in 1994 marked the birth of our country as an African nation, which provided South Africans and the people of our province an opportunity to set up government based on the will of the people.
It also unleashed an opportunity to create a better life for all, to build democracy, human rights and a value system based on human solidarity.
The overwhelming victory of 22 April elections was a reaffirmation of that vision, which puts people first and at the centre of their own development. When we say that working together we can do more, we are essentially reaffirming the fundamental policy statement of our people: The Freedom Charter, which states that. The people shall govern! Batho batla busa! Die mense sal regeer!
The confidence of our people in their ANC-led government is unquestionable.
The people of our country and our province do not need political analysts and commentators to explain to them how their lives have changed for the better. You know without being told that, in spite of so much that has been achieved in the last 15 years, more still needs to be done. It is for this reason that you have renewed our mandate to move with speed.
Working together we can:
* Transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods;
* Implement a comprehensive rural development strategy, agrarian reform and measures to ensure food security
* Provide universal, affordable education which empowers our people and promotes self development
* Create a health care system which promotes a healthy nation able to participate in a developing society
* Implement a comprehensive strategy to fight crime and corruption.
We say today in this house, that we are more than ready to fast-track the realisation of these priorities, but as the President has already cautioned; the prevailing global economic melt-down will definitely impact on the pace of implementation. He urged all of us to confront this threat to our economy boldly and to identify opportunities of moving onto an employment generating growth path.
We are an integrated economy and trends on the world stage will reflect on our situation and our response must always endeavour to open up space for our democratic developmental state to transform the structural constraints, which limits the majority from benefiting through economic growth.
During his State of the Nation Address, the President also spoke about South Africa's comprehensive response to this crisis. This response is a Macro Economic Policy response, which includes inputs from labour, business and government. Some of the key elements of our comprehensive response, which we in the province have already unpacked through our cluster programmes, include among others:
* Maintaining high levels of public investment in infrastructure through expanding and building rail networks, public transport, roads, public health and education infrastructure and housing construction
* Intensifying our public sector employment programmes by increasing employment in areas where there is a clear need to do so especially in the police, education and health sectors
* Implementing the second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme in areas such as health services, construction, maintenance and environmental protection projects
* Scaling up social interventions to address the jobs challenges and ensuring social protection.
The success of our government to deal with these and other developmental challenges also depends on the organisation of our state machinery; its ability to respond swiftly to the needs of our people. As government, our emphasis will be on greater state accountability and transparency to the people at all levels.
This means that we must strengthen accountability of all our public representatives, Members of Parliament, Members of the Provincial Legislature and all Councillors.
It is for this reason that the monitoring and evaluation unit in the Premier's office, which will come into effect by the end of July, is such a critical instrument for effective governance. The monitoring and evaluation unit will track implementation of programmes, resource allocation and re-direction as well as interventions due to an early warning system. Coupled with this, will be the strengthening of our public accountability platforms such as community development workers, ward committees and public participation platforms.
The strategic advisory committee of the Premier shall also be in place by the end of June and shall add the necessary capacity for an overall coordinating role of this office.
We have already launched operation clean audit 2014 as an initiative to achieve clean audit opinions at all levels. We have engaged the office of the Auditor- General to establish a common understanding of the audit process. Particular attention will be paid to municipalities in this regard and where capacity does not exist, we will either second senior managers from the provincial government or source it through partnerships such as the Siyenza Manje programme of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
We shall ensure employment of highly skilled professionals, who will be directly remunerated by the provincial government and seconded to municipalities, to assist with the development and implementation of master plans focusing on water, sanitations and infrastructure among others.
Our Planning Commission, whose scope of operation we are finalising in conjunction with the Presidency, will also come into operation as a matter of priority. Drawing from countries which have gone this developmental route such as Cuba, Kenya, India, Abu- Dabi, Jordan and India among others, our Planning Commission will:
* Ensure that all plans are developed within the framework of our electoral mandate and our programme of action
* Ensure integrated planning regarding social, economic, infrastructure, transport or spatial planning
* Determine the proper utilisation of our resources and will guide the allocation of budget to implement government plans
* Ensure that all plans are long-term and inclusive
* Ensure a people-driven and people-cantered approach, which ensures public participation and accountability at all times.
