His Majesty, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini Hlanga lomhlabathi!
Prime Minister of Zulu Monarch: - Prince M.G. Buthelezi;
Former President of the Republic of South Africa: - His Excellency J.G. Zuma;
Chairperson of Provincial House of Traditional and Koisan Leaders: - Inkosi R.S. Shinga;
Speaker of the KZN Legislature: Ms N. Boyce;
Hon Deputy-Speaker of the KZN Legislature: Mr R.T. Mthembu;
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture: - Mr N. Mthethwa;
Former Minister of Health: - Dr Z.L. Mkhize;
Former Premier: - Mr S. Zikalala;
Deputy Minister for Social Development: - Ms H. Bogopane-Zulu;
Deputy Minister of Health: - Dr S. Dhlomo;
KwaZulu Natal Secretary of the African National Congress: - Mr B. Mtolo;
Members of the Provincial Executive Council;
Members of the KZN Legislature;
Members of the National Council of Provinces;
Judge President of the KZN Division: - Judge Poyo-Dlwathi;
Hon. Judge Radebe;
uMgungundlovu District Mayor Cllr. M. Zuma;
uMsunduzi Host Mayor Cllr M. Thebolla;
eThekwini Metro Mayor Cllr T.M. Kaunda;
All other District & Local Mayors Present ;
Provincial Commissioner: - Lt. General Mkhwanazi;
Members of the Diplomatic corps;
Director-General of KZN Province: -Dr N.O. Mkhize- and all HODs;
Secretary of the KZN Legislature: - Ms N. Naidoo;
Members of the Planning Commission Present;
Representatives of Business, Labour & Civil Society;
All Media Houses present;
Ladies and gentlemen.
INTRODUCTION AND SCENE-SETTING
Madame Speaker and Honourable Members,
I stand here honoured to address this august house and the people of KwaZulu-Natal on the 2023 State of the Province Address.
I am deeply humbled by the opportunity that the African National Congress and this Legislature, representing the people of KwaZulu-Natal, have given me to rewrite history and serve my beloved province in this esteemed capacity.
This is yet another notable achievement for the women of this province, all made possible by the African National Congress in pursuit of a South Africa which is truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, equal and prosperous.
We thus stand here acutely conscious that those chosen by fate as pioneers also carry the duty to break ceilings and throw open the gates of inequality, so that more like us can come in and make the circle of leadership bigger and better in service of the people who have entrusted us with the mandate to lead.
CONDOLENCES TO JUDGE PHILLIP LEVINSOHN
Madame Speaker, it is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of retired Judge Phillip Levinsohn who dedicated his life to upholding justice and the rule of law in South Africa.
Judge Levinsohn was a champion of human rights and played an important role in South Africa's transition to democracy and served as a judge in the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court.
We remember his contribution to the fight for the recognition and promotion of women judges to higher positions in the Judiciary. In 2013, Judge Levinsohn was awarded the Order of the Baobab (Silver) by our government.
May His Soul and those of the Departed Rest in Peace
WE HAIL HIS MAJESTY THE KING! BAYEDE WENA WESILO!
Madame Speaker, yesterday history was made as His Majesty King MisuZulu kaZwelithini for the first time since his crowning, officiated at the opening of our Legislature.
In 2022 we were first-hand witnesses to history as His Majesty ascended to the throne through uMkhosi wokungena esiBayeni and the Handing Over of the Certificate of Recognition. His Majesty’s presence here today - accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, Abantwana baseNdlunkulu and Amabutho - continues our province’s time-tested tradition in which our reigning Monarch plays a leading role as we open our Legislature session.
We look forward to the continuation of this great tradition where His Majesty gives wise counsel and serves as a uniting force in our province.
Hlanga Lomhlabathi, we hear your call for a crime summit against the horrific crimes in our province including Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
Nathi sibabaza umhlola ngamahlazo enzeka esizweni, nangalenhlobo yodlame oselubhebhethekile. Sithembisa ukwelula isandla singuHulumeni sibambisane neNdlunkulu ukweseka iMkhosi yesizwe njengokulayela kweSilo, uMlomo ongathethi manga!
CELEBRATING THE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE KWAZULU-NATAL – A KEY COMPONENT OF OUR NATIONAL CHARACTER
Madame Speaker and Hon. Members, in the face of adversity, the history of KwaZulu-Natal must rhyme with hope.
At a time when the national mood is understandably gloomy, depressed by a plethora of challenges, it is possible to miss the rainbow of hope in the distant horizon, and to fall into the temptation of caricaturing life as dull, falling apart and depicting it as being beyond redemption.
In such moments of apprehension, may we regain our perspective and draw courage from the undeniable history of resilience of the people of our province, whose tenacity and fortitude have sustained generations in different epochs of strife and crises.
Our generation must notice the silver lining in the clouds and choose faith over anxiety about the common future we are carving together.
Again, today and tomorrow, we must remain anchored in the oasis of faith so that in time we can reach the pinnacle of our dreams and fulfil our potential.
A BETTER TOMORROW IS NO WISHFUL THINKING
Madame Speaker, our faith for a better tomorrow has been fortified by the KwaZulu-Natal matric class of 2022 which attained the impressive 83 % pass rate. Again, we say Halala Matric Class of 2022 for surpassing all expectation!
We are also energised by the achievements of our Grammy Award winners Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode and Wouter Kellerman. Their success has nourished our hope for a better future and because of their exploits, KwaZulu-Natal stands shoulder high above others in the number of Grammy Awards that have been won by a province.
May we also doff our hats off to the internationally acclaimed actress and daughter of Umsunduzi Municipality, the award-winning Thuso Mbedu for her stellar performance in the 2022 film, Woman King.
In our midst we also have our very own homegrown Dr Thandeka Ngcobo, CEO of Fuze Aviation Academy who is accompanied by graduates from her institution. Fuze Aviation Academy trains disadvantaged youths into pilots, air traffic controllers, flight engineers and cabin attendants.
Siyaziqhenya ngani! Sizishaya isifuba ngani! Your accomplishments confirm that it is possible for a child from a rural area and township, through sheer determination and support, to break barriers and to rise to the top of the world.
Like the great triumphs of our heroes in the arts, academia, aviation, business, politics, science and technology and every sector, we too are inspired to rise from the ashes of the triple tragedies of Covid-19, natural disasters and civil unrest.
Abantu baKwaZulu-Natal badume ngokungalilahli ithemba – ngisho bebhekene nesitha esesabekayo – baba yimbumba basinqobe, wena owabona amabutho eSilo uCetshwayo enqoba impi yamaNgisi eSandlwana. Izingqinamba ziyasihlanganisa kunokusihlukanisa.
STATE OF THE KZN ECONOMY
Madame Speaker, although the domestic economy is experiencing low growth due to a number of factors such as low investment, load-shedding, and persistent external shocks such as the global geo-political factors and low global demand, the provincial economy remains resilient and bouncing back is in the offing.
The KwaZulu-Natal economy witnessed growth in the 3rd quarter of 2022, bouncing back from the doldrums of the 0,4% second quarter contraction, to a 0,9% expansion in the third quarter of 2022.
KwaZulu-Natal unemployment at 30.6% was below the national average of 32.9% in the 3rd quarter of 2022. Unfortunately, however, the province’s expanded unemployment remains one of the highest at 46.4% as more and more people are discouraged in finding work opportunities.
We remain resolute in our economic re-calibration, reconstruction and recovery plan which targets increasing the levels of investment in priority sectors, infrastructure development and export development. There will be localisation of economic value-chains, entrepreneurship development, stabilising energy supply through alternative and renewable energy down to household levels and instituting measures to fast tracking economic empowerment.
A YEAR OF DECISIVE ACTION, RENEWAL AND HOPE TO BUILD A BETTER KWAZULU-NATAL
Madame Speaker, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa captured the mood of the nation on 09 February when delivering the State of the Nation Address and defined South Africa as a country which rises above adversity, capturing and igniting hope from the clutches of despair. No matter the odds, we remain alive to endless possibilities.
Taking these prevailing factors into consideration, we deliver today’s State of the Province Address under the theme: “Taking Decisive Action in the Time of Renewal and Hope as we Rebuild a Better, Prosperous, and Resilient KwaZulu-Natal.” Our theme challenges all of us to take our province back on the road to accelerated recovery and growth in the face of the trials and setbacks of the past three years which diverted us from our June 2019 vision as outlined by the 6th administration.
