Source: Department of Economic Development and Tourism, North West Provincial Government
Title: NW: Matsemela: Budget Speech by the MEC for Economic Development and Tourism
Honourable members of the executive council
Honourable members of the provincial Legislature
Leaders of the Broader Provincial Local Government Sphere
Boemedi jwa ntlo ya Segosi mo Profenseng ya Bokone Bophirima
Ditlhogo tsa mafapha a puso
Chief Executive Officers of our Parastatals
Members of the Business Community
Members of the Religious fraternity
Leaders of the broader Civil Society Formations
Baagi ba Bokone Bophirima
Comrades and friends
I greet you all
Honourable speaker and Honourable members;
Following a change in administration as a result of the end of the second democratic term of office, both the national and provincial administration are making efforts for a seamless and casualty free transition. The new administration has already moved miles ahead in developing programmes for the next five years of this government.
As government, we have made massive achievement over the past 15 years. We are indeed proud of our past and confident about our future prospects for success. I am humbled by the millions of South Africans who braved the long queues to cast their vote which gave the ANC a resounding victory on 22 April 2009 elections. We have been given a renewed mandate by our people and we intend to carry it forward with much success and we will not falter.
As our life long icon, the former President, Nelson Mandela said after casting his vote during the April 1994 election, "It was tough as though we were a nation reborn". Yes we are a new nation now, the one nation which is driven by the vision to strengthen our democracy, create an enabling environment where all South Africans will be able to enjoy the fruits of our freedom.
We salute the leadership of our President Jacob Zuma and the Premier Maureen Modiselle for the strategic leadership and guidance they are providing to us as the cadres of the party and agents of service delivery. I say to them, lead and we will follow the light of hope and sparks you carry with you all the time.
Honourable Speaker, this departmental budget speech reflects a commitment made by the ANC led government to implement its Polokwane Resolutions and the Election Manifesto to focus on expanding job opportunities for our people, fight the socio-economic inequalities, reduce poverty and unemployment, and to improve the quality of live of our people.
This speech reaffirms our commitment to implement programmes which strengthen equity, build an inclusive economy, and create decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods. In doing so we would have continued to push back the frontiers of poverty. This will require that we create jobs at a faster rate and provide more economic opportunities for our people, which will take them out of the vicious cycle of poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment.
The budget and the development programmes we are presenting today, clearly demonstrate our commitment to fulfil the manifesto of our ruling party to which we are indebted. We are translating the electoral mandate in actionable development programmes and projects linked to an Annual Performance Plan for 2009/10 fiscal year and the Strategic Plan for the next five years of this government. Indeed, actions speak louder than words as words, words, words signify nothing. Working together as a nation and people of the North West province, we will take a zero tolerance to idleness in the Department and our Agencies as this will have a negative effect on our efforts to implement our development initiatives.
Motswana o rile kgetsi ya tsie e kgonwa ka go tshwaraganelwa and this is the same message that bears the character of our theme for this year "working together we can."
The State President Jacob Zuma, has set clear measures upon which the performance of our respective departments can be measured against the following: He said we must deliver 500 000 jobs by the end of December, and let me emphasise that this will be achieved, "as working together we can do more"
He further said that the culture of non performance and lack of desire to deliver according to the targets set by our government should not be tolerated. The message, Honourable Speaker, speaks to us and this budget reflects our understanding of the simple and clear orders from our State President.
Reflections on the past electoral mandate
Honourable speaker, fifteen years into this solid democracy, the ANC led government has achieved a lot. We have managed to create jobs, provided opportunities for skills training, developed social and economic infrastructure, strengthened our democratic institutions, improved the quality of life for our people, and we are continuing to eliminate the legacy of apartheid which has had very devastating effects to our development plans and resources.
Fifteen years into our democracy, we have achieved much in building a new society by uniting all our people, expanding opportunities so that the new freedom must be brought to our people, reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of millions of South Africans.
Much of the economic and social devastation of apartheid and its scars are still with us. Our common struggle to build a better South Africa continues. Our life long icon, Mr Nelson Mandela said, "It should never be that the anger of the poor should be the finger of accusation pointed at all of us because we failed to respond to the cries of the people for food, for shelter, the dignity of the individual. No one can be at peace whilst others wall in poverty and insecurity. We cannot wait on the side and watch our people suffer."
The programmes and projects covered in this speech are aimed at making direct interventions to deal with all the socio-economic challenges facing our people. We all know, and have witnessed the anger of our citizens in the province frustrated by lack of opportunities which have created a lot of stress and explosive incidents. This cannot be allowed to happen. The programmes and projects we have packaged and presenting today, indicate that we have heard the cries of our people and we have felt the impact of global economic crisis.