Honourable speaker, we present this policy statement of the province on the eve on the 33rd anniversary of 16 June uprisings. The tragedy of that day has taught us that a nation's success depends on its ability to encourage, harness and incorporate into its creativity, the daring energy of youth. This relates to such issues as access to social and economic opportunities, engendering activism around issues of development and values of community solidarity and creating a space for youth creativity to flourish.
Long live the spirit of Solomon Mahlangu, Peter Mokaba and all the departed young lions, long live!
Tomorrow, the National Youth Development Agency will be launched by the President as a vehicle to pursue an integrated youth development programme.
The Provincial Executive Council has already adopted the Free State Youth Commission Act Repeal Bill. The bill will be presented to the Free State Legislature before the end of June and will pave the way for the phasing in of the Provincial chapter of the National Youth Development Agency.
We must pay tribute to the forebears of this new entity and acknowledge the immense contribution of the Free State Youth Commission, which ensured that the vibrant voice of young people is never ignored in all facets of society.
We do accept Honourable Speaker, that in our desire to ensure the continuous presence of the Free State Youth Commission in the past term, we may have flouted procedures and for that we need to place our public apology on record as per the recommendations of the Public Protector.
The National Youth Service Programme (NYS) will still be carried forward and during this financial year, we will be launching an NYS project to clean and rehabilitate our public hospitals and other public facilities
Honourable speaker, in view of the recurrent skills challenge facing the entire country, we are going to re-launch the national skills development programme with a specific focus on maths, science, commerce and technology. The Premier's office will with immediate effect convene, restructure and coordinate the Free State skills development forum where business, Department of Labour, the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta's), institutions of further and higher education, labour organisations as well as municipalities, will jointly plan and drive the skills development revolution of our Province.
During this financial year, we are going to launch a Regional Innovation Centre in partnership with Central University of Technology, which will be a platform for strategic thinking and planning to put forward solutions to our development challenges.
Central to our province's ability to sustain the job creating growth path in the light of the global economic challenges, is our ability to undertake bold economic initiatives. Some of those, whose business plans we are finalising include:
* The Maseru-Bloemfontein rail network, whereby as the Free State provincial government we resolved to revive the usage of rail between Bloemfontein and Maseru. We are going to immediately start with the Bloemfontein-Thaba Nchu phase by September 2009. The current modes of transport such as taxis and busses that are currently plying their trade on the affected routes will form part of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Networks
* The N8 Development Corridor which will include the Bloemfontein airport interchange
* The township revitalisation programme which is integral to our human settlement strategy which we shall elaborate later
* Transfer of property ownership to black hands, whereby already a process to transfer at least 50 percent of property where government is leasing will commence by end of July
* Launch of the provincial fund which will happen in the current financial year.
* Housing delivery through Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) methodology, whereby the building of RDP houses based on new improved designs will be done by cooperatives of community builders. Municipalities are already instructed to compile a database of these artisans who will be responsible for this housing flagship project
* The Harrismith Logistics Hub which will be undertaken as part of the Premier's lead projects and whose feasibility and research has confirmed that it remains a very viable initiative which must be concluded within this term. This project will be done through the support of the National Department of Transport.
* The Xhariep Development Transfrontier Corridor whose business plan has been finalised and costed .The Private sector must come on board to invest in the Xhariep district
* The development of the Free State Tourism Master plan with emphasis on the Vredefort Dome Development and the Maluti Development corridor.
* The Office Park Development where a conscious programme to build government offices and service points to townships starting with Batho location in Bloemfontein
* Development of Agro processing plants such as the peanut butter manufacturing plant as well as the salt pans of Soutpan
* The Brandwag Social Housing Project, this project will accommodate 1050 families earning less than R 7 500 per month. The Municipality Kopanong investments and provincial Department of Housing has worked endlessly to bring affordable housing into the new business district of Bloemfontein.
