Maqabane, thank you for your participation in the activities of this PEC Lekgotla. I think we all agree that we needed this time to examine the status of the province in order for us to chart a clear way forward.
Now that we discussed various priorities of the ANC and done assessment of the term under review, we have a duty to implement our decisions according to the elections manifesto of the ANC in order for us to grow our country together with the people of this province.
Siyathemba ke ukuba njengoba siphuma apha, asizu kufana ne dada lona lingena emanzini liphume lomile. All that we discussed and decided at this Lekgotla must be implemented. People to implement this are here in this room.
So, to prove that asifani nama dada, we must ensure that our actions as the ANC lead to creation of more decent jobs. This, together with growing our economy for all will ensure that our province grows and develops from what it is now.
We are aware that better life will come from the implementation of the commitments we have detailed in the elections manifesto and the January 8 statement. As all of us know, these two are the guiding documents.
The work we will do in the ANC, in government institutions where we have deployed our comrades, must lead to a better province that gives a better life to the sons and daughters of the province.
Coming to this Lekgotla we have seen a number of investments into the provincial economy by the private sector, we have seen the state investing into the province through the SEZs in Coega , East London and the new will coast. The industrial parks and Agri parks rejuvenation program be be intensified , targeting Dimbaza, Fort Jackson, Vulindlela , Queens industrial park etc.
Because we have been talking about the catalytic projects ( Mthombo oil refinery , Mzimvubu Dam , oil gas , manganese , Bio fuel etc ) N2 meander for a longtime, we depart from this meeting with a renewed mandate to ensure these catalytic investments come to pass. We must make sure that oceans economy master plan is ready before the start of next financial year.
One of the critical elements coming from this Lekgotla is the monitoring and evaluation system that we will use to monitor the implementation of ANC decisions, our manifesto and resolution of complaints from communities as well as the performance of our deployed Comrades.
At the heart of this M&E system is to improve delivery of a better life inline with expressed commitment to grow our province. While we will monitor performance of our comrades, we will provide needed support to comrades to deliver on the tasks given to them by the ANC.
The priority we must all bear in mind at all times is to use the authority we gained from the electoral mandate in departments, municipalities, state owned entities to speed progressive development.
It is such performance that will ensure reduction of poverty, inequality, and unemployment in our province. All Comrades deployed in government will meet over the coming days to discuss the decisions from this Lekgotla. And we want to stress the importance of speeding up implementation of each of these decisions.
Comrades are aware that the province is a different place from what it was in 2009, it has grown to attract much needed investments. We have, inline with ANC resolutions, seen progress in the implementation of ANC resolutions but equally we have seen a slow pace of implementing some.
We are now left with few months to the end of the term and the 2019 general elections. I am raising this because in the remaining months, the comrades we have deployed to government have limited time to spend the budgets allocated to them. kuba ikhomkhom nomkhitha we anc uphaya eburulumente because we are a governing party. State power is a contested terrain and we are contesting it because we want to advance NDR for the ultimate delivery of the NDS.
State capacity , its optimal functionality , anchored on spending properly is of critical importance to the people of this province and for us as the ANC. There are serious performance and spending challenges in about most of our municipalities in our province. I am raising this so that we are alert of the danger this under expenditure and performance poses to the elections program of the ANC.
While municipalities are spending very slow, provincial department’s expenditure is at about 70% with projection that we will be at 100% by the end of the financial year, something that is a welcome progress given our historic performance by this time of the year.
Linked to this is a reality, which all of us agree with, to use the public procurement to grow the provincial economy. Until we ensure that this is done, we will not grow the economy.
The province has made tremendous strides to open opportunities for SMMEs to do business with government in our Province. The development and actual implementation of the Local Economic Development Procurement Framework, which directs the provincial government to spend 50 % of its Goods and Services Budget on local suppliers is a key achievement for us.
If we look at statistics of spending on LED, our province is leading other provinces according to National Treasury Q2 report which indicates that from the R8.5 billion that has been spent by provinces on LED, the Eastern Cape accounts for R4.5 billion followed by Gauteng at around R2 billion.
This is a foundation we must build on, thus we insist that government institutions must implement a comprehensive solution to provide support and an enabling environment for operations of Exempted Micro Enterprises and Qualifying Micro Enterprises to maximise their benefit on LED policies.
We must applaud this progress and urge our government departments and institutions to sustain this and continue with this work. We also direct government to ensure that no suppliers who submit their invoices on time will take forever to get their payments. To delay their payment is to destroy our economy.
ANC deployees in government must attend to this to ensure the institutions they lead do not suffocate businesses by delaying payment of invoices.
I am sure many of us saw the story in the Sunday Times about diplomatic missions of five countries writing to the President in what is clearly an attempt to interfere with internal matters of our country. If we dont wake up and champion our own economic recovery plan, IMF and World bank are patiently waiting with their structural adjustament, an occurrence we must avoid at all cost if we are serious about NDR.
The process of renewal is what we started and we are committed to as the ANC. We will see this process to its logical conclusion and while we work with a number of partners, we don’t wish anyone should try and interfere with these processes.
We have confidence in President Ramaphosa and we know together with the leadership collective working with him, they will lead us through the renewal phase to a point where our country defeats corruption completely.
We have a role to play in ending corruption. As leaders, we must lead by example on this matter. Instruments to ensure clean governance and administration exist; let us use them to end corruption.
Representatives of structures from leagues, regions, sub-regions, zones, branches, alliance partners, and sector organizations have a duty percolate the resolutions of this lekgotla to all members of the ANC.
We must make this manifesto known by every voter. We must make sure all those that are eligible to vote register to vote, targeting youth both in high schools above age 18 yrs and those in tertiary institutions. We must make sure that all voters know what the ANC offers.
Voters must know that the ANC will continue with the implementation of developmental programs flowing from freedom charter and previous manifesto based programs.
Let us all go and implement the decisions we took at this meeting, implementing measures to monitor performance and delivery of the work we do. The best result is a better life for all our people.
Better life, Comrades means continuing access to clean water and sanitation, electricity , roads , education, business opportunities, access to health, safer communities, honest and capable government, decent jobs and more decent jobs.
The new medical school has been processed and we are convinced that its another opportunity for the province considering the demand of the medical doctors and national decision to scale down on training doctors outside the country as that proved to be too costly. The emperical evidence has indicated that the WSU and NMU medical schools can coexist, ours is to protect the current existing but welcome the new opportunity.
This was a productive lekgotla , foundation has been laid and the work has begun.