Honourable speaker, this current government came into office against the backdrop of the economic meltdown which has scared both the developed and developing countries, and South Africa has not been immune to such a state of affairs. The slowing down of economic growth will have a negative bearing on the enhancement of key efforts which are inclusive of job creation, intervention programmes, social and economic investment and sustainable livelihood of our people.
In the words of the former 28th American President Woodrow Wilson, "The truth is we are all caught in a greater economic system which is heartless". It is hoped that when an economy is engulfed in a global crisis such as the current one, the market would regulate itself. This is not happening and hence government is making a direct contribution to save the situation from total collapse. We as government, will implement the turnaround programmes and projects as well as appropriate strategies to make direct intervention that will grow our economy, create jobs, up-skill our people and provide means for sustainable livelihood.
The ANC together with government, labour, civil society, business, and our Development Partners will work together to whether the storm. We believe as a province that through co-operation and focused intervention, together we can do more to deal with these challenges and ultimately increase the rate of our development impact.
Thomas Sowell, an American economist and writer, said that "The first lesson of economics is scarcity. There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics."
We must admit that whilst the economic challenges of our time have affected the quantity of our resources, it should not dampen our political spirit to try and provide development resources to make intervention to deal with the challenges facing our people.
The development wheel has began to spin even more faster and there is hope that as we enter the next decade of our democracy, together we can do more to create jobs, alleviate poverty, develop the skills this economy needs, and grow our economic sectors. We are confident that working together with you we can do more, and better.
The impact of the global economic meltdown
South Africa is indeed in a recession and this calls for more government intervention. In her State of the Province Address, Honourable Premier Maureen Modiselle stated that, "Recession or no recession, our people still expect government to provide answers on job creation, poverty relief, investment and growth." It is for this reason and optimism that as a government we will have to increase the pace of our intervention efforts, with scares resource.
The current global economic developments continued to impact on South Africa and even more on our provincial economy given the economic sensitivity to platinum and gold mining in the province. Given South Africa's dependence on the mining sector, the downturn in the world economy has manifested itself in slowing exports of mining products and lower commodity prices, noticeably platinum, during the latter half of 2008.
South Africa's international trade has slowed considerably in the final quarter of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has stepped in to ease the Monetary Policy in order to provide more room for the South African economy to recover towards the end of 2009 when, hopefully, consumer demand will strengthen. The government's continued increased spending on infrastructure will contribute more to stabilising the economic climate and avert a deepening recession.
At a meeting of the G20 countries in London recently, it was clear that an economic recovery will not only occur because the business cycle trough has been reached, but will mainly come about, if measures that were taken, assist to restore economic competency of the world.
Government will have to keep a watchful eye and act timeously on the nature and speed of the structural adjustments taking place in the world and how it will impact our country nationally, and our province in particular.
North West province economic indicators
According to Stats SA, during 2006, the North West economy grew by 4,3% following a growth rate of 4,9% in 2005. The sector that dominated in terms of contribution to the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of the province remains mining at 25,8% followed by finance, real estate and business services with 13,7%. The government sector stands at 11,3%. Up to 2007 economic growth has been characterised by two dichotomies.
Firstly, growth has been driven by a combination of substantial commodity prices, strong capital inflows and robust domestic consumer demand, and is grounded on antipoverty measures, growing employment, and rising asset prices.
Unfortunately, the effect of this combination was the strengthening of the rand, which made it difficult for exporters outside the commodity sector, and those who compete with imports, to remain competitive. There is a perceived risk of an unbalanced economy, compounded by the uncertainty of trends in commodity prices, capital flows, and a domestic consumption boom.
The least contributor is the secondary industry at 9,5%. There has been a constant decline of the secondary industry in the province for the past few years and only in 2007 was there a slight improvement from a contribution of 9,4% to 9,5%. Given the global scenario, it is possible that the anticipated growth levels will need to be adjusted downwards.
The second imbalance relates to the fact that approximately a third of South African households have not as yet been able to benefit directly from the initial relative economic success, despite the fact that the social grant program has given some impetus to poverty reduction and income redistribution. As long as a significant part of the population is functionally dislocated from the mainstream economy, South Africa's growth potential will remain constrained.
Within this context, government has identified a number of "binding constraints" that must be effectively addressed if the target of a 6% GDP growth rate is to be achieved and sustained, and the two key dichotomies identified above are to be countered. These binding constraints include the volatility and level of the Rand currency, a shortage of relevant skilled labour, amplified by the cost effects on labour of previous apartheid spatial patterns, barriers to entry, limits to competition, limited new investment opportunities, a sub-optimal regulatory environment, the burden on small and medium businesses, and deficiencies in state organisation, capacity and leadership.