Honourable speaker, the electricity reserve margin in South Africa has declined to less than 8 percent compared to a target of 19 percent by the end of 2008. This means that there is a need to prioritise a secure supply in the electricity sector. Solar water heating is regarded as one of the key energy response measures highlighted in the government's national electricity response plan, targeting the provision of 10 000 gigawatts hour of electricity from renewable resources by 2013.
The government has been at the forefront of various energy saving initiatives. These include the demand side management program where energy efficiency programme is being implemented in all government buildings, clinics, hospitals and schools.
The implementation of the solar geyser project in Free State for the informal settlements (i.e., low income households) will be initiated in partnership with the National Department of Energy in this financial year.
The province is looking to installing at least 40 000 units using local labour to perform both installation and maintenance. It is expected that a substantive number of jobs will be created through this initiative. This project will see the reduction of between 30 to 50 percent per household which will translate into a general electricity consumption saving for municipalities, province and the country. This should be part of the Free State's contribution to energy conservation and we are exploring other avenues to contribute towards the reduction of carbon emissions.
Honourable speaker, we are the first to declare that some of these priorities are not new, but what is new is the approach and methodology of delivery. This time around, clear and implemental business plans attached to realistic timeframes will guide us. These and other priority programmes will ensure that in view of the President's commitment on job creation, that we as a province will create well in excess of 50 000 by the end of this year. Our job creation programme will be evaluated on a quarterly basis.
Mohlomphehi motsamaisi wa dipuisano, tsena ke tse ding tsa dihloomo tsa rona ha re kena ntweng ya moshwelella ya ho fedisa tlala le bofuma.
We are launching an all-out offensive to free our people from the burden of poverty and underdevelopment.
Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, the people of the Free State, Operation Hlasela is officially launched.
Re hlasela bofuma. Re hlasela bonokwane le manyofonyofo. Re hlasela tlhekefetso ya Bo Mme le Bana, Re hlasela kgethollo ya morabe le ya bong.
Re a le mema ke hona, ho kene lerona ntweng e sale e qalwa ke baholo ba rona ka 1912, mme jwale rona jwale ka masole a nnete re tlamehile ho hlola ntwa ena ya ho aha Afrika Borwa e kopaneng, e hlokang kgethollo ya mmala le ya bong. Umkhulu, Umkhulu Lomsebenzi-u fun'a majoni a tshepahalang.
Hasta La Victoria Siempre! Victory always!
Our manifesto, which is now the government programme of action for the next five years, identifies education as a priority. In this regard we are cautioned by the late stalwart of our revolution, President O R Tambo that a nation and a country that does not value its children, is not worth its future.
In heeding this wise counsel, we will expand early childhood development programme and continue to insist that all early childhood development (ECD) centres in the province are registered and are run professionally. We will also intensify our programme for the universal introduction of Grade R in all our schools as a necessary foundation for meaningful education
The school nutrition programme will be reviewed this year, to ensure that the procurement of nutritional goods and the feeding of our needy children are done by local women groups, who must be empowered and better placed to run an effective and empowering programme.
We have started with the review for the learner transport system in order to determine its sustainability and effectiveness. We have already started to systematically phase it out and instead expand on our current learner hostel programme, where farm learners are put in hostels, where they are guaranteed proper nutrition and education. The hostel programme shall be 100 percent in place by the 2010 school calendar.
Honourable speaker, I am also happy to announce that with effect from the next academic year, we will launch the Premier's bursary on scarce skills.
Through this special bursary we will be targeting 25 students in each of the following fields: 25 for civil engineering, 25 for electrical engineering, 25 for chartered accountancy, 25 for agricultural science, 25 for medicine, 25 for veterinary sciences, 25 for environmental science and 25 for mathematics and information technology and communication. This means that a total of 225 students, who after completion, will be assigned to municipalities. Each municipality will have nine qualified professionals in those identified fields. Our only condition for this full bursary is that once these students have attained their full qualifications, they must then work in the Free State for the period equivalent to their years of studies.