The trials of the past three years forged us into a stronger province, and we are accelerating the pace of economic development, the creation of jobs, and eliminating poverty and suffering among the people of our province.
This 2023 State of the Province Address sets us on the path to our post-Covid19, post-Floods and post-Unrest season with concrete projects and programmes that will change the fortunes of KwaZulu-Natal.
LISTENING TO THE VOICES OF THE PEOPLE
Madame Speaker, ahead of our State of the Province Address, we called for views from our fellow citizens who shared their sentiments about the state of the province. Among them is Siphamandla Nxumalo from Nongoma who wants mechanisation support for farmers. Glenda from Glenwood says crime and grime has escalated and is driving away residents and garbage is not being collected on time.
Sihle Sithole from Durban is calling for investment in the Green Economy while Zola Sishwili from KwaHlabisa requests the Premier to focus on jobs in rural areas.
A medical doctor from Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital expressed frustration with conditions in our health facilities.
These voices include those who appreciate what the caring, pro-poor government of the ANC has done for them. They include those whose lives were changed by the floods and lived in mass care centres. They celebrated Christmas in their decent accommodation and are following the State of the Province from the dignified residences at Astra Building, O’Flaherty, Ntuzuma, Crystal Valley and King Edward Road here in Scottsville.
Madame Speaker, it is these sentiments, aspirations and lived, day-to-day realities and experiences that inform our State of the Province.
We hear the anger and frustration among our fellow citizens. They want answers on delayed projects, they want answers on jobs, business wants a conducive environment to trade and invest. Civil society is calling for partnerships with government. We are attentive to people with disabilities, farm workers and farm dwellers, the Military Veterans, women and the youth. We get it as your government, and we are committing to taking decisive action to address your concerns.
As we commence the first full year of implementing our Programme of Action, decisive interventions will be taken in the following high priority areas:
Energy security plan for KwaZulu-Natal;
Job opportunities for young people and mass employment creation;
Strengthening the fight against Crime, Fraud and Corruption;
Faster implementation of the Economic Recovery, Reconstruction and Transformation Plan;
Delivering quality basic services and maintenance of infrastructure;
Building a capable and agile state machinery to drive implementation.
Madame Speaker, this address builds on the strategic initiatives implemented by this government in the period 2019 – 2022, which are an important catalyst for our Decisive Action, renewal, rebuilding and resilience programme.
We look to the year 2023 as being more than a year of recovery, but also growth, meaningful development and change in the lives of our fellow citizens. NjengoHulumeni asikwazi ukulila ngomonakalo osiphazamisile nje kuphela, okwethu ukuletha izisombululo ezinkingeni zabantu.
INTERVENTIONS AND DECISIVE ACTIONS FOR 2023 AND BEYOND:
RESOLVING THE ENERGY CIRISIS IN KWAZULU-NATAL
Madame Speaker, President Ramaphosa has declared a state of emergency on the energy crisis. As the province of KwaZulu-Natal, our contribution to the national effort is to take the following immediate and decisive actions:
We are establishing a KZN Energy War Room comprising government and strategic partners to oversee the province’s response to electricity crisis;
By the end of March 2023, KwaZulu-Natal will appoint a panel of energy experts to coordinate and help accelerate the implementation of the KZN Energy Master Plan;
We are accelerating the rollout of rooftop solar panels to households in the province in line with the pronouncement by the Minister of Finance;
Building standards will be reviewed to ensure new houses are fitted with energy saving equipment and that it is standard for RDP Houses to be fitted with solar rooftops;
Mobilising communities towards energy efficient systems, retrofitting LED lights, using solar heaters and other energy saving devices;
Direct that departments devise plans for government buildings to save energy on a sustainable basis and generating their own electricity;
All departments and municipalities to finalise registers of water infrastructure, hospitals, clinics, schools and other key assets that will be exempted from load-shedding. This includes an energy security plan by sector departments for facilities which cannot be exempted from the grid.
Engaging mobile network operators to provide standby power to ensure critical continuous and connectivity during load-shedding;
Developing an approach to coal for energy and exploiting value-chains to revive the economy and create jobs;
Commence with interventions in the use of alternative energy sources including tapping into the Ocean energy, tidal wave, biogas, hydrogen and renewables;
Extend planned electricity connections to 25 000 households through the INEP Grant from DMRE. A budget of R784-million has been made available. This will bring the electrification connection rate in KwaZulu-Natal to 93.89%;
EThekwini Metro is at an advanced stage in implementing their own energy generation capacity with the first phase covering 400 MW and increasing to 2000 MW by 2030.
Madame Speaker, the abundance of sugarcane gives the Province a competitive edge to become a leader in biofuels, especially in ethanol for blended energy solutions.
The province will use the Richards Bay IDZ to establish itself as an energy hub, and among the list of projects that will be established are the following:
Eskom 300 Mw Gas to Power Plant (R97billion)
Mabasa Energy and Fuels (R10billion)
Phakwe RBGP (R34billion)
NFE BGE Gas Supply(R25billion)
BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS
A practical step is to ensure that our province plays a part in energy technology development, energy mix, and battery storage implementation programme. KwaZulu-Natal is thus establishing its first energy storage facility under Eskom’s flagship Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project. This will be based in Elandskop BESS within Msunduzi and Impendle Local Municipalities. It is a partnership between Eskom and Hyosung Heavy Industries and will have the capacity to produce 8MW (Mega Watts), equivalent to 32MWh (Mega Watts per hour) of distributed electricity which is enough to power a small town for four hours.
Tidal Energy- Another innovation involves exploring Tidal Energy by looking at our Indian Ocean as a resource. This option uses tidal turbines to convert 80% of the energy of the tides to electricity which is more effective than wind or solar energy systems;
39. Next week the province will hold a webinar with business and industry experts to commence the implementation of our energy security plan. We aim to emerge with a social compact on resolving the load-shedding crisis in the province.
DECISIVE ACTION - Fighting Crime - Building Safe and Secure Communities
Madame Speaker, in the statistics released by Minister of Police recently, KwaZulu-Natal continues to be listed among the most violent provinces especially for women as murder, rape and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide still rate high. The Inanda, uMlazi police stations and Nyanga in the Western Cape registered the highest counts of murder during this period.
We refuse to have our province defined as the rape and murder capital of South Africa because of the killing of ordinary citizens, artists, Amakhosi and Izinduna with impunity. We refuse to live in an age of wanton criminality or to be under any form of reign of impunity.
Clearly, we need fresh and re-energised approaches to tackling crime and we are proposing drastic interventions which will include the following:
CURBING THE PROLIFERATION OF GUNS
Madame Speaker as part of our response to crime, we have asked the Security Cluster to carry out the following raft of measures:
We call for a review and tighter regulation of the possession of firearms and ammunition, limiting the number of rounds a person can purchase. Those contravening the law must face harsher sentences.
Dealing decisively with unlicensed guns, fake gun shops, and guns which are in the hands of illegitimate firearm owners due to deceased estates.
Implementing plans to remove all illegal guns that are terrorising our communities and are also used in the killing our policemen and women.
We welcome the announcement of more boots on the ground following the passing out parade and the allocation of 1800 Police Officers to KwaZulu-Natal. To win the war, we need to attend to the axis of criminality involving the sophisticated networks of criminals which work with corrupt individuals in the criminal justice system.
We have directed that the Department of Transport revive Operation Shanela to focus on violence and crime on our roads and strengthen the fight against crime.
The Province will progressively invest in technology and artificial intelligence to deal with crime. This will include the wide installation of CCTV cameras and microchips to end stock theft and a strategy to deal with illegal liquor trading. We will mobilise business to sponsor cameras and other technologies as part of their contribution in this fight. The province is deploying drones in policing to increase safety and ease data collection;
Our Executive Council has approved the establishment of a new Community Safety Intervention Unit focusing on the safety of Amakhosi and Izinduna. The MEC responsible will expand more during the budget votes;
We will strengthen the role of community in the fight against crime by launching street committees which will work closely with the SAPS and Community Policing Forums.