Addressing these constraints will entail a series of decisive interventions. These interventions will imply more than a shift in economic policy, and will involve a set of specific initiatives that are designed to achieve government's objectives more effectively.
Prudent Financial Management
Honourable speaker, the department has embraced the requirements for fiscal responsibility and implementation plans are in motion to ensure that all issues raised by the Auditors are fully being implemented.
The procedures to detect irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure are in place and occurrences of such expenditures have been reduced drastically. We have tightened our belts regarding fruitless and wasteful expenditures and will continue to ensure that these expenditures are being monitored regularly without fail. In addition, we have introduced risk assessment workshops to foster a culture of responsibility amongst our Senior Managers. This initiative is in line with the call from the State President Jacob Zuma to deal effectively with the flow of corruption and fraud in the civil service.
Productivity and efficiency
Our Honourable Premier, Mrs Maureen Modiselle said in her State of the Province Address,
"As part of preparing government for the achievements of these goals, we will be starting a process of auditing the functionality of State Owned Entities responsible for Economic Development. Duplications and cross funding of same mandates has in the past limited the opportunity for these Entities to maximize their contribution for the attainment of the provincial goals."
Honourable speaker, we have started with the procurement process of engaging Specialists who will conduct an in-depth study and present viable models for streamlining the roles, functions and structural adjustment required to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our agencies inclusive of the department's Directorates.
I will ensure that this study is being concluded before the end of November 2009. This study will further give advice on how this department will collaborate with Municipalities on their Local Economic Development frameworks.
Trade and industrial development
Honourable speaker, industrial development is a fulcrum of the economy of any developing country or region. In his Budget Speech the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, referred to the "Framework for South Africa's Response to the International Economic Crisis". In his State of the Nation Address, State President Zuma reiterated that the Framework remains the central pillar of our joint efforts to respond to the crisis.
We are in the process of developing our Provincial Industrial Development Implementation Framework in consultation with the National Department of Trade and Industry. The Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone (MIDZ) is currently our anchor project for this mass job creation initiative.
Honourable speaker, key basic infrastructure projects for the Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone (MIDZ) has been completed. Such includes the bulk water supply at a total value of R22,6 million (early 2009); the bulk sewer pipeline at a total value of R 15,3 million; and the bulk Electrical Power Supply, total value R18,7 million, is 70% complete.
It is being anticipated that the Internal Services Project, worth R20 million will be completed by the end of September 2009, and 23 fully serviced industrial sites will be ready for occupation by industrialists.
A review study is currently being conducted to analyse the options of converting the now apparent non-viable Minerals Park building into a Business and Trade Centre. A Business Plan is being developed and is due for presentation to the Department by the end of August 2009.
The IDZ operator permit
A detailed MIDZ Business Plan has been submitted to the National Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the purpose of applying for an IDZ operator permit. We expect the DTI to pronounce on this matter during the third quarter of this financial year. This will enhance the operations of the airport to most optimally benefit the operations of the MIDZ.
Trade and investment promotion
Our efforts to continue attracting investments to the province through Invest North West and promoting export trade continue to intensify. These efforts are, however, hampered by the decline in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows, as a result of the global financial crisis.
We have facilitated investment, through Invest North West to the value of R3,441 billion, which has created approximately 1 132 jobs during the 2008/09 financial year. As can be expected, the bulk of this investment came from the mining sector. As a province, we will not escape a decline in FDI levels in the latter quarters of this year and beyond, until the global and local economy stabilises.
Trade export readiness workshops have been rolled out in some Local Municipalities, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to get as many producers as possible into the export trade system of our country.
During October 2008, we have forged partnership with Productivity SA to co-host the World Productivity Congress at Sun City. This event has boosted our efforts to market our Province as a tourism, business and leisure destination. We also found sound representation at the National Investor Conference hosted by the Western Cape and led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Honourable Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we will be commencing with preparations to host the National Investor Conference during 2011 with DTI, when Invest North West turns 10 years old.
We have identified potential investment initiatives in the three spatial corridors of the province. Amongst these are:
Platinum Spatial Development initiative:
* Facilitation on chrome mining initiatives at Tlhatlaganyane
* Establishment of the Platinum Beneficiation Cluster in Rustenburg in partnership with the Platinum Trust of South Africa
* Continue with the Granite Beneficiation initiation at Bethanie
* Contract farming opportunities in the Moretele area with a focus on olive and soya bean farming
Treasure route spatial development initiatives
* Establishment of an Information and Communications Hub (the North West Provincial Innovation Network)
* Continue supporting the North West Science Park in the Tlokwe Local Municipality of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, which has found prominence nationally
* Continue supporting and finalising the meat processing plant in partnership with a German consortia.