School sports will receive added attention as per the directives of our manifesto. We strive for the total development of a child.
I am happy to announce that as part of generating the necessary awareness and excitement regarding the 2010 World Cup among learners, we will in the next two months launch the 32 schools FIFA World Cup Tournament. In terms of this tournament, 32 schools will be identified where each school shall adopt a country that shall be participating in the World Cup. The school teams will each be fully kitted with the national colours of the countries they represent.
This tournament will be led by Phakisa and supported by the Department of Education and the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation. It will be patroned by the Premier and will go all the way until the finals. We hope that the schools that represent South Africa will eventually win the FIFA schools world cup.
Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) will continue to be capacitated to fulfil its responsibility of developing the arts and cultural potential of our province and I am also happy to report that the inter-departmental task team led by MEC's for Mangaung African Cultural Festival (MACUFE) has already been finalised and once more we are going to present the biggest pilgrimage of the arts and culture this year. We continue to make a call to the private sector to come on board in support of this important nation building initiative of this province.
We are going to convene a meeting with all teachers to reiterate once more our non-negotiable on education as contained in our manifesto. We realise that in order to achieve effective learning and teaching, we need the support of all role-players especially our teachers, whose profession must be re-profiled and respected. Working together with teacher organisations, we can do more!
Honourable speaker, by November this year, we shall have eradicated all platooning Schools in the Free State and surely this will boost our programme to increase learner enrolment and the provision of quality education. Our schools must be centres of excellence and the maths and science Saturday classes will be extended to cover all schools in the province. It is very humbling to acknowledge the number of mathematicians who include practicing doctors, pharmacists, engineers and others, who are willing to participate in this project, where Operation Hlasela takes aim at maths and science.
June month is also a month set aside for the elections of School Governing Bodies. We recognise the important role of these instruments of people's power in action, but also acknowledge that unless properly led, the SGB's can be misused to undermine the transformation agenda. There are recorded instances where they have been misused to frustrate the employment and enrolment equity principles and to preserve the old apartheid status quo regarding language and culture.
We are also aware of instances where the SGB's have been used to undermine the very culture of learning and teaching. We want to caution, that those days are over. This administration is going to be very much hands on regarding matters of education. Our call remains, that education is a fundamental right and a joint responsibility by all stakeholders. No child should be denied this right. To all members of the School Governing Bodies (SGB), parents, learners and educators, working together we can do more!
Die Vryheidsmanifes stel dit duidelik, alle deure na onderwys en kultuur sal geopen word vir almal. Dit is 'n eerbare doelwit.Ons moet almal strewe na 'n samewerking gegrond op respek vir ons mede mense,nie rassigheid en gelykheid vir almal.
Elke burger van die Vrystaat, Wit en Swart moet weet en ervaar,dat hy of sy 'n eersteklas burger is. Ons moet dinge regstel deur van 'n meer rassige na 'n nie rassige een te beweeg.Deur saam te werk kan ons meer bereik.
Honourable speaker, the provision of learner and teacher support material to schools is also going to receive our maximum attention. These materials have to be at school before the reopening to allow for effective learning and teaching on the first day of the school calendar. No excuse will be accepted and if it means we need to cut out the middleman and deal directly with suppliers, we will do so without hesitation.
During this term and working together with the national department, we will do all in our power to re-open teacher training colleges, which will focus on the retraining of our teachers especially in the areas of maths and science. We will also endeavour to assist all our schools to develop the necessary management abilities such that they fall within the category of section 21 schools.
Honourable speaker, the issue of health care provision in our province is receiving urgent attention. We have already placed the financial management of this department under the Provincial Treasury and we will in the next three weeks, convene an urgent health summit with all stakeholders to agree on a turn around strategy.
Our emphasis remains on the provision of the primary health care, the comprehensive strategy for HIV and AIDS, as well as our campaign on ABC. The provincial government will prioritise the treatment and care of all communicable diseases including TB. The provincial council of AIDS will be further strengthened and led by the MEC for Health.