We will commence educational projects such as positively messaged TV and Radio dramas, Workshops, Camps to drum the message that that crime does not pay, and criminals should not be idolised;
Each department in the province will contribute at least R10 million towards the fight against crime and Provincial Entities will do the same.
We are finalising a Memorandum of Agreement with SANRAL and Municipalities to ensure that their camera systems are synergised for maximum impact. The MOA will facilitate integrated control rooms, sharing of information and response plans.
We will pilot smart policing hotspot areas in the province and increase Gender Based Violence Free Zones.
We will use our own resources prioritised within our budget to ramp up our offensive against crime. This will include boosting the police fleet and deploying technology and working even closely with the private sector.
We will engage National Government for greater powers and involvement as a province - and just in case we are misunderstood, this is not an argument for the backward idea of federalism but an indicator of the urgency of the task at hand.
Consider returning retired detectives to deal with cold cases as it is clear criminals continue to do crime because they are not being caught. This will release detectives to focus their full attention on immediate cases including Gender-Based Violence and Femicide crimes;
Intensify raids in search of guns and drugs in taxi ranks, residential areas, hostels, taverns and similar spots;
To protect vulnerable women and girls, we call on partnerships with the private sector to provide panic buttons linked to police stations. In time, this will be extended to ordinary citizens to curb crime and we invite the private sector to join us in this initiative to build safer communities;
We are proposing that volunteers be recruited to serve at customer service centres in police stations. This will release officers and detectives to carry out the actual work of solving crime and conducting visible policing.
We will explore with the SAPS the use of unemployed graduates in our databases and get LLB graduates in an internship programme to strengthen policing efforts;
We must discuss as a nation the use of DNA for profiling, face recognition technology, biometric readings and others technologies. We propose that every man and woman between 15 and 65 submit themselves for DNA profiling which will be used and accessed by the SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority for crime investigations and prosecution.
GBVF- ENDING THE TRAGEDY OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND FEMICIDE IN OUR LIFE TIME
Madame Speaker, violence against women and girls is not only a tragedy but a major setback to the gains of our democracy. I wish at this point to extend heartfelt condolences to the latest victims of gender-based violence and femicide. Among them is the young girl of seven years old Emihle Nyawose from eMzumbe who was sexually abused and brutally murdered. For the sake of Emihle and many other victims of GBVF, it is time that we go beyond just condemnation of these incidents but get into action.
Government has already approved a five-year plan to tackle Gender Based Violence and Femicide. This plan has been institutionalised across spheres of government. The Provincial gender machinery has as its priority – creating a gender-based Violence and Femicide free society.
We are strengthening partnerships with stakeholder and other NGOs like KZN Network which is represented here and led by Ms Cookie Adams. Many civil society formations are actively involved through the rapid response teams.
We are forging partnerships in the establishment, training and programmatization of Ward-based GBVF Rapid Response Teams integrated into War Rooms (starting with GBVF Hotspots).
We are coordinating the refurbishment of shelters, 50 Victims Friendly Rooms, developing Gender Based Violence and Femicide App with a panic button and enrol unemployed graduates to be placed in community organizations, driving GBFV programmes through R10-million funding from the Gaming and Betting Board.
War on drugs
Drugs and alcohol abuse are central to the rise in levels of criminality. The Department of Social Development will lead the implementation of the Provincial Drug Master Plan. We have directed our cities and towns to deal decisively with crime and drugs and the province is building two rehabilitation centres this year;
Municipalities are directed to urgently demolish buildings with no owners or take them over if no rates are being paid.
Tackling fraud, maladministration and Corruption and Fighting Corruption
Madame Speaker, the effort to root out corruption at all levels of government continues. The “I do Right” campaign warns stakeholders not to work with officials involved in corrupt activities like collusion, price-fixing and making the state pay more for services and products.
Freezing and Recovery of Money and Assets linked to Crime
Madame Speaker, from 2019 to date, the value of freezing orders, recovery of money and assets has increased to R397million with the most high-value cases being dealt with by the SIU through the Special Tribunal. We are products of revolutionaries amongst them Mama Winnie and Tata Nelson Mandela who at the most difficult moments made the following statement, and I quote, “The time comes in the life of any nation when there remains only two choices, submit or fight”.
As Madiba commanded, that time has now come for KwaZulu-Natal and “We shall not submit, and we have no choice but to hit back (at criminals) by all means in our power”. In 2023 we are united in taking the battle to criminals and with the above decisive actions and interventions, we are determined to win this war.
DECISIVE ACTION – GROWING THE ECONOMY AND ATTRACTING NEW INVESTMENTS IN 2023 AND BEYOND
Madame Speaker and Hon. Members, one of the most important responses to criminality is to create economic opportunity and to intensify our drive against unemployment, poverty and inequality. Given the importance of both domestic and foreign investment in driving growth and job creation in the province, our entities will this year focus on attracting more strategic investments to the province.
KZN Maritime University
We are capitalising on the Province’s position as a maritime gateway and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, has recently concluded a feasibility study on a proposed Maritime University.
The institution will address the current and future needs of the maritime industry. The feasibility proposes that the KZN Maritime University be established in the Ugu District. Engagements with potential funders are currently under way and future progress on the establishment of the University will be provided by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
The Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs has tasked the Moses Kotane Institute with investigating the establishment of a KwaZulu-Natal Wealth Fund (KWF) to be operational during the 2023 financial year. The Revenue made from the fund will provide support to the province’s expenditure, especially on infrastructural needs and enhance growth and development in light of the shrinking provincial fiscus.
DECISIVE ACTION – Development of the Cannabis Industry
As announced by the President during the State of the Nation Address, KwaZulu-Natal will commence with the implementation of the Cannabis Master Plan. Four districts have been identified for cannabis production and these are uThukela, uMzinyathi, uMgungundlovu and Harry Gwala. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has set aside R10 million for support to cannabis famers. The focus will be on infrastructure and production input. The MEC will elaborate further in due course.
DECISIVE ACTION – Investment Attraction
In 2023/24 Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) plans to attract greenfield investments totalling R8,3 billion which will create 3182 jobs, while facilitating brownfield investments of R611.3 million which will help retain 6 323 jobs. TIKZN will generate a further R2.5 billion from foreign and domestic investors, generating 3500 jobs. This performance is partly a result of high-value projects like the Cato Ridge Logistics Hub and Tinley Manor ClubMed. Investec Property plans to invest more than R6bn to redevelop the old Corobrik site north of Durban into a logistics and distribution which will create 16 000 jobs.
DUBE TRADEPORT SEZ
The Dube Trade Port Corporation (DTPC) will create 700 new permanent jobs and 1023 temporary construction jobs during the 2023/24 through the attraction of private sector investment and supporting the expansion existing tenants on-site, as well as DTPC’s own construction activities in developing the Dube TradePort. TradeZone 2 has now been completed and has already attracted investors for the following projects:
R57 million Futurelife food processing facility;
R75 million LM Diapers expansion of personal care manufacturing plant;
R93 million Synergy Blenders processing plant;
AgriZone 2 will be ready this year resulting in an additional 30ha of serviced land being available for agriculture or agri-processing activities.
MARA PHONES UPDATE
Mara Phones ran into financial problems owing to Covid-19 lockdown when there was no trading and operation. The business received a lease of life when Lebashe, the owner of SowetanLIVE and TimesLIVE came on board. More announcements will be made in due course.
With regards to Tongaat Hulett, we would like to see the business rescue process concluded as soon as possibl for the company to come back to operation. There are numerous support businesses that rely on the sugar industry.
SA’s largest crude oil refinery, SAPREF put operations on hold for an indefinite period while a decision is being made about the future of the plant. We are facilitating a meeting with the shareholders of DMRE, SAPREF, Shell and BP, in order to come to some conclusion on the plan to resuscitate or explore options on what is required to bring the facility back to operations as per our previous commitments.
NEWCASTLE AND LADYSMITH SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES
Madam Speaker, the province remains committed to the establishment of a leather and textile Special Economic Zones in the Newcastle and Ladysmith corridor. The two will add to the two provincial Special Economic Zones (SEZ) of Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay IDZ and will create 4500 employment opportunities.
Furthermore, infrastructure development at provincial industrial estates such as Madadeni, Isithebe and Ezakheni alone created 1 578 job opportunities during last year with a further 2 660 envisaged in 2023. In addition to the above, KwaZulu-Natal also attracted new investments of R5.5 billion in various sectors which created 8 875 jobs during the year.
