Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Honourable Basetsana Dantje,
Deputy Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Honourable Ntsetsao Motsumi,
Honourable Members of the Executive Council,
Honourable Members of the North West Provincial Legislature,
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Honourable Paul Sebegoe
Executive Mayors, Mayors and Speakers of our 22 municipalities
Kgosi Moshe Mabe and Members of the North West House of Traditional Leaders,
The Director General, Rre Mosweu Mogotlhe,
The Administrator in the Office of the Premier, Rre Sibusiso Mpanza,
Executive and Senior Managers in the Office of the Premier,
Representatives of the Labour movement and civil society structures,
Members of the media,
Comrades and friends,
Baagi ka kakaretso,
Honourable Speaker, in less than two months from today, it will be two years since I last stood before this august house to deliver a Budget Vote speech of the Office of the Premier; our absence from this podium in the last financial year was as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic on our shores at the beginning of last year.
Honourable Members, the past 18 months have been the most challenging of periods because just as we were gaining full steam in our quest to ensure that the Office of the Premier is, once again, the nerve -centre of policy development and co-ordination, we were brought to temporary but grinding halt by COVID-19.
This meant that we had to adopt new means and ways of doing things without abdicating our core function as the Office of the Premier, to provide the necessary leadership in evidence-based policy formulation and implementation, in a coherent and cohesive manner as well as take up our rightful role as an oversight department in the Provincial Government.