It cannot be right that our patients continue to lack the most basic of medication and that our health professionals continue to lack the most basic of equipment. We are already acting on this situation and it shall come to an end with immediate effect.
Our call to all our stakeholders and political parties in particular, is to work with us as we remedy this undesirable situation.
The provincial government will continue to give attention to disability, especially with regard to access, representivity and awareness. We will improve our coordinating mechanism so that we have a much more structured relationship with the non-governmental organisation (NGO's) that are active in this sector.
Our mandate is that of a developmental state and we have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable in society. All the provincial government clusters will prioritise the anti-poverty initiatives and the war on poverty will be escalated to a higher level. Innovative ways of linking the social security grants with sustainable economic activities will be piloted in all our five districts.
We will in the next three weeks, give attention to the lifespan and environmental aspects of all VIP toilets in the Free State. We will clean all of them and henceforth put in place a sustainable sanitation project to mitigate against possible disease arising out of their poor management.
The creation of decent work remains at the centre of our economic policies and programmes and will always influence our job creating and investment attraction initiatives. The provincial government will give attention to the public sector as an employer in the identified areas of need. We will employ more agricultural scientists, social workers, police, educators, community development workers and health professionals and we will prioritise the filling of all funded vacancies across all levels of government.
This process will go hand in hand with the necessary skills audit within the public service and where necessary, we will transfer personnel where it will have maximum impact. Already interviews of Chief Financial Officers (CEO`s) in five departments will take place this week. We are going to appoint people on merit, black and white.
Honourable speaker, I am happy to inform this house, that the Free State Provincial Government will as from this financial year, introduce the shared service centre. This will help us deal with bulk buying of government goods and services at greatly reduced costs as well as eliminating procurement as a central function of government departments. Initially, we will look into Information Communication Technology, legal services, government communications and government procurement.
A shared service model is already operational in the Fezile Dabi District Municipalities where uniform accounting systems are in place. We hope to expand this to other municipalities where uniform systems can be used to ensure that tracking of progress and challenges can be done easier.
We must reiterate though, that our commitment towards performance excellence is non-negotiable. Performance evaluation will also include our MEC's, mayors, speakers and all public servants. We must be taken serious when we say everybody who cannot live up to the expectations of this government and who cannot respect the primary clients of this government, who are voters, must definitely look for employment elsewhere. Re tla Hlasela batho ba botswa, ba lenama, ba meharo le basa natseng leano la rona la Batho Pele!
Honourable speaker, we have already engaged the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to increase their footprint in the province. Working together with the IDC, we shall establish local economic development agencies in Lejweleputswa, Thabo Mofutsanayana and Fezile Dabi before the end of July this year.
Furthermore, two rural local economic development agencies will be considered for the economic revitalisation programme of the Xhariep District. The IDC will further be engaged to do a value-chain research; especially for the agricultural sector in re-establishing the Free State as the countries bread basket.
Through our rural development strategy, we are going to pilot the establishment of fully functional Agri-villages in Thaba-Nchu, Vrede, Cornelia and Xhariep. These pilots will be done through the support of the National Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, the district as well as local municipalities. We will further pilot three cooperatives in Bethulie, Verkeerdevlei and Excelsior.
Fellow comrades and the people of the Free State, our government has committed to embrace the whole philosophy of human settlement. This means that the old apartheid spatial planning patterns as well as, economic and social exclusions will finally be shattered. We must build a real non-racial, non-sexist, united democratic Free State and South Africa as enshrined in our constitution.
We will henceforth aggressively review all legislations dealing with development planning; especially spatial and land use planning. Rural and urban development and the establishment of integrated, well functioning and sustainable human settlement will be a primary priority of our planning. Our integrated approach must reflect that we are planning for a future based on the vision of a single prosperous nation.
We appeal to all business that trade in the Free State to take into account and respect our developmental objectives. We are moving towards massification of jobs through labour-based methods, and we need your support.
