We will no longer feed white monopoly capital
As we lead this second transition of the national democratic revolution, we draw inspiration from Oliver Tambo’s fearlessness and focus on the task of dismantling apartheid and its remaining legacy of poverty, inequality and unemployment, which still afflicts black people in general and Africans in particular.
This state of the province address is also dedicated to the 20th anniversary celebration of the country’s Constitution. We in the ANC believe that this Constitution is the most progressive and revolutionary document to be used to effect fundamental change in this country.
Regrettably, the Constitution has been abused by a minority who run to the courts under the guise of protecting the Constitution, when, in fact, they only seek to entrench their privileges and interrupt the transformation programme.
Government will no longer feed the greed of white monopoly capital at the expense of black entrepreneurs, the majority of whom live in villages, townships and dorpies. We will not use public funds to perpetuate skewed accumulation of wealth and privilege by the few – mainly white and male – who constitute a small number of the population of Bokone Bophirima.
While the state is criticised by many at times for not acting toughly enough against some public sector bureaucrats, boards and shareholders in the private sector have allowed executives to break the law and act criminally without consequences.
We hope that the recently reported case in which some banks are accused of crime and corruption will be used to establish a firm precedence by implementing the maximum penalty against all the banks and their executives.
Banks should no longer be allowed to be unaccountable corporate bullies who are above the law and immune from legal liability, even when they break the law and cause untold harm to the economy and the public. In this regard, we will be discussing our future relations with Absa.
As the province, we support the pronouncement by President Jacob Zuma to establish a state bank that will utilise the state’s trillion-rand budget to force transformation in the sector and open it to participation by more black players.
In the province, we are in the process of establishing the AgriFund (letlole) as part of resuscitating the North West Agricultural Bank. The province is also talking to VBS Mutual Bank about the role it can play in strengthening economies in villages, townships and dorpies.
The Bokone Bophirima government will, in the next three weeks, table a villages, townships and small dorpies Preferential Procurement Bill in the provincial legislature to force both state and private companies to spend 70% of their procurement budgets on procuring goods and services in these small areas.
Mining houses continue to repatriate billions in procurement expenditure to support big corporates in some metropolitan areas of our country. Of the R61 billion spent by mining houses, only R48.6 billion is spent in the province.
We are at an advanced stage of discussions with Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane on the necessary approach in this matter.
We are happy to report that village, township and small dorp procurement expenditure by provincial departments as at the end of December amounted to R1.1 billion. For the period, of the R1 070 billion, R992 million was paid in 21 days and the remaining amount was paid within 30 days – in compliance with the Public Finance Management Act.
Government is working with Eskom and municipalities to clear all debts owed to the power utility. Out of the eight affected municipalities, a debt management unit managed to ensure that payment agreements by municipalities were complied with, and in excess of R120 million has been paid to Eskom.
The department of public works and roads will prioritise unpaved or gravel roads that were badly affected by rain and floods mainly in the village, township and small dorp areas. Focus will be put on strategic economic roads that connect villages to villages, villages to townships and villages to dorpies.
The department of education will continue to support schools through infrastructure development, renovations, as well as by providing water, sanitation and fencing. This support will include the expansion of boarding schools by using some of the existing rationalised schools with a budget of R1 billion.
To address the poor performance in maths, the department has embarked on a project of providing primary schools with maths laboratories. A total of 498 schools will be done within a three-year period to the tune of R300 million.
We are pleased to report that after long discussions, all parties have agreed that the North-West University needs a medical school.
The establishment and development of a medical school will attract medical specialists to the province.
We are making a plea to all people of Bokone Bophirima to stop making damaging and libellous accusations against our fellow citizens without any evidence to substantiate such accusations. Unsubstantiated stories of corruption are not only damaging to the persons affected, but also ruin and damage the good name of the province and the country.
These ideas are inspired by the many messages of support and constant proposals from the people on how we can better government’s delivery machinery.