Western frontier spatial development initiatives
* Establishment of a Regional (SADC) Fresh Produce Market in the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality in partnership with the Botswana government
* Continue supporting the Sephaku Cement Project at Itsoseng - a potential investment valued at R3 billion to create about 3 000 jobs. This is being projected to commence before the end of
2009 calendar year
* The walnut and citrus farming project in Zeerust with a potential R70 million investment that will create about 300 jobs.
* Commissioning of the marble beneficiation initiative in Taung with a potential R30 million that will create about 220 jobs
* Finalisation of the stone fruit farming project in Disaneng with a potential R80 million investment that will create about 400 jobs
Honourable speaker, there are also two province-wide initiatives that will be pursued during the 2009/10 financial year which are aimed at cushioning the Provincial economy against the global economic crisis, and these will include:
* Agriculture and Agro-processing initiatives rolled out through contract farming and manufacturing initiatives with land owners whose arable land is under-utilised. This will be done in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Conservation and Rural Development, whose footprint across the province will be invaluable to reach remote parts of the rural North West;
* The establishment of renewable energy initiatives, aimed at taking advantage of the global move away from fossil energy sources to green energy. An attempt to use these initiatives to acquire carbon credits that can be traded to increase the investment sources for the province, will be made with the solicited support of relevant national departments
* vigorously pursuing initiatives aimed at primary manufacturing leveraging on the abundance of industrial parks at our disposal in line with our deliberate agenda of diversifying the provincial economy since the bulk of our manufacturing base was eroded by the last demarcation process.
Second economy interventions
Challenges to Economic Growth and Development
The economic outlook for the next few quarters points to continuing sluggish performance across most sectors of the economy. De-industrialisation is therefore the central challenge we must address. Indeed, our performance will be measured by the extent to which we succeed in preventing the further erosion of the economy's strategic productive capacity in key industries and sectors.
Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) development
Honourable speaker, we are currently busy with two major projects which are aimed at accelerating SMME development. The first is the review of the 1998 provincial SMME Strategy, a process we started in May this year and hope to complete by end of August. The second is the compilation of the database of all SMMEs in the province according to size, sector, products and demography.
Through these two projects we hope to intensify the support and development of the small business sector focusing on the exact problems inhibiting the growth of this sector. The provincial SMME Strategy will assist in accelerating our efforts of increasing the market share of small businesses across sectors, deal with challenges of access to finance, skills development and the development of co-operatives.
We are further keen to strengthen our relations with all institutions supporting SMMEs and where possible it is our desire to create additional ones with a view to increase the network that supply SMMEs. In the course of this year we will be finalising an important partnership with Companies and Intellectual Properties Registration Office (CIPRO). This partnership will result in the decentralisation of registration for co-operatives and Close Corporations. We hope that by the end of this year, there will be fifteen outlets where people can register Close Corporations or Co-operatives. This will encourage more aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and to create more job opportunities in the process.
SMME funding effort
Honourable Speaker, our previously reported partnership with ABSA Bank, of establishing Tsogang Lo Itirele SMMEs financing fund could not be realised as government is not allowed by the National Credit Act (NCA) to grant business loans or to enter into such joint ventures.
The department will now pursue this initiative through the North West Development Corporation (NWDC) which has been accredited in terms of this act, NCA. NWDC has already started negotiations with ABSA Bank with an objective of concluding and implementing the programme before the end of the third quarter of this financial year.
It is the intention of the department to follow all due processes of soliciting approval for the alternative utilisation of the original R25 million capitals of the Tsogang Lo Itirele Fund. It is our plan to support NWDC with a portion thereof for SMME funding scheme, and to purchase industrial machines that will be leased to SMMEs for the manufacturing of stationery and other viable products, with the remainder.
We are currently at an advanced stage of testing the market for various options in the industrial machines industry as well as to consult with the Provincial Treasury for advice and guidance.
Honourable speaker, allow me to briefly give an account of progress registered thus far on the key projects which were reported last year.
NWDC Light Industrial Park Development
The successful completion of the Light Industrial Workshops has yielded the following returns:
* Twenty three (23) out of the 25 workshops are occupied by SMMEs and a total number of 77 permanent job opportunities have been created.
* The construction of the second phase has commenced and a total number of 500 temporary job opportunities have been created for the construction of an additional 25 light industrial workshops. It is estimated that an additional 100 permanent job opportunities will be created.
The NWDC is contemplating the rollout of similar type Light Industrial workshops to other districts such as Bojanala, Dr Ruth Mompati and Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
These industrial workshops are estimated to cost R12,5 million and a total number of 1 000 permanent job opportunities are expected to be created.