We also appeal to all planners and engineers to do their planning and design in a manner that will not undermine our pro-poor approach simply for parasitic intentions. We must ensure that national routes and by-passes do not kill the development potential of areas such as Harrismith. In such instances we will join efforts to prevent such planning.
We are going to implement a radical township revitalisation programme which aims at improving the image and value of our townships as decent places of residence. The starting point will be the rehabilitation of older sections of our townships of which many still carry the hallmarks of apartheid through their names and infrastructure. These include Batho Location in Bloemfontein, Marabastad in Kroonstad, Thabong in Welkom to name but a few, as part of our neighbourhood development initiative.
Old townships of the Free State will all receive face-lifts, through provision of decent houses built by our township builders to replace the old dilapidated structures, the upgrading of old pre-1994 municipal two-roomed houses into decent four-roomed houses, the upgrade, tarring and paving of roads, as well as the replacement of old infrastructure.
This programme will go hand in hand with a continuous and sustainable cleaning and greening campaign, which has to be implemented in each and every town of the Free State. Such a campaign will not only restore the dignity of our people, but will also create employment and awareness opportunities for our youth and women.
Through our Human Settlement approach, we will also provide housing for widows, who stand discriminated, as well as for military veterans, farm workers and the elderly, who continue to fall through the cracks of our housing programme. All data for beneficiaries of our housing programme will henceforth be captured at local level and verified by our anti-corruption and anti-fraud units to eliminate any possible corruption.
Our government has adopted a zero tolerance to crime and corruption. We are going to tighten our regulatory regime and instruments dealing with anti- corruption and supply chain management at provincial, district and local level. The anti-fraud and anti-corruption will henceforth be centrally coordinated for improved effectiveness and impact.
Our toll-free line will be up and running to report all incidents of corruption but to also make inputs on how government services can be improved. We are also going to produce a directory of government services which we will distribute to all libraries across the Free State. This we shall do in recognition of a greater need for access to information; especially by our rural communities.
As we mentioned earlier, greater emphasis will be on our municipalities and their ability to deliver effective services to communities. We are striving for an integrated, yet seamless government with an ability to intervene and redirect resources where necessary. Our five-year local government strategic agenda will continue to guide our interface with municipalities. As and when we measure the performance of both administrative and political leadership we will particularly try and understand the following:
* Are there effective local economic development initiatives which benefit and empower citizens?
* Is there institutional transformation reflective of the Batho-Pele principles?
* Is the municipality financially viable?
* Is there good governance and effective community participation?
* Is there delivery of basic services and infrastructure development?
Our municipalities must be centres of community activism and effective governance and must reflect the attributes of a society hard at work to improve the conditions of life. We will not tolerate anything less. In this, our conviction, we draw inspiration from the word of God, as articulated in 1 Peter, 4: 10 and I quote:
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."
We must serve our people! We can't fail them! They trust us!
The provincial government has issued a moratorium on the sale of municipal land to ensure that all state land is properly audited and used for developmental purposes.
We will work closely with the Mangaung Municipality to help with its transition into a metropol. This will need us to be hands on; particularly regarding the recruitment and retention of capacity to drive programmes of what will be the biggest and most resourced municipality of the Free State.
In accordance with the provincial spatial development perspective, the provincial government has identified priority municipalities and those with growth potential for accelerated support and capacitation. These include Matjhabeng, Metsimaholo, Moqhaka, Setsoto, Maluti a Phofung and Ngwathe with specific emphasis on the towns of Sasolburg, Parys, Heilbron, Welkom, Harrismith, Ficksburg and Ladybrand. Rural areas such as Thaba Nchu, Botshabelo and Qwaqwa will not be forgotten.
The government houses in Thaba Nchu and Sasolburg will be transferred to the rightful owners with necessary title deeds.
The efficient management of state financial resources and assets has become even more critical in the context of the current global economic crisis. We will introduce a campaign to promote responsible citizenship through the payment of services and a culture of individual and household savings.