Madame Speaker, this demonstrates the true potential of Industrial zones in easing unemployment and stimulating runaway growth and development.
KZN LOGISTICS HUB: A DECISIVE ACTION TO GROW AND TRANSFORM KZN ECONOMY
The Logistics Hub is an ambitious programme spearheaded by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to expand, refocus and streamline the functioning of the Port of Durban and Richards Bay. The KwaZulu-Natal Logistics Hub has moved into the next phase in seeking to position the Port of Durban as an international container hub and premier automotive port. This will increase port capacity while expanding the Port of Richards Bay dry bulk and developing a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal.
This programme is expected to attract investment of R140 billion into the two ports over the next ten years. In November last year, TNPA concluded a 25-year concession agreement with VOPAK SA Developments PTY Ltd, to develop, construct, operate and maintain a liquid bulk terminal at the Port of Richards Bay, triggering a R1bn investment which will create an estimated 950 direct and indirect employment opportunities.
In order to establish the Port of Richards Bay as a liquid natural gas importation site, a request for proposals (RFP) has been issued with the aim to appoint an operator by August 2023. This project will increase infrastructure capacity for the handling of strategic commodities in the energy sector. It is expected to create more than 1000 jobs and will, critically, enable 3000MW of additional electricity supply to the national grid in line with the Integrated Resource Plan.
DECISIVE ACTION- Solving Youth Unemployment
Madame Speaker, youth unemployment remains one of the greatest challenges facing our democracy. Repurposing of the KZN Youth Fund is our response to this challenge and in April we will disperse R70million from the Youth Empowerment Fund to applicants who meet the requirements.
For the 2023/24 financial year, we have repurposed the Youth Fund and set aside R100million to benefit more young people in sectors that create jobs as opposed to businesses that employ only a few people. The application window for this year will be announced shortly.
Among the interventions we will be focussing on, is the partnership with Sumitomo/Dunlop to roll out smart centres and cooperatives in townships and rural areas. These cooperatives will be fully owned by young people and will promote local economic growth in the tyre industry.
We are repositioning all our employment programmes to benefit young people and those over 35years and more economic models will be announced by departments during Budget votes. The Executive Council resolved that each department except for the frontline services departments must reprioritize within their budgets an amount of R10million to contribute towards job creation through an intensified Expanded Public Works Programme to benefit youth, women and people with disabilities.
ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT- Ithala Development Finance Corporation
Madam Speaker, ITHALA Development Finance Corporation distributed R146-million funding to 293 SMMEs and co-operatives, creating 1 297 employment opportunities for the period up to 31 December 2022. The inaugural window of Operation Vula Fund saw 1016 applications worth R339.2 million being approved for funding in various priority sectors of the economy.
In 2023/24, IDFC plans to distribute business funding of approximately R214 million and facilitate the creation of 2000 job opportunities. It further intends to support Rural and Township based SMMEs and Cooperatives in line with the Investment Policy on Informal and Rural Township Economy.
Working with EDTEA and Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), we will support the implementation of the Black Industrialist Program through the provision of rental space and business funding to viable black businesspeople. Ithala is also supporting the launch the following projects in townships and rural areas:
R40 million plywood manufacturing plant close to KwaNongoma.
R100 million logistics hub in Estcourt.
R25 million fuel depot in Mnambithi.
35 million roofing material manufacturing plant in eThekwini.
The total number of jobs that will be created by the above projects are estimated to be 1350.
80 million Gold Mine in Phongola.
80 million Aluminium Fabrication in Richards Bay.
Approximately R130 million has been budgeted toward the properties capex program to conduct reroofing and refurbishments across the properties portfolio which will in turn create approximately 520 construction jobs in the process
BLACK INDUSTRIALIST PROGRAMME
In 2022/23, 35 KZN Black Industrialists have been assisted to access an estimated R700Million of the DTIC Grant Fund with 4000 jobs created. Related to that, the province through TIKZN, attracted R150million investment into the manufacturing of Steel Drums with a projection of 100 employment opportunities being created.
Over the MTEF period, the KZNGBB undertakes to facilitate the creation of 2250 jobs in the Gaming and Betting industry in order to address unemployment. In addition, the entity will provide a 45% Targeted procurement spend towards businesses/entrepreneurs from townships and rural areas. Over 150 women, youth and people with disabilities through economic opportunities within gambling industry will be given opportunities.
DECISIVE ACTION – Mass employment creation
The province has established a Jobs War Room which to date has facilitated over 500 000 job opportunities combined through the EPWP programme across sectors in KwaZulu-Natal.
The value of major infrastructure investments in the province are at R129 billion and jobs created are 389000. In the medium term, major private sector investments toward job creation will be R8,9-billion and 1000 jobs will be created.
Phase I, II and III of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative since its commencement has delivered 73 566 job opportunities. In 2023, Phase IV of this programme will yield 58 500 job opportunities.
More than 10 000 job opportunities will be created this year throughout the province in housing projects and 1000 youths will be trained as artisans in bricklaying, carpentry and plumbing.
DECISIVE ACTION - IMPROVING ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION
Throughout the province, water challenges are reflected every day in women, children and some men standing by the roadside waiting for a truck to deliver what is a vital resource. Our province is working towards improving universal water access. In KwaZulu-Natal as at December 2022, we stood at 88% in the provision of water.
We wish to give an update on the implementation of the catalytic projects that will improve our water situation in the province:
The South Coast Phase 2B - South Coast Pipeline Phase 2: Kelso to Umdoni. Completion is scheduled for Sept 2023;
Maphumulo Plant Upgrade - Project is due to start in March 2023;
uMshwathi Bulk Water Supply phase 4, 5,6 are in progress and all contracts will be finalised in June and October 2023;
Lower uMkomazi Bulk Water Supply Scheme. Design of pipeline and reservoir to start in March 2023. The project will augment water supply to Ugu District Municipality;
The Raising Hazelmere Dam Wall as announced by the President will be completed in March 2023;
Durban Height and Molweni Aqueduct 1 was commissioned in December 2022. Aqueduct 2 to be completed in June 2023;
After years of struggle and protests, the licence to extract water in Jozini Dam has been granted. We are fast-tracking more water licences for KwaZulu-Natal to tap in more dams.
The province has allocated the following amounts to districts in order to improve the water availability factor for households and businesses:
Umzinyathi- R7.5-million for the installation of boreholes in Endumeni, uMvoti, Nquthu and Msinga;
Mkhanyakude - R15-million for the installation of 9 boreholes at Big 5 Hlabisa Municipality. Amajuba - R5.1m for the completion of reticulation pipelines, fittings, water meter chambers, valves and house connections;
Harry Gwala- R30-million for 28 solar-driven boreholes with elevated tank stands and taps, 21 spring water protection and the Franklin Water Upgrade Abstraction Works in Buhlebezwe, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Greater Kokstad & Mzimkhulu municipalities;
Ugu - R15.3million for St Helen’s Rock Water Abstraction Pump System Replacement, Refurbishment and Repairs and R20-million for the Upgrade of Umthamvuna Raw Water Pump Station Electrical Supply & refurbishment/replacement of mechanical equipment. This will serve zones from Southbroom to Port Edward, and further inland to Izingolweni, KwaXolo, KwaNzimakwe, Shombamdlanzi, Shoben/Mbeni;
A further R6,6m for purchase of 2 Water Tankers, the Umthamvuna raw water pump station replacement and refurbishment of mechanical and electrical infrastructure;
Umgungundlovu - R10-million for borehole projects in Umshwathi, Impendle and Mpofana;
Ilembe - R13-million for Sonkombo water supply scheme and R3-million for boreholes in Ndwedwe.
uMhlathuze water has been appointed as an implementing agent to install boreholes across all four Local Municipalities in the Umkhanyakude District.
DECISIVE ACTION - ENTERING THE PROVINCE INTO THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Madame Speaker, in 2022 the province launched the SMART KZN project involving the roll-out of digital empowerment programs, capacity development, entrepreneurship and data skills. We will fast-track the rollout of Broadband and Connectivity in KwaZulu- Natal. KZN Broadband Phase 1 will cover 1150 sites, the SA Connect Phase 2, 3000 sites and telecommunication companies’ Social Obligation will include 8890 sites bringing the total to 13 040 sites.