NWDC infrastructure refurbishment
During the financial year 2007/08, we funded NWDC to a tune of R10 million for the refurbishment of properties and the following returns were realised:
* created 6447 permanent job opportunities
* R819 million (eight hundred and nineteen million) has been mobilised from Public Sector Investment
* created 242 short term job opportunities
* R693,000 has been mobilised from Private Sector Investment
Honourable speaker, it should be noted that, if we had sufficient funds we would have funded a plan to refurbish the badly vandalised properties amounting to R20 million.
This would have yielded the following value for money:
* create 12 000 permanent job opportunities
* create 8 000 short term job opportunities
* mobilise R16 million worth of Public Sector Investment
* mobilise R14 000 private sector investment
The project is ongoing. Some of the achievements include: assisting manufacturing companies to improve their productivity through staff training, improving supply chain systems, establishment of a business data base, and a completed study on the feasibility of establishing a catalytic converter plant in NW. The findings will be further unpacked by the end of September 2009.
This project is about the establishment of a factory to process grass and produce artifacts and other utensils and grass products. The project is due to start this financial year.
New business managers were appointed to turn around the project. New production systems have been drafted. New machinery has been acquired and old ones refurbished. The draft annual report has been finalised. Setting up of the financial systems and operations management including the review of the business plan with a view of soliciting future investments from both public and private corporate were also completed.
The CSIR delivered the first batch of machineries and equipments on 6 April 2009. The Department of Trade and Industry has funded the refurbishment and transportation of silk processing machineries to Ganyesa to the tune of R2m during 2008 / 2009 financial year. An additional amount of R14 million has been approved by DTI over the MTEF period for the implementation of the Wild Silk Regional project.
Mafikeng Youth Co-operatives Development Centre
The project was commissioned on the 20 March 2009 and is operational. The project has been registered as a Cooperative with a membership of 11 youths.
Naledi Youth Co-operatives Development Centre
Construction of the palisade fencing around the perimeter of the site has been completed. The construction of the building will commence as soon as the current tendering process has been completed.
A German company has completed an evaluation of the project at no cost to government and a report with a Business Plan to revive the project is to be presented to the Department. A meeting has been scheduled for July 2009 with the German company.
Through SEDA Platinum Incubator Programmes 18 students have graduated during
2007/08 fiscal year and six have established their businesses. Currently the programme has enrolled 14 learners.
Bethanie Granite Project
A feasibility study has been concluded and the project will require R40 million investment. The project has been temporarily put on hold pending the development of a supplier cluster.
Research study on the State Of Enterprises in the North West province
The study has been concluded and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is conducting an independent assessment of the final report in order to provide more support and advice. The final report will assist the commissioned review of the Provincial SMME Development strategy.
Research study on the impact of discontinuance of the railway services on small towns of the North West province
The study has been concluded and final recommendations are to be integrated with the review of the LED strategies of Municipalities, in consultation with the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport.
Tourism industry development
Honourable Speaker, the Tourism industry has, over time, been identified as one of the priority sectors that have the potential to contribute to economic growth and job creation.
In his recent speech in the National Assembly, the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Minister Van Schalk Wyk, indicated that unlike other sectors, the tourism industry has shown more resilience towards the current economic meltdown. He however warned that there may be tough times lying ahead as the effect of the meltdown trickles down.
It is indeed a fact that the tourism industry is not immune to the effects of the ongoing economic meltdown. This calls for more vigorous approaches to tourism development to mitigate the effects of this economic crisis. Nationally, tourism contributes 8,5% of the country's GDP. This is predicted to drop by 3, 5% in 2009 by the UNWTO. On the other hand, there has been a realisation in growth of total employment in 2007 to 2009, from 946,300 to 1 million jobs sustained.
The challenge which the industry is facing is that of dealing with geographic spread and length of stay. In 2008, there has been a reported decline of length of stay and provinces visited by one percent and 1,2% respectively. These factors have a direct impact on market share as impacted upon by consumer resilience to spend.
The analysis is that as the North West province, despite the erratic nature of trends in visitor volumes and positive outcomes in terms of revenue generated, the province has lost on its market share, which calls for a strategic intervention to circumvent the challenges lying ahead.
Despite the above scenario, it is also possible that the ongoing economic meltdown can also present opportunities for growth. The department, together with various stakeholders and role players, will during this fiscal year develop implementation strategies of dealing effectively with the current economic challenges.
* ensure that the review and implementation of the Provincial marketing strategy is aligned to those of different Municipalities to ensure a common vision of destination development and promotion for market share increase
* prioritise for the facilitation of product development will be given to those areas that have in the past enjoyed fewer visitations. This will be achieved by continuing to build on the strength of the domestic and VFR marketing initiatives
* roll-out the Service Excellence and Skills Development Initiatives for most service points in the province will greatly assist in the determination of value for money services rendered by the industry
* implement the Tourism Development Framework and Tourism Planning Toolkit that are in place to ensure synergy and integration in our efforts jointly with Municipalities.
