The African National Congress (ANC) Eastern Cape, Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) welcomes the State of the Province Address as presented by the Eastern Cape Premier, Cde Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane on the 24th February 2023 in the Eastern Cape Legislature.
The address was in sync with the resolve of the ANC, expressed in this year’s January 8th Statement, that of “Renewing our Movement and Advancing the People’s Interest.” The speech also reflects many priorities that were highlighted in our recent PEC Lekgotla.
These highlights are part of a broad consultation process by our ANC-led government down to the municipal level.
The conclusion by the ANC that the year 2023 is a moment of fundamental change in the life of our nation means that we are to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of fundamental transformation of our country and the renewal of the ANC.
Such commitment is inspired and was translated into practical and yet decisive actions in the Eastern Cape SOPA. Facts were laid bare, and in overall, confirm that the government of the Eastern Cape is making commendable progress in advancing the interests of the people of the Eastern Cape.
As directed by the January 8th Statement it is worth mentioning the following:
On economic reconstruction and recovery in order to increase job creation, investment and empowerment:
As the ANC, we are of the firm view that it is not an accident of history that the provincial economy recorded growth in the Eastern Cape Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first three quarters of 2022. This sustained progress is a product of the investment made by the ANC government and now is bearing much-required fruits. The 144 000 additional employed persons within a year are a testimony of these efforts.
The recently held ANC PEC Lekgotla identified three strategic focus areas for economic intervention to (1)maximise job creation (2)economic growth, and (3) transformative development in the province. The Lekgotla instructed the government to lift out agriculture, infrastructure development, and manufacturing as three strategic economic areas with the capacity to provide employment opportunities and the ANC-led government efforts to unlock these strategic sectors.
Also, it is much pleasing that in 2022 the ANC-led government made history by attracting 11 new investors at our Provincial Investment Conference with a combined value of R46 billion.
As the ANC we have been consistent that unlocking the economic potential of the province and investment in the social and economic infrastructure is critical. As a consequence we implore the government to relentlessly pursue the six (6) Mega Infrastructure Projects which are: N2 Wild Coast Highway, Mzimvubu Water Project, Eastern Cape Transnet initiatives, N2 Nodal Development, Undersea cables, and Wild Coast SEZ.
The ANC government must continue with all efforts of ensuring that many more young people are either at school or at work. Therefore, the investment of R45 million to support 22 620 vulnerable households targeting women, youth, people with disabilities, and military veterans towards food security will go a long way in this regard.
Further, in unlocking and supporting the entrepreneurial potential of our youth, an increase to the Isiqalo Youth Fund to R100 million over three years is critical and such intervention must reach young people with lessened bureaucracy and red tape.
The ANC welcomes the provincial government investment of another R50 million to assist students in distress within the higher education sector. We call for the urgent resolution of the funding threshold within higher education as it is apparent that those who are regarded as ‘’missing middle’’ are not affording the institutions’ exorbitant costs.
On improving the delivery of basic services and maintaining infrastructure:
The Eastern Cape’s intricate roads network has been significantly compromised by the effects of weather elements akin to climate change. The commitment during SONA by President Ramaphosa that construction of the Msikaba Bridge and Mtentu Bridge will be completed bears testimony that travelling in the Eastern Cape will be much better. Equally, the pronouncement by Minister Enoch Godongwana during the tabling of 2023/24 Budget that as part of Phase 2 of the Welisizwe Rural Bridges programme ,96 bridges will be installed annually in Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State, and North West to safely access schools and workplaces is reassuring and this programme is allocated a whooping R3.8 billion over the medium term.
Further the ANC has discharged its provincial and local government to work in a collaborative manner on speedily attending to the state of our roads. As such it is welcomed that government is in the process of buying 36 new items of yellow fleet plant machinery which will be used to strengthen our efforts on roads maintenance.
Further taking into account that water is a basic human right, it is much welcomed that in this year bulk water projects in Matatiele; Mount Ayliff; Makana; Graaf Reinet; Janseville; Kllipplaat; Misgund; Paterson; and Addo will be completed.
Furthermore, to elucidate the seriousness of the ANC led government in providing water to all citizens of the province, the pronouncement by President Ramaphosa during 2023 SONA that after years of planning the first phase of the Umzimvubu Water Project will start in the next financial year is welcomed.
Strengthen the fight against crime and corruption:
As the ANC we are unflinching in our resolve to ruthlessly fight against crime and corruption and prepared to root out such elements even among ourselves as the ANC. In this regard, it is pleasing that the lifestyle audits for the Premier and Members of the Executive Council were conducted by the State Security Agency and all are fit and suitable for their deployments. Such exercise must urgently cascade to local government as resolved in our last Lekgotla and confirmed by the Premier. In the Eastern Cape, consequence management and referral of matters to law enforcement agencies will be a norm, regardless of the persons involved.
State of Disaster :
The ANC PEC also welcomes the declaration of a National State of Disaster regarding the recent devastating floods in the province. The National State of Disaster will enable government response that is quicker, intensive and coordinated. The ANC further implores government to allocate resources that will adequately respond to the disaster, while also ensuring that every cent goes towards the intended relief.
In Conclusion :
Notwithstanding that the Eastern Cape is clearly on the rise, it is also apparent that socio-economic hardships continue to confront the people of the province, the ANC-led government has to upscale its intervention and impact of its program decisively.
The 2023 SOPA outlined bold and inspiring plans on how such upscaling can be done and as the ANC we call upon stakeholders and all progressive sections of our society to roll their sleeves and work with the ANC government in making Eastern Cape a better place.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS-EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE
Cde Gift Ngqondi
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :?0849519924 /?0848439706