The province is rolling out Wi-Fi hotspots and Digi-centres in townships and rural centres such as libraries, schools, health youth zones and community service centres. By the end of March 2023, the Richmond and Ndwedwe digital centres will be finalised, together with the Harry Gwala District TechnoHub.
For the first time in KwaZulu-Natal, we will pilot the online registration system. The pilots will be done in two districts of uMgungundlovu and eThekwini. We are serious about launching our province into the 4th industrial revolution.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has become the first government entity in KZN to obtain its Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Operations Certificate (ROC) from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) last year. This technology enables the organisation to support scientific research, law enforcement, ecotourism marketing and infrastructure inspections, including Search and Rescue Operations.
DIGITAL SKILLS HUB
To date, 75 youths have received training on mechatronics repair, 25 were trained in big data analytics. The province is converting a school into 4IR skills development centre where 800 young people have been trained on robotics, Internet of Things and drones. To enable access opportunity to these skills of the future we will be setting up digital skills labs in each district.
The province will host the first e-Sporting Olympic this year.
Recently, the province launched a pilot training academy that will introduce drone training and licensing as we move towards the Smart Province.
The Province is working with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and its entities is extending services in the Harry Gwala and Ugu districts through the Broadband Access Funds under the Presidential Employment Stimulus.
In addition, National Treasury has approved funds fort the roll-out of digital infrastructure in the following districts over the next 2 years, starting from 2023 which are Amajuba, iLembe, uMkhanyakude, Zululand, King Cetshwayo, uMgungundlovu and uMzinyathi.
DECISIVE ACTION – infrastructure rehabilitation, maintenance and construction
Madame Speaker, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport is implementing flood repairs using its own reprioritised budget of R2.91 billion. The department has further received an allocation of about R580 million which will also go towards flood damages from National Government.
Potholes on our roads have dramatically increased and pose a danger to lives and motorists. They increase the cost of traveling and subject citizens to regular tyre bursts, delays in reaching work places and damage to vehicles. We want to resolve this problem once and for all. We are targeting through the Department of Transport to set aside R2,5 billion to fix this problem through our pothole patching and road rehabilitation programme.
The province has a 34 200km declared road network including both blacktop and gravel roads and as a direct response to the challenge of potholes and aging infrastructure over the next three-years, government is going to prioritize the maintenance of infrastructure.
The following identified road network is being rehabilitated back to life starting with major projects, such as:
P389 which is 8 kilometres at the value of R33 million;
P189 which is 6 kilometres at the value of R49 million;
P374 which is 13 kilometres at the value of R61 million;
P395 which is 25 kilometres at the value of R702 million;
P577 which 3.38 kilometres at the value of R69 million; and,
P164 which is 16 kilometres at the value of R224 million.
PROGRESS ON CATALYCTIC INFRASTRUCTURE
The N2/N3 national road upgrade programme is progressing well and is estimated to produce over 15,000 jobs over the duration of the construction. It is estimated that more than R50 billion will be spent on the upgrade programme over a period of 8 years.
The R5,3 billion N2 EB Cloete Interchange will commence construction in the first quarter of 2023.
Through the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) the following corridors have been rehabilitated and services have resumed:
Durban – Umbongintwini: the service was extended progressively from Merebank to Ezimbokodweni.
Durban – Umlazi to KwaMnyandu and KwaMnyandu to Durban – Durban to KwaMashu and Dalbridge.
Other corridors targeted for service recovery during the 2023/24 financial year are Crossmoor, Pinetown and South Coast lines.
A total of 1453 jobs were created due to flood repairs. SMMEs building services, building material supplies, transport services, plant hire, mobile toilet hire and electrical works have and will continue to benefit from the projects.
CURBING ROAD CARNAGE
Madame Speaker, the dichotomy of our province is that due to human error, even though our road infrastructure is ranked the best, our roads are among the deadliest on the continent. The recent Phongola and the unforgettable Fields Hill accidents are still etched in our memories. To reduce the road carnage, we support the call for a total ban on the use of alcohol while driving. We want the laws to be reviewed such that there is a zero alcohol usage when driving. Alcohol is a common factor in road fatalities and it is time for decisive action.
We must enforce the regulations prohibiting the operation of heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks in areas not demarcated for such vehicles. The laws must be enforced and vehicles be impounded.
. Municipal Officers must get more involved in fighting crime and complement the work of the SAPS. Municipal Police should not just focus on Traffic enforcement. Their duty is community safety beyond traffic law management. Their primary duty is also to detect, prevent and curb crime.
As part of our smart policing programme, we will investigate the possibility of the use of body cameras when law enforcement officers are on duty. This will improve safety of law enforcement officers and communities alike..
The Department is recruiting additional capacity to ensure visible traffic law enforcement. Kusazoshuba kwizephulamthetho!
DECISIVE ACTION – Stimulating townships and Rural economies
Madame Speaker, a comprehensive Strategy on Rural and Township Economies (TRERS) has been developed to ensure long money circulation in townships and rural areas and to commit government to set aside specific Township/Rural Budgets. The TRERS was approved by the Executive Council in April 2022 and is currently being rolled out to all the Districts Municipalities.
Procurement must reflect a gender bias in line with policy to develop small business in tourism. Government will henceforth hold workshops, conferences and major local and international events in townships and rural areas.
DECISIVE ACTION- EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
111.Madame Speaker, in KwaZulu-Natal we have achieved the goal of bringing universal access to education and the doors of learning have been opened for all. Our focus now is on improving the quality of education and preparing learners for the future world of work and industries where no one is left behind.
112. The Coding and Robotics curriculum is being implemented in 26 out of the targeted 33 schools at foundation phase and at 211 schools for the Intermediate Phase (Grade 7).
At least 95% of children have access to Grade R in public schools which when combined with Grade R learners accessing Independent Schools, takes the total ECD access in the province to 97%.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 402 schools (73 933 Learners) are benefitting from the Learner Transportation Programme, while 2 336 436 Learners are benefitting from the National School Nutrition Programme.
The Province recorded a 6.2% improvement in the matric results and the province has risen from 6th to third in the country.
The province has eradicated mud schools and now target the provision of adequate clean water and sanitation as part of programmes towards “zero schools with pit latrines and bucket systems”. Children with special needs are prioritized and school safety for learners and educators is continuously improved.
The province is auditing bridges required for learners to access school during the rainy season in partnership with Department of Transport and Department of Public Works. The Department of Education plans to build 12 new schools in 2023 which includes a Maritime School of Excellence and an ICT focus school in Amajuba District. We are steadily increasing the number of paperless schools such as seen at Mandla Mthethwa School of Excellence and Anton Lembede School of Innovation and Technology.
With the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology the Province aims to convert non-viable schools into learning and training centres or community colleges for artisanal and small business skills.
DECISIVE ACTION – Building a Healthy Society
Madame Speaker, we appreciate progress towards the implementation of the National Health Insurance which will universalise access. No person should be denied access to medical assistance just because they do not have medical aid.
This year, the Department of Health will build 11 new clinics and re-purpose 4 district hospital into regional hospitals. The Department of Health will build a new modern hospital in the northern part of the province. Land has already been handed over for the construction work to commence. The modern state-of-the art Dr Pixley kaSeme Hospital is now operational. This is an achievement and an important success story for our province.
We celebrate that our province was recently declared as malaria free zone. We will not be complacent, but we will continue to implement our Malaria Elimination plan.
A notable and worrying trend is that of emerging lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease and lung cancer, to mention but a few.
These diseases are caused by among other factors, prolonged exposure to bad habits such an unhealthy diet, smoking, and a lack of physical activity.
The rise in the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, particularly syphilis is also worrying and the upsurge in severe acute malnutrition, which has risen from 1.2 per 1000 patients to 1.6 per 1000 patients.
We call upon all the people of KwaZulu-Natal to embrace an ethos of health promotion, disease prevention, and regular health screening and testing.
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of healthcare access, we will add more healthcare facilities to our ground-breaking e-Health programme.
The new e-Health system will reduce patient waiting times and address the challenge of missing and damaged patient files and lower medico-legal claims. Some 120 students have been recruited to commence the digitisation of the internally developed E-Health System in the province and they start in April.
MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A HOSPITAL:
In 2023 and beyond, we will be further strengthening the “Make Me Look Like A Hospital” programme, which measures hospitals on patient waiting times, infection Prevention and Control, staff attitudes, professionalism, availability of medicines, improved complaints management system, and staff and patients’ safety.
In line with this priority, 28 poorly performing hospitals will receive attention.
DECISIVE ACTION -Social Relief of Distress (SRD)
Madame Speaker, Social Relief of Distress (SRD) continues to play a crucial role and has cushioned vulnerable individuals and households from the impact of the COVID-19, the civil unrest of July 2021, as well as the April/May 2022 flood disasters. A total of 53 298 families and 84 134 individuals benefitted from SRD, and we are pleased the President has extended the interventions.
SUPPORT TO NGOs and NPOs
Madame Speaker, in implementing our community development programmes, the province works with NGOs and NPOs as our strategic partners. Through the Department of Social Development, grant funding to the tune of R673.454 million was allocated to NGOs and NPOs. In 2023 we have set aside R799.466 million.
DECISIVE ACTION – BUILDING AN ETHICAL STATE CAPACITY TO IMPLEMENT FASTER
Madame Speaker, the success of all these interventions and actions detailed in this State of the Province Address, depends on the discipline and culture of execution that must be a way of life in our public institutions. To re-instill this waning culture, we are tightening the screws on performance monitoring and evaluation.
We will enhance our monitoring and evaluation capacity. We will be getting statisticians and data analyst to work with our Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in order to give us credible data on the impact of our programmes. We will motivate and reward the many committed and hardworking public servants. We will vigorously implement consequence management on underperformance and wrongdoing.
The lifestyle audits and vetting of Supply Chain and Senior Management Staff will be finalized in 2023. We will implement compulsory capacity building programmes focusing on the areas that were identified in the skills audit exercise that was done recently in respect of the management cadre.
Through the skills audit we have been able to snuff-out fraudsters who faked qualifications. One official was caught and taken through a disciplinary hearing and eventually expelled in the Office of the Premier. He has since been also arrested by the Hawks after the Office of the Premier opened a case against the individual.
This year, we will also finalize the skills audit exercise in respect of lower levels. We will also conduct a study on the productivity of employees in the public service, starting with the senior management cadre.
All employees employed by the provincial government must be fully productive and gainfully employed. We will implement the automated human resource systems. Part of this includes an e-recruitment system. This will shorten the amount of time for the filling of posts. Other interventions will include skilling and re-skilling to respond to current demands.
We will work to reposition the public service training academy to develop a curriculum which talks to the emerging skills.
We have put together a team led by the Office of the Premier which will work on reduction of disciplinary cases, especially prioritizing cases where officials have been suspended for a long period. The team will develop a data base, detect and prevent people who are found guilty in departments, and resign only to resurface in another department or municipality.
RATIONALISATION OF ENTITIES
We will conclude the rationalisation of entities to ensure that they focus on growing the KwaZulu-Natal economy. Decisive action will be taken in resolving inefficiencies to prevent our entities from being a playground for non-performing officials and rogue elements.
DECISIVE ACTION – Turning around Local Government
Madame Speaker, local government is the most important sphere of government because of its close proximity to the people. For government to effectively deliver services, local government must function optimally. There are areas of progress, but we now face some challenges.
The current financial allocation to municipalities in support of their mandate to deliver quality services in the 2022/23 financial year is as follows:
MIG – R3,6 billion for 2022/2023 and R11,3- billion over the MTEF period;
INEP – R480 million for 2022/2023 and R1,4-billion over the MTEF period;
RBIG – R228 million for 2022/2023 and R1-billion over the MTEF period;
WSIG – R940 million for 2022/2023 and R3- billion over the MTEF period.
Based on the latest available reports, KwaZulu-Natal Municipalities have spent only 53,75% of their MIG allocation, 40,4% of WSIG and 30,6% of RBIG. This expenditure performance is below projections and implies that infrastructure grant expenditure as a whole needs to improve.
Reasons for poor performance include late confirmation of projects, delays in planning and registration by municipalities, delays in procurement, delays attributed to Business Forums and high staff turnover in municipalities. This leads to the Province running the risk of having grant funding recalled.
This is having an adverse effect on communities needing services. Inefficiency unfairly penalises disadvantaged communities.
Going forward, COGTA will be providing support to the municipalities to prevent funds being taken back when people need basic services.
The instability that we see especially in hung municipalities is defocusing councillors. We plead with the leadership of our local government to understand that election outcomes are the will of the people. The people have decided that you must work together.
We are dealing with debts owed to municipalities. Provincial Treasury has been advised to review the baseline budget of departments to include upfront rate payment and for services.
We appreciate the improvement in Audit outcomes and direct COGTA to give more hands-on support to prevent regression.
OPERATION PAY ON TIME
The province of KwaZulu-Natal gave birth to the idea of Operation Pay-On-Time. We have a dedicated team that daily manages Operation Pay-on-Time to ensure service providers are paid on time. While 93% of Departments are paying suppliers within the prescribed 30 days as at the last reporting period of December 2022, payment must be based on receipt of a valid invoice for services rendered with value for money.
DECISIVE ACTION – Operation Clean Audit
In 2022, at least 8 departments received clean audits which was an improvement from 5 in the previous year. Furthermore, 05 departments received unqualified audit opinions and there was a reduction in the number of qualified audits. We want no regression. Forwards ever, Backwards Never!
DECISIVE ACTION - New Smart Coastal City
Madame Speaker, as announced by the President during SONA last year, we are on course to create a new post-apartheid African Smart City. Involving the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, two of our districts of Ugu and Harry Gwala are critical players in this historic development. With OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo Municipalities in the Eastern Cape, this project is an exercise in co-ordination, planning and consultation between the 3 spheres of government working with civil society and traditional leadership playing a central role over the past year.
All three spheres of government have agreed to proclaim the project as a Regional SDF zone with the principles of Africanness, Smartness, Integration and Inclusion in mind. Port Shepstone and the Greater Kokstad have started to explore this approach to improve service delivery and to enable those areas to act as catalytic growth nodes in the wider region.
DECISIVE ACTION - Transformed and Sustainable Human Settlements Madame Speaker, the Department of Human Settlements remains seized with the realization of the ANC Governing priority objectives of delivering quality and dignified houses to citizens. To us a house is not only a brick and mortar but a capital and life-time asset.
In 2022, the Department registered the following successes among many:
500 Community Residential Units (CRU) were built and delivered;
6,522 housing units built and delivered through the rural subsidy;
7 001 Breaking New Ground (BNG) units were built and delivered;
3 326 serviced sites were delivered;
332 households received subsidies through the Finance Link Individual Subsidy Programme.
Madam Speaker, in 2023, the Department will be actively involved with the following High Impact Catalytic Projects.
With regards to human settlements, the Conurbia Integrated Residential Development Project in eThekwini Municipality with 28,000 houses in Phase 1 already, has 2,662 units completed and 1,946 transfers effected to date. Construction for Phase 2 commenced in June 2022.
The construction of 232 Gap Market units is anticipated to commence in the first quarter of 2023. Other projects include the following:
eThekwini Inner City: (Social/Rental/GAP housing)
eThekwini: KwaMashu Bridge City Urban Hub:
eThekwini: uMlazi Urban Regeneration:
eThekwini Amaoti Greater Housing Project:
Amajuba: Newcastle: Johnston Blaaubosch Cavan (JBC):
Ilembe: KwaDukuza: Hyde Park:
A lot of progress has been made in implementing these projects. The MEC will provide detail during his budget vote.
DECISIVE ACTION – Eradicating OLindela
Madame Speaker we have a programme to decommission all oLindela in eThekwini and other municipalities and this year eThekwini Municipality will decommission five of them. We are proud to say that the Isiphingo Lindela has been targeted through the current development of Kanku Road Project with an approved budget of more than R70, 5 million for 360 sites. Planning has been completed and installation of bulk infrastructure is 95% complete and at least 130 houses are already at various stages of completion.
In 2023, a total of 14 Lindelas will be relocated to various projects and in 2025 the remaining 26 will be relocated thus ending all the 45 Lindelas that currently exist in eThekwini.