Honourable speaker, the following are projects being implemented to create jobs in the Tourism Sector through the North West Parks and Tourism Board with additional support from the national Department of Tourism. These labour intensive projects are mainly situated within the protected areas of the province. While job creation is the primary objective, the project further seeks to up-skill people so that after its completion, people would be possessing skills that they could sell to create a livelihood for themselves.
Honourable speaker, as at 31 March 2009, 566 job opportunities were created. The anticipated job opportunities for the 2009/10 financial year stand at 758.
List of projects and current status:
Mafikeng Hotel School
Renovation: Funding of R1,4 million has created 78 temporary jobs and is due for completion by the end of July 2009.
Highveld National Park
R8 Million funding has created 147 temporary and 2 permanent jobs. This first phase has been completed.
Molemane Eye Nature Reserve
Work is in progress and R6,3 million funding has created 63 temporary jobs.
Cooke's Lake paving
76 Temporary jobs were created with a funding of R1,2 million. The project has been completed.
Mafikeng Game Reserve
54 Temporary jobs were created with a funding of R6,8 million and the project has been completed.
Borakalalo Game Reserve
Funding of R11,2 million has created 50 temporary jobs and is to be completed by October 2009.
Molopo Game Reserve
R8 Million funding has created 48 temporary jobs and has been completed.
Kgaswane Mountain Reserve
11 Temporary jobs were created, the funding was R1 million and the project has been completed.
Barberspan Birds Sanctuary
13 Temporary jobs were created, the project was funded with R1 million and has been completed.
Wolwespruit Nature Reserve
10 Temporary jobs were created, the project was funded with R1 million and has been completed.
Park Infrastructure repairs
R2 million was availed and has created 120 temporary jobs. The project is continuing.
The Hotel Schools Division
Honourable speaker, through our network of Hotel Schools, we have been able to attract more students as compared to the past three years, a number of South Africans are beginning to consider hospitality as a viable profession. This enrolment addresses both the skills based training (Theta Accreditation) and academic training (Council for Higher Education).
It should be noted Honourable Speaker, that the Peermont Hotel Group, through the Mmabatho Palm Resort has partnered with us in as far as hospitality training is concerned. To that end, the Resort has afforded us R80, 000 over the next three years as bursaries for needy but academically gifted students. Once more Hon. Speaker, the Peermont Group is not only absorbing our students for internship and permanent placement but they have identified the need to participate in the education of the African child.
Honourable speaker, may I also indicate that we are on the verge of signing a purchase agreement on the Taung Tusk Hotel. The re-demarcation of our provincial borders slotted the Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School into Gauteng.
Hon. speaker, the purchase of the Taung Tusk Hotel is informed by the need to revive the economy of the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district and also the fact that we are on the verge of "losing" the Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School to Gauteng.
The acquisition of the Taung Tusk Hotel should enable us to bring skills training and development with the hospitality and tourism sector to the region. It is envisaged when fully operational, what is to become the "Taung Hotel School" will enrol 200 students the majority of whom will benefit from a well funded bursary schemes. We intend to retain many of the existing jobs and also create a few more. It is anticipated that the process to acquire the Taung Tusk Hotel will be finalised on or before August 2009.
Business regulation and consumer protection
Honourable speaker, we are very grateful of the strides currently being achieved by the Competition Commission to ensure that the poorest of the poor in the country are not cheated out of their meagre resources by unscrupulous business people. We have seen how the Commission has come down hard on the bread producing industries with heavy fines imposed on acts of price-fixing by these unscrupulous producers.
This past 2008/09 financial year Honourable speaker, the department has been very active and successful at waging war against retailers in the Province who were found not to be complying with prescribed trading rules and regulations. An amount of R2 million was retrieved on behalf of consumers who were ripped off by unscrupulous traders. This was achieved whilst we are struggling to have our Consumer Court being functional. The finalisation of the Consumer Court will be by the end of the third quarter of this fiscal year will improve this situation further.
The department had also conducted business operations cleanups campaigns at all Districts in conjunction with other Regulators from national structures such as ICASA, Home Affairs (Immigrations), Labour, Municipalities (Environmental Health Inspectors) and the South African Police Services. During these campaigns, non-compliant cell-phones were confiscated, hazardous food condemned, and businesses not compliant with labour laws were issued with compliant notices. In the process suspected illegal immigrants were arrested.
From a business point of view and whilst we acknowledge the nightmare of having to control the illegal traders who are just as many, we can proudly announce that there are just about 6 000 licensed liquor outlets of a variety form, operating in the Province with the majority of these licensees being within the 2nd Economy. It is also significant to indicate that the liquor trading environment is one of the highly regulated environments which require sufficient resources in order to succeed in this regard.