The implementation of a comprehensive strategy to fight crime and corruption and to secure safe and cohesive communities is another priority of this government. We are launching an all-out offensive against criminals. Our strategy will be three pronged; firstly, we are going to target and round up masterminds of organised crime in the province. These include drug lords, car-hijacking syndicates, organised heists, robberies and all forms of white collar crime.
Secondly, we are going to mobilise the biggest community campaign, which will include the formation of street committees, neighbourhood patrollers, police reservists and volunteers and lastly, we will intensify public education through positive campaigns targeting youth. We will, however, continue to give sufficient attention to other forms of priority crimes.
Our police visibility will be drastically increased as we move towards the full employment of reservists and the installation of CCTV cameras at strategic points of our major centres including townships. We will also assist our Provincial Commissioner Mashego to build much needed police stations in the Free State especially at Bloemspruit. We shall no longer wait for police headquarters, because working together with the national department of police, we can do more.
We have placed a moratorium on the issuing of liquor licenses pending the review of legislation. We want to warn those who sell liquor to under-age children and learners, we will not only revoke their licences, but we will also criminally charge them.
Our engagement with farmers regarding cross-border policing and security of farms and farm dwellers will continue and at this point I wish to commend the Free State Agricultural Union for their constructive inputs. We are closer to finding a lasting solution based on our comprehensive crime prevention strategy.
We, however, still reiterate that crime is not a party political issue, but rather a social problem which affects all of us. No one must look the other way and we must all be police informers. We must single out criminal elements and narrow down their space of operation. All unused buildings which serve as hide-outs for criminals will be destroyed without notice. Each day that passes, must be a very difficult one for criminals because of our united front against all forms of crime.
Re Hlasela Tsotsi!
Honourable speaker, we will continue to give attention to the matter of public transport especially our taxi operators. Our experience and history has taught us that it is only through constructive engagement that we can find lasting solutions to our challenges. We are finalising a model through which the Maluti taxi operators must benefit through shareholding into the Maluti Bus Service. This is a matter of priority and the MEC will make an announcement in due course.
Fellow comrades and people of the Free State
The greatest world showpiece, the soccer world cup, is finally upon us! This past weekend, the first whistle signalling the commencement of the FIFA Confederations Cup echoed to commence the festival of champions. The Confederations Cup is a perfect opportunity to showcase our readiness for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
This afternoon we play hosts to the first ever Confederations Cup match in the province. We take this opportunity to urge all the people of the Free State to come out in their numbers in support of the event and all other matches. The Free State Cheetahs' sea of orange and the Siwelele's green and white must welcome our visitors and make them feel truly at home. As government we purchased and gave out tickets to our less privileged, because this soccer spectacle is about our people and for our people.
A re itjareleng Free State ya rona ka mahetla a rona! Ha re hlaseleng! Because the Free State is the province with the passion for the game.
We are confident that the City of Mangaung will make us proud as a competent host and a viable tourist attraction. Our visitors must know that this is the birth place of the oldest liberation movement in Africa and the party in power today, the African National Conference. We must make the best of the public viewing areas and ensure that all economic opportunities filter down to our ordinary men and women who look up to these events as life changing.
Our football ambassadors are also here with us today. We pledge to work with them in taking sports in general and football in particular to a higher level.
Honourable speaker, fellow comrades, people of the Free State and our beloved country, what we have presented here today is our broad vision for our short-term, medium term and long-term programme. In a few weeks from now when the provincial budget is re-submitted before this house, each department will present a detailed business plan on how these objectives will be realised.
Allow me honourable speaker, to pay tribute, as I did during the inaugural address to all the people of the Free State, who have ensured that the elections were free and fair.
Re rola kgaebene ho maqheku a rona ao kajeno a ketekang letsatsai la machaba la ho hlompha ditokelo tsa bona.
Our progressive equalization of pensionable age for men will find true meaning in this financial year. Maqheku a rona a bontate haba satla emela ho fihlela dilemo tse 65 pele ba fumana penshene ya bona. Tjhelete e se e beheletswe ka thoko bakeng sa maqheku a bontate ba dilemo tse pakeng tsa 61 le 63.