STATE LAND FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
The Department of Public Works has finalised the transfer of 14 000 hectares of state land for housing.
DECISIVE ACTION - Provincial Government Precinct
The Provincial Government Precinct is steaming ahead, and statutory compliance requirements and the funding models will be completed in March 2023 while the concepts for the office blocks are targeted for April 2023. The Preliminary Design Concepts for the Legislature and Archives have been completed and stakeholder engagement has commenced to ensure end user acceptance. The Government Precinct will go a long way to cut the state rental bill massively.
DECISIVE ACTION - RADICAL AGRARIAN AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION (RASET)
Madame Speaker, the Radical Agrarian and Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) initiative remains a far-reaching programme that seeks to transform the structure of the agricultural value-chains. Through RASET, we seek to transform the agricultural sector effectively, and to introduce black farmers into the value- adding segments of the agriculture sector.
DECISIVE ACTION - Establishment of Agri-Hubs (DARD)
The province will commence with the rollout of agri-hubs located in various districts. To this extent an amount to the tune of R152 million has been allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development over the next three years.
The Red Meat Hub is going to be in both uMgungundlovu and Zululand District Municipality. The uMgungundlovu hub will prioritise Pig and Sheep hubs while Zululand will focus on beef. The Wool, Skin and Hides Treatment Facility will be in uThukela District Municipality. The White Meat Hub will be on the border of eThekwini Municipality and UMgungundlovu District.
The Dairy Hub will be in the Harry Gwala District Municipality, the Fresh Produce Hub in King Cetshwayo Municipality District and the Grain Hub in the Amajuba District Municipality. More funding institutions have already expressed their desire to partner with the provincial government on implementing this catalytic programme. The MEC will give more on these programmes including Goat farming.
On Food security we will revive our “One Home One Garden” programmes to fight poverty not only in rural areas but our townships as well. The RASET programme must also focus on townships - poverty is exacerbated in townships by non-availability of land. We need more seeds, scooping of dams and mechanisation programmes to support our small-scale farmers.
Farmer Support and Seed Multiplication Programme
The production of our own seeds is vital to ensure food security, and, in this regard, government will support the planting of 6293 ha to produce 10 million seedlings in the period of 12months. 115 jobs for youth will be created from this programme.
Through the department’s farmer support intervention programme, over 15 248 subsistence producers were supported with food production initiatives in 2022/23 financial year. The department is planning to support a further 13 455 subsistence producers in the 2023/24 financial year; 978 smallholder producers and 20 black commercial farmers who are producing exclusively for markets. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will unpack more during its budget vote.
There is a need to revive or reopen the abattoirs that were previously closed as part of the establishment of District Hubs. The Department must urgently investigate this matter in R34, Glencoe, Dundee and Bambanana. The Department must also check the facility at Hlathikhulu under Inkosi Mkhize.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND REHABILITATION AS A CUSHION AGAINST POVERTY
Madame Speaker, in 2023 we will bring change in our neighbourhoods. The grass must be cut, in a consistent manner, the streets must be clean, and we must sustain maintenance schedule with impact on clean neighbourhoods. A dedicated programme of clearing illegal dumps including those in townships will be undertaken.
Reclaiming our spaces, building gardens and outside gyms. Lack of cleanliness lead to crime and grime. We will intensify the programme of cleaning roads, freeways, danger and blockages. Working together with local communities, the continued recycling, tree planting and waste to energy initiatives management, cleaning of our ocean shores, beaches, rivers and dams will gain momentum in 2023.
EDTEA will assist UKZN and the Msunduzi municipality to resuscitate their waste to energy initiatives and to divert waste being landfilled at the New England landfill site. Approximately 11 225 employment opportunities have been created, and we will ramp up to employ more than 20 000 youths this year. In addition, EDTEA supports more than 100 waste entrepreneurs per year with financial and non-financial support.
A Recycling Economy Support Programme has been established by the National Department of Environmental Affairs and entrepreneurs that will benefit come from eThekwini Metro, King Cetshwayo and Amajuba Districts. More than R5 million has been made accessible to these wastepreneurs which will be paid out in phases up to 2023/24.
OUR BIODIVERSITY, OUR KEY ASSET
With regards to poaching, a project to install parameter security fences at specific areas in the KZN Wildlife Parks is in progress and information from informer network will be strengthened. The dehorning of rhino has not yet been done on a massive scale in KZN and the high density of rhino is being exploited by poachers from other provinces.
Our parks are vast, and this necessitates the capacitation of a more proactive deployment around the parks. It also calls for budget and funding for deployments to be increased with more regular perimeter patrols by both SAPS and rangers.
More security will be provided on the R618 between Mtubatuba and Hlabisa which is a public road through the Hluhluwe Umfolozi park, and which should be considered for security gating and access control.
DECISIVE ACTION - Bouncing Back Through Tourism
During the 2022 financial year, the province packaged several high level international and domestic events to reposition KZN as Africa’s leading conference and event centre. The KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau has been hard at work to promote KZN globally as a business events destination. This work has borne fruits and bids secured for the current financial year are over 26 major conferences, exhibitions and meetings being held in the province. This translates into an estimated direct local economic impact of about R220-billion.
Africa’s Travel Indaba held in May 2022, had 3700 delegates attending, and 22 KZN SMME’s participated.
Improvement in air connectivity is playing a major role in tourism recovery. King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) is the fastest recovering ACSA airport which in passenger numbers breached the 72%-mark year to date in March 2022.
Work is also continuing for the proposed Durban Eye Project in terms of detailed design development for the establishment of a giant observation ferris wheel that will offer a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of Durban City and the Indian Ocean.
KZN Film Industry
The KZN Film Commission will host a film Indaba during this financial year to discuss means of strengthening the sector to contribute meaningfully to the local economy. A target of 18 development projects and 6 production projects are to be funded and supported in 2023/24 with projects that promote local heritage and isiZulu.
AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLAN
Madame Speaker, figures yearly confirm the fact that tourism cannot be sustainable without a reliable, safe and modern transport system. In this regard, as part of the Airport Development Master Plan expansion and reconfiguration of several regional airports continues. The Margate Airports Terminal has been completed and the department has initiated processes to upgrade Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle and Richards Bay airports. The handing over of Mkuze Airport’s newly constructed Terminal Building marked a major rekindling in links with the SADC region’s fresh produce markets and opens a new window for tourism.
SPORTS, ARTS, CULTURE AS A TOOL FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
The Department is committed to utilize sport as a powerful tool to achieve socio-economic transformation of our society. Traditional Horse-Racing (standard bred) commonly known as Umtelebhelo is on the rise in terms of popularity in all districts within KZN. The Dundee July and all horse racing in rural areas are a growing sport and contributes approximately R20-million to the local economy and creates over job opportunities.
Once this sector is fully operational in accordance with commercial corporate protocols, it is expected to generate over R 100-million per annum. The benefits associated with this sector requires an initial investment of approximately R 148 million over a period of 5 years.
Indigenous Games and the Active Ageing (Golden Games) are some of the key lead programmes in promoting social cohesion and healthy lifestyle in communities, especially amongst the youth. Currently over 170 indigenous games clubs participate in leagues and club championships.
The School Sport programme focuses on mass participation in sport amongst learners with special emphasis on previously disadvantaged urban and rural schools. It is implemented as a special intervention in partnership with the Department of Education to revive school sport.
To date 21 866 learners have participated in school sport programmes at district level. These programmes will be supported and intensified in the years ahead.
Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration (SCMR)
We will revitalise the Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration (SCMR) Council which is at the heart of nation building and moral regeneration. The SCMR programme will be driven by Districts with Social Cohesion Advocate structures set up in all communities working with non-profit organisations and other sectors of society.
Biodiversity Economy & Support of Emerging Wildlife Business
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has identified important areas for biodiversity and parts of the Province where conservation action is required to prevent further loss and degradation of critical biodiversity. Through its Biodiversity Stewardship Programme (BDS), Ezemvelo seeks to protect and conserve the Province’s rich natural resources and ecosystems within and outside of protected areas working with communal and private assets.
The biodiversity stewardship programmes whose responsibility is to increase conservation estate has achieved a total of 40 500 hectares of land protected under Biodiversity Stewardship in the 2022/2023 cycle.