Honourable speaker, the impact of alcohol abuse on our welfare system is well documented. It is being estimated that the economic costs of alcohol abuse in South Africa are estimated at a staggering R9 million per annum. One of the objects of the National Liquor Act 59 of 2003 is to reduce the socio-economic and related costs of alcohol abuse.
Honourable speaker, the previous Executive Council had approved the establishment of a Provincial Liquor Agency. We have since deferred this process as we are investigating other alternatives for effective institutional arrangements that would avoid the proliferation of state funded agencies in the province.
Honourable speaker, we are being mandated, through the North West Gambling Board to regulate the gambling industry in the province in order to protect the public and the economy against the over-stimulation of the latent demand for gambling. We are obliged to ensure accurate verification and full collection of gambling levies and taxes for the Province. During the 2008/09 financial year, we surpassed the revenue target of R60,8 million in respect of gambling levies and taxes by collecting R64,3 million for the Provincial Revenue Fund and further growth in this regard cannot be denied. We have further more rolled-out Limited Payout Machines and Bingo operations to empower the marginalised and previously disadvantaged individuals and communities of our province. This initiative is meant to increase job opportunities and achieve meaningful and sustainable participation of the previously disadvantage individuals and communities.
In this respect, Honourable speaker, we cannot underestimate the need to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act and the related Codes of Good Practice. We embraced the challenge posed in terms of this legislation and took a formidable position to transform the gambling industry in the province by introducing gambling specific BBBEE targets to be met by our licensees.
We have imposed licence conditions on our licensees to achieve BBBEE contribution level 2 by the year 2015.
Honourable Speaker, I am happy to report that we have together with the Casino Association of South Africa representing both Sun International (South Africa) and Peermont Global North West operating in our province recently received a positive ruling from the Appeal Court. This ruling supports our position that illegal gambling operations cannot be allowed to exist with impunity in the face of well espoused prohibitions in the North West Gambling Act and the National Gambling Act.
The social ills associated with gambling cannot be ignored. We will continue to strive for a well regulated gambling industry, and roll out on a more robust awareness campaign about responsible gambling.
Implementation of the North West Business Act, No 6 of 1997
Honourable speaker, one of the responsibilities of the department is to consolidate and amend laws regarding the licensing and operation of businesses and to repeal or amend other laws.
Honourable speaker, we are cognisant of the policy imperatives echoed in the State of the Nation Address, in particular, the need to reduce over-regulation of the business environment. We also take note of the fact that if a laissez faire situation is allowed to prevail within the business environment, this may have dire consequences for all of us. Consequently being mindful of the afore-mentioned policy imperatives, the Department will continue to strive for a balanced equation that will ensure amongst others that:
* the trading environment is not overtraded to the detriment of the Provincial economic growth
* the State is able to account on who is involved within the trading environment and on the goods that are on offer to consumers without being over prescriptive
* the Local Authorities are duly empowered to promulgate by-laws that will regulate trading on prescribed grounds.
The department is continuing its consultative process with Local Municipalities and other relevant stakeholders towards ensuring a proper regulation of the business environment. In January 2009, the department had, through a Provincial Gazette No 6581, appointed eight Local Municipalities as Licensing Authorities in terms of Section 2 of this Act of 1997. The process is on-going to monitor the situation and to consider other Municipalities.
2010 Soccer FIFA World Cup contributions
In his State of the nation Address, President Zuma, highlighted the need for us take full advantaged of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Our Country has just concluded a successful Confederations Cup in June, in which the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg was used to host some of the exciting soccer games. Now we must ensure that we are a full part of next year's historic games.
The department has been actively involved in the development of the Liquor Control Policy by the National Liquor Authority. This Policy sets the framework to ensure the control of liquor during the Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
It also provides measures for the regulation of the sale, supply, consumption and distribution of liquor before, during and after soccer matches. The Control Policy scope of application is on all officially declared FIFA Stadia, FIFA Fan Parks and FIFA Public Viewing Areas.
In addition, the Policy and its Regulations provides for the following amongst others:
* The issuing of liquor licenses for consumption of liquor at special events such as, FIFA Stadiums, FIFA Fan Parks as well as other Public Viewing Events and also that these be regulated in terms of the provisions National and the Provincial Liquor Acts.
* It provides for stringent enforcement mechanisms against the transgressors which will be undertaken by SAPS and the Liquor Inspectors.
Human resource development
The filling of vacant posts will be our top priority this fiscal year. 67% of the current vacant posts will be filled by the beginning of October 2009. The outstanding vacant posts require the finalisation of the department's new structure, evaluation and job grading processes.