We humble ourselves especially to those who have voted the ANC, the people's organisation, back in power. We have heard your cries and your frustrations. We acknowledge your difficulties at the hands of certain incompetent public servants. We also understand that in spite of all challenges, you still say that the party of Chief Albert Luthuli, OR Tambo. Nelson Mandela, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Harry Gwala, Braam Fischer, Chris Hani, Barnad Molokoane, Tom Letshoenyo, Caleb Motshabi, Kaizer Sebothelo, Martha Chao, Ntai Mokoena, Thabo Mofutsanyana, Fezile Dabi, Peter Mokaba, Ephraim Mogale, Senorita Ntlabathi, Lebona Phalatse, Tisha Vanqa, Lister Skosana and many others, still remain your only hope and voice towards the realization of the vision of our Freedom Charter.
We must all work together to inculcate among all our people, black and white respect and love for our country, its history and common heritage. Our destinies as South Africans lie together and building one nation is our common priority. Arts and culture, school sports and recreation will be given a sharper focus of celebrating our South Africanness. Let us all be proudly South Africans and true Free Staters.
The people of the Free State will also join the rest of South Africa in paying tribute to our icon, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela by celebrating his life and lessons of humanity on 18 July.
Comrades and friends, we will run this government in a non-discriminatory manner. It will not matter whether you voted the ANC or not. Nobody will be victimised for expressing their freedom of choice and association. Whilst we respect these rights, we will deal very harshly with those who, because their beliefs contradict the ideas of the ruling party, will seek to sabotage our programmes. If such people exist, they should know now that the manifesto of the ANC is now the government programme of action and all of us are bound to implement it without fail. This government and I as Premier derive our mandate from the African National Congress.
We have invited here today, a cross section of our society ranging from the very young to the very old. We are demonstrating a point here honourable speaker that there is a place for everyone under the Free State sun. We have also invited the big captains of industry to experience first hand for themselves, the development path we are paving and to identify their role in partnering with our government.
We are also honoured by a huge presence here today of representatives of the various interfaith and interdenominational churches. We still say it today, that your role as the moral compass of our society is greatly valued. You have to play a much more active role in providing spiritual and other forms of interventions to our programmes of moral regeneration, the fight against HIV and AIDS, extension services for government information services and linking communities with various forms of interventions such as the ID campaign.
The ID campaign must not be restricted to elections, because it is linked to our social security intervention, as well as our sustainable livelihoods programmes. Your role as church leaders in this regard can never be overemphasised.
We also acknowledge the presence of our traditional leaders. We have exciting partnerships with you which will be announced by the MEC responsible for traditional affairs before the end of this year.
We owe our present fortunes and abundance of possibilities to the immense sacrifice made by those who have passed on. It is for this reason that we bow our heads in honour and respect of our former Premier Dr Ivy Matsepe Cassaburi, Advocate Dirk Du Toit, Prince Monaune and many other sons and daughters of our country and province who put the service of our people as the ultimate mission of their existence. May their souls rest in peace!
For those of us who have been entrusted with this noble responsibility of leading the Free State on the path of economic growth and a better life for all, we promise to serve with humility and dignity. We understand clearly what Franz Fanon said that, "every generation must discover its mission. They either fulfil or betray it."
We too, honourable speaker have discovered the mission of our generation, which is to finally free our people from the last remnants of apartheid legacy and to march forward together towards a society that is free, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous.
We look forward to an exciting five years punctuated by speed and precision as well as hard work! Hard work and more hard work!
Operation Hlasela is now unleashed!!
People of the Free State, let's get down to business!!
Long live President of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma long live!!
Working together we can do more! Ha re sebetsa mmoho re ka fihlela tse ngata! Umasisebenza sonke,Singeza u Kuningi .
Sesotho se re ntja Pedi ha e hlolwe ke sebata!
Siyabulela, siyabonga, Re a leboha, Re a leboga, Na Nkhensa,Ndolivhuwa, Baie Dankie, Thank You, Obrigado, Efgaristo, Gracias, She Shi
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