Ecosystem Restoration and Job Creation
The Invasive Alien Species program demonstrated its impact by creating 7807 jobs for rural communities in the province. Over the past year we re-modelled poor waste management to stimulate the economy with 1000 jobs being created with the R95 million Presidential Employment Stimulus Package allocated to the Province for the implementation of the Solid Innovative Waste Management Program. This pilot program intends to create 4 400 employment opportunities and supports 37 SMMEs in the long term.
Both Ray Nkonyeni (450) and Msunduzi (650) participated in the pilot program from January to March 2022. To date, 3 555 beneficiaries have been recruited and activated and at least 37 SMMEs are also receiving support through the DCoG-MISA partnership.
OUR RECORD OF FULFILLED COMMITMENTS 2019-2022
Madame Speaker, despite our far-reaching difficulties in the period 2019-2022, we still implemented innovative and leading-edge interventions amid all the challenges. Nakhu okunye esikwenzile kulonyaka odlule:
We have weathered the storm of the worst health crisis in human history. Despite the flare-ups of the Covid19 pandemic here our government has led the response to this unprecedented crisis with characteristic aplomb.
We salute the bravery and sacrifices of our frontline workers, emergency personnel, nurses, police, soldiers, doctors, cleaners and general staff who helped the province navigate the worst of times during Covid-19. Sadly, some of them paid with their lives and we are pleased some have taken time off to be with us virtually and are viewing the proceedings on television.
RECOVERY FROM FLOODS
Madame Speaker, when we were hit by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC- led government was the first on the ground to the rescue of the citizens, proving beyond reasonable doubt that this is a government that is best suited to the challenges of our time.
Government supported the families who lost loved ones through burials, pycho-social support, food and other immediate needs. Government eliminated all 135 mass care centres and built a total of 1810 temporary residential units. We also supplied 576 building supply vouchers to those whose homes were partially damaged. Madame Speaker all the 4700 displaced families, no one spent Christmas in a Mass Care Centre.
PERMANENT RESETTLEMENT OF FLOOD VICTIMS
In 2023 the Department will commence the provision of permanent solutions in the identified 13 land parcels to have the flood victims permanently rebuild their lives.
RESTORATION OF WATER SUPPLY
With regards to the disrupted water supplies, we can say with certainty that we are now back to full operation. Major Aqueducts and Reservoirs have been attended to and these include uThongathi, Umlazi, Durban Heights Water Treatment Works. The problems that affect Prince Mshiyeni Memorial and the Hambanathi community are receiving priority attention. Most of our beaches are now open and water quality is being monitored on a weekly basis. The Pump Stations which impacted the northern and central beaches of Durban have been repaired.
We wish to assure Honourable Members of this House that this Easter Holiday season will see eThekwini and KwaZulu-Natal bouncing back to its glory days as a tourism mecca of South Africa.
PROGRESS ON SCHOOLS DAMAGED BY FLOODS
Madame Speaker, out of a total 356 schools that were damaged by the floods, 107 have been completed across the province, 23 others will be completed during the first quarter while the 173 will undergo repair and renovation during the current financial year.
REHABILITATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE (Roads and Bridges)
We have fixed the damaged road infrastructure and got our economy functioning again. Among these were the N2 in Amanzimtoti, M4 and R102.
The Department prioritized 730 projects which needed urgent flood repair.
Under Operation Siyazenzela, we are attending to the affected gravel network in areas under Amakhosi. This approach bore fruit in Ugu, iLembe, Zululand, King Cetshwayo, uThukela – and is now being moved to all districts. Through collaboration between the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Department of Transport and Defence we are building 24 Welisizwe Baily bridges in addition to the seven vehicular bridges already built.
BUSINESS AFFECTED DURING FLOODS AND UNRESTS
Most businesses are back to normal and we are nearing our pre-Covid-19 and Pre-Unrests figures. A number of big businesses including malls such as Edendale in Pietermaritzburg, Bridge City in KwaMashu and Springfield Value Centre and Bridge City have reopened.
In ILembe, the rebuilding of Mandeni industrial estate is in progress and most of the affected malls and centres across the district have reopened including KwaDukuza Mall;
In King Cetshwayo District most businesses have long resumed operations and the situation has normalised with the ESikhawini Mall in Esikhaleni township expected to open in June 2023;
In Zululand, in Nongoma which was most affected, almost all the affected shops and malls are now operational;
In uMkhanyakude most malls and shopping centres in the district are currently operational and temporarily displaced workers are now back to work;
UMgungundlovu District - the construction of the Brookside Mall at a cost of R130 million has created 200 construction jobs and +200 permanent jobs. The rebuilding of Edendale Mall at a cost of R231 million has already commenced;
KEY ANNIVERSARIES OF 2023
Madame Speaker, as freedom lovers we continue to draw inspiration from the exemplary leadership and bravery of the warriors in that battle as we prepare for the road ahead.
A key anniversary that punctuates the 2023 year is that on 05 December it will be 10 years since the passing of our first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela. Incidentally, it will also be 5 years since we laid to rest the mortal remains of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Madiba’s former wife in April 2018. In this SOPA we promise to keep their legacy and the flame of their vision burning.
It is a year that marks 150 years of the birth of a phenomenal and pioneering woman, Nokutela Dube, the first wife of Dr JL Dube.
This year marks the centenary birthday of an outstanding stalwart of our liberation, Moses Mncane Mabhida. We will also mark the centenaries of the birth of renowned authors, Nadine Gordimer as well as Bloke Modisane.
A hundred and twenty years (120) in 1903, HIE Dhlomo was born and in the same year Rev Dr JL Dube, uMafukuzela, founded iLanga lase Natal newspaper.
This is a year to commemorate 50 years of the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) which was led by both Archie Gumede and Albertina Sisulu.
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Durban Strikes which marked the emergence of a new wave of independent non-racial trade unions. This led to the formation in 1979, of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 1985.
These anniversaries are reminders us that our freedom was not free, but that it was long and often posed the risk of death. Successive generations like ours owe a great deal of debt and endless gratitude to the many who by their acts of selfless sacrifice, placed their own lives in the line of fire, so that we could be free.
Madame Speaker, we have used this address to craft the tale of a people whose resilience and tenacity will lift them from the ashes of war and destruction, whose hard work and selfless dedication will help lead a revolution of growth and development that is much needed in KwaZulu-Natal. We are a society toughened in the fires of adversity and through it all we have emerged stronger. We have risen and are renewed to make decisive actions in recovering the lost ground caused by the triple tragedies whose footprints are still visible in every nook and cranny of our province.
In this State of the Province Address, we have outlined decisive actions that will help us usher in great times ahead. We are not broken by challenges because we are Women and Man in the arena of bringing a better life for all.
We are determined to play our part with all our stakeholders to create the KwaZulu-Natal of our dreams where all our children will have the place under the sun.
We are inspired by the words of Theodore Roosevelt and I quote:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
In this address we have tabled a roadmap. Measured our progress against previous year’s undertakings while charting a detailed implementable plan to take us on the path forward. Every policy announcement, plan and programme in this address has at the heart the well-being, growth and development of KwaZulu-Natal.
Singabantu abangayilahli imbeleko ngokufelwa – kunalokho siyibeka ethala – ngenxa yethemba lokuthi sisazomthola omunye umntwana esizombeletha ngayo. Ziningi izingqinamba esisazobhekana nazo kdwa sizozinqoba ngoba siyisizwe esiyimbumba nenqanawe. Izinselelo ziyasihlanganisa kunokusihlukanisa. Abantu baKwaZulu-Natal badume ngokungalilahli ithemba
WORDS OF APPRECIATION
May I thank the ANC for their trust in my leadership having given me this responsibility at this time. May I thank Members of the Executive Council and in particular, Leader of Government Business Hon Siboniso Duma for your role in ensuring the success of this State of the Province Address.
I wish to thank Honourable Members of the Legislature led by the Speaker for the opportunity to deliver the State of the Province Address 2023 and for all the necessary logistical support.
I also wish to thank the Office of the Premier under the leadership of Director General Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize and all the Heads of Departments and Members of Staff in provincial government for the hard work in delivering services to the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
Last and certainly not least, may I also express my deep gratitude to members of my family for their unending support and for their understanding and sacrifice.
Together Growing KwaZulu-Natal!
I thank you!