The anticipated completion period is the end of October 2009. Availability of funds will further inform the implementation phases of the process.
The department has achieved 50% representation of women at Senior Management level. We have however, not made significant strides in terms of representation of people with disabilities and other races. This is a matter which is receiving serious attention. Our advertisements do encourage such people to apply as fewer applications are being received currently.
Challenges to service delivery
Honourable speaker, whilst the economic performance is deteriorating and pressure is mounting on us to stabilise and turn the situation around, we are being faced by a critical challenge of not having sufficient financial resources at our disposal. Inadequate funding is making it difficult for us, inclusive of our agencies, to attract, maintain and retain relevant specialized skills to add more value that will increase our productivity and delivery levels to greater heights. The mandate we are carrying, which includes parks and conservation through the North West Parks and Tourism Board requires more funding for us to develop business incentive schemes that would enhance the turning around of the current negative economic conditions.
Cross Boundry - impact of re-demarcation
Honourable speaker, the Cross Boundaries re-demarcation process has also had a negative impact on our provincial economic condition. We have lost our 5th casino license which was previously allocated to the then Morula Sun Hotel. The Province is losing revenue of almost R1 billion per annum as a result. A meeting has been scheduled with the National Minister of Trade and Industry to pursue discussions which were at an advanced stage as at the end of the last term.
The North West Development Corporation is at the verge of losing vibrant and viable industrial properties which are their current main source of revenue, being currently utilized to fund their operations which we, as a Department are unable to fund due to limited financial resources. This matter is currently under consideration by the National Task Team dealing with the transfer of assets resulting from Cross Boundary movements. Minister Sicelo Shiceka is championing the process.
Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE)
Honourable Speaker, the introduction of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) has ushered in new rays of hope in beneficiation programs. But, to this day, BBBEE seems even more elusive to us in the North West Province, and has not trickled down to our local communities as had been anticipated. This frustrating situation calls for a new approach to our policy development strategies. This is a critical area which is receiving attention at this stage.
Department budget allocations
Honourable Speaker, I now take this opportunity to present our 2009/10 budget allocation. Approved budget for the year is R288,021 million.
In terms of allocation per program the plan is as follows:
Programme Description Budget R'000
Integrated Economic Development Services: 16,439
Trade and Industry Promotion: 196,079
Business Regulation and Governance: 24,479
Economic Planning: 6,340
An amount of R187, 452 million representing 65, 08% of the budget is earmarked for transfer to, and for activities of the following entities:
Public Entity Allocation R'000
North West Parks Board: 120,277
Invest North West: 16,416
Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone Operations: 8 482
Mafikeng Industrial Development Zone- Capital: 30 000
North West Gambling Board: 12 277
North West Development Corporation: Nil
Honourable speaker, it is inevitable that the new structures in government, in particular the Economic Planning Commission in the Presidency and the Economic Development Department will be important in helping us to achieve the greater coherence for our Economic Development initiatives. This is very critical in ensuring that we are strategic, focused and consistent in the implementation of our economic policies. We need to build on the good work that government has been undertaking in the past, while acknowledging shortfalls and lessons learnt from them.
In his budget speech in February this year, the then Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel echoed the words of Ben Okri, the Nigerian writer and poet as follows: "If the things we face are greater and more important than the things we refuse to face, then at least we have begun the re-evaluation of our world. At least we have begun to learn to see and live again. But if we refuse to face any of our awkward and deepest truths, then sooner or later, we are going to have to become deaf and blind. And then, eventually, we are going to have to silence our dreams, and the dreams of others. In other words, we die.
We die in life." (Ben Okri, 1997)
Honourable speaker, the challenges we face are indeed daunting, but they are not greater than the sum of us all. The prospects of a quick economic recovery for the province may be unpredictable, but it is not more important than our goals and objectives. If we refuse to face the reality of a prolonged struggle, we will become deaf to the calls of unity. If we refuse to stand up and fight poverty and unemployment, we will silence our own dreams and the dreams of the poorest of the poor.
Finally, I must echo the words of Che Guevara:
"if we were all capable of uniting to make our blows stronger and infallible and so increase the effectiveness of all kinds of support given to the struggling people - how great and close would that future be!"
Honourable speaker, let me conclude by thanking the Leadership of my Political Home (ANC), nationally and provincially, for having shown confidence in me to lead such an important department. I also thank my family which is my anchor of support. My staff in the department and at our Agencies cannot be omitted for their valuable contributions made and the hard work they have demonstrated thus far. The Board Members of our Agencies have also provided guidance to our Agencies under very trying times, I thank them. I also thank my friends and community members who have always encouraged me to persevere even when the going gets tough. Above all, I thank the Almighty God who continues to provide me with strength, comfort and courage.
Ke a leboga
Province Or State