Free State shows the revo­lu­tion­ary way

CityPress - - Voices - Ace Ma­gashule voices@ city­press. co. za

Just be­fore the 2009 elec­tions, the Free State pro­vin­cial govern­ment started de­vel­op­ing a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gramme to, among oth­ers things, fast­track ser­vice de­liv­ery and deepen the ob­jec­tives of fight­ing poverty, in­equal­ity and un­em­ploy­ment.

We then de­vel­oped Op­er­a­tion Hlasela. The pro­gramme was named to in­di­cate our in­ten­tion: to at­tack poverty, un­em­ploy­ment and in­equal­ity through the ac­cel­er­a­tion of education, health, so­cial and ba­sic ser­vices.

Through­out the process of the con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion of Op­er­a­tion Hlasela, we un­der­stood very well that the ANC had, as the ba­sic tenet of its strug­gle, the Na­tional Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion. We avoided mov­ing our eyes away from the real strug­gle to make our con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the Na­tional Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion.

The ANC, in its strat­egy and tac­tics, reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to ad­vanc­ing the Na­tional Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion, with the ul­ti­mate goal to “lib­er­ate the African peo­ple, in par­tic­u­lar, and blacks, in gen­eral, from political and eco­nomic bondage”.

The 53rd na­tional con­fer­ence held in 2012 in Man­gaung fur­ther em­pha­sised that the se­cond phase of the tran­si­tion should mark a de­ci­sive break with un­em­ploy­ment, ex­ploita­tion, in­equal­ity and poverty – this be­ing the goal of the Na­tional Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion – with an ob­vi­ous bias to­wards the work­ing class and the poor.

Op­er­a­tion Hlasela seeks to mo­bilise so­cial part­ners, civil so­ci­ety and busi­ness to col­lab­o­rate with govern­ment to elim­i­nate du­pli­ca­tion and wastage, erad­i­cate poverty, tackle un­der­de­vel­op­ment and stim­u­late our econ­omy to rad­i­cally im­prove the lives of our peo­ple. The ba­sic fo­cus of Op­er­a­tion Hlasela is to em­bark on tar­geted in­ter­ven­tions to achieve max­i­mum ef­fects, in line with the ANC’s vi­sion of the at­tain­ment of a na­tional demo­cratic so­ci­ety.

Since its im­ple­men­ta­tion, Op­er­a­tion Hlasela has made strides in the pur­suance of a bet­ter life for our peo­ple.

OP­ER­A­TION HLASELA Education

In the six years be­tween 2009 and 2015, the Free State ma­tric pass rate in­creased by 14%, from 69.4% to 81.1%. In 2013, the Free State achieved the high­est ma­tric pass rate – 87.4%. De­spite reg­is­ter­ing the high­est per­cent­age of pro­gressed learn­ers in 2015, the prov­ince man­aged to in­crease the to­tal num­ber of passes, as well as bach­e­lor passes, when com­pared with the 2014 ma­tric re­sults. In 2009, there were only 129 bur­saries funded by the pro­vin­cial govern­ment. In 2013, merely four years later, there were more than 7 500 stu­dents ben­e­fit­ing from our bur­sary scheme.

Our bud­get for bur­saries in­creased from R5.4 mil­lion in 2009 to about R510 mil­lion in 2015. There are cur­rently 212 med­i­cal stu­dents study­ing in Cuba, and 37 study­ing medicine, civil en­gi­neer­ing and in­ter­na­tional trade in Turkey. We are also sup­port­ing 277 stu­dents in China.

About 450 stu­dents will, in the next cou­ple of weeks or more, go to fur­ther their stud­ies in Rus­sia, Bul­garia, Ger­many and the au­ton­o­mous re­gional govern­ment of Madeira in Por­tu­gal.

Health

Un­der the preven­tion of mother-to-child trans­mis­sion pro­ject, Ne­vi­rap­ine up­take among ba­bies born to HIV-pos­i­tive moth­ers is at 100%, and mother-to-child trans­mis­sion of HIV de­clined from 2.96% to 0.09 % in the first quar­ter of 2014/15. Through rig­or­ous ef­forts to im­prove the health of our peo­ple, we have in­creased the pro­vin­cial av­er­age life ex­pectancy at birth for males from 43.1 in 2001 to 53.7 in 2011, and for fe­males from 46.5 to 54.7 in the same pe­riod.

Agri­cul­ture

The Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China do­nated about R45 mil­lion to the Free State for the con­struc­tion of a demon­stra­tion fish hatch­ery and train­ing cen­tre, which is in op­er­a­tion. China has sent three pro­fes­sors and one tech­ni­cian for tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion. To date, 30 of­fi­cials and 135 farm­ers have re­ceived train­ing on fish pro­duc­tion.

Hous­ing

In an en­deav­our to en­sure sus­tain­able hu­man set­tle­ments, we have de­liv­ered var­i­ous hous­ing ar­range­ments for our peo­ple. Hous­ing pack­ages in­clude, but are not lim­ited to, rental hous­ing, com­mu­nity and so­cial res­i­den­tial units, RDP houses and houses for mil­i­tary veter­ans.

Crime

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of our mul­ti­a­gency pro­vin­cial crime-preven­tion strat­egy, we have seen de­clines in ma­jor crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties. Be­tween 2009 and 2015, to­tal sex­ual crimes in the prov­ince de­clined by 9%. In the same pe­riod, as­sault with in­tent to in­flict griev­ous bod­ily harm de­clined by 15%.

To lib­er­ate the African peo­ple, in par­tic­u­lar, and blacks, in gen­eral, from political and eco­nomic bondage is not easy, and is not a task that will be com­pleted overnight. But we also know the Na­tional Demo­cratic Rev­o­lu­tion, like all other rev­o­lu­tions, is a process and not an event. Op­er­a­tion Hlasela is, there­fore, our con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the na­tional rev­o­lu­tion to lib­er­ate the masses. Ma­gashule is the Free State premier

and ANC pro­vin­cial chair­per­son

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