Programme Director : Mr Qwase
Members of the Executive Council
Vice-Chancellors of our Universities
DG , HoD and gov officials
Good morning to everyone who has made time to be with us here in this very important meeting of minds between government and our institutions of higher learning.
We meet here in this organized and structured fashion, to receive the results of the evaluative research that we commissioned our four universities to conduct in the six areas of:
· Performance Management System in Local Municipalities.
· District Coordination Specialist Team for the Department of Health
· The Oceans Economy
· Integrated Human Settlements
· Agricultural Economic Transformation Strategy, and
· Early Childhood Development
The Eastern Cape we want to build is premised on a vibrant local government that is developmental and that meets the needs of our communities. It is also based on the principle of an educated and healthy citizenry that will be able to seize sustainable economic development opportunities, in various sectors including in ICT , agriculture, the ocean economy and Creative Arts . We commissioned our universities to scratch the surface on these developmental areas and recommend the actions we should take in the sixth administration.
As you can see all these evaluative research areas that have been probed fall within the realm of government priorities for the sixth term. Therefore the research outcomes we are going to receive today will find expression in government planning processes for the 2020-2024 MTSF, taking into account the new District Development Model and the commitments of the Provincial Development Plan which we are launching on Thursday.
As the sixth administration we have undertaken this project in partnership with our universities to close gaps that lead to inadequate planning. We thus anticipate the evaluative research findings to reveal strengths and weaknesses in the areas that were probed for the purpose of correcting and improving the work of government.
We invested R6.5 million in this initial phase and we are earger today to see the value of our invenstment. We trust that the results we are going to get here today will be of high quality inline with the stature we accord to our four universities, as these results may have implications for policy and future project implementation.
I must add Programme Director that research is going to be an essential service in our province going forward. Like all other essential services, research will be adequately resourced to give us reliable data at our finger tips that would give us early warnings and alert us on prospective opportunities. This we will do by deliberately investing resources for research studies that will be done by our four universities from time to time.
Our partnership with our Universities will not only be limited to the six areas I alluded to earlier, but will be extended to 4IR and Climate Change.
Now, I would like to extend a word of appreciation to the leadership of our universities for partnering with us on this project. This is not a once off partnership. We are elevating the status of our four universities, because universities get special recognition and stature through their research outputs.
As a province that is blessed with four universities in the country we want to reap the rewards of having these universities in our province. We hope through this partnership there will be a transfer of critical skills to our public servants particularly those who work in our research, monitoring and evaluation space.