ANC BOKONE BOPHIRIMA WELCOMES PREMIER MAHUMAPELO'S STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS
The African National Congress (ANC) in Bokone Bophirima welcomes the State Of the Province Address (SOPA) delivered by Premier of Bokone Bophirima, Supra Mahumapelo on Friday 24 February 2017 in Taung.
The SOPA takes place at the time when the ANC has declared 2017 the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo with the main task being to deepen unity. Delivering his SOPA under the theme "Radical Transformation of the Economy", the fifth administration introduced five economic concretes ACT, VTSD, RHR, Setsokotsane, and Saamtrek-Saamwerk.
We believe that this five concretes are a commitment to eradicate poverty and build a society where every citizen is not only equal before the law, but is also economically emancipated. The speech demonstrates the commitment to fundamentally change the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of particularly our people living in the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD).
We welcome the VTSD Preferential Procurement Act, which comes into effect from 1 April 2017 with the new financial year 2017/18 that will make it possible for the provincial government to allocate 70 % of its budget to VTSD, somethiing that will address the need to have a more inclusive economy.
We further welcome the new regulations that will see lower grade level contractors being given the opportunity to build 50 houses. We are equally excited by an announcement that no contractor will be allocated a road tender in the province for work on a road that is more than 20 kilometres with effect from the beginning of the 2017/18 financial year. This will help the province to do away with a situation where only a few business individuals get the bulk of government work as we have witnessed in the past.
These interventions will also go a long way in reducing the dominance of white monopoly capital and ensuring that all the people of Bokone Bophirima are able to participate in the economy of our province.
We have noted that a total budget of R8.6billion is required to get work done on the province's entire road network of 19 786 kilometres, bearing in mind that more could be needed due to damages caused by severe rains and floods that the province has been experiencing in the recent weeks. We call on the provincial government to secure private sector funding for the building of roads, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to rely exclusively on public funding given the pressures on the budget.
We welcome the fact that the contractor for the much awaited Nelson Mandela Highway that is linking Lichtenburg and Mahikeng is already on site and other projects would be going on tender before the end of the first quarter of the new financial year. These include Lebotlwane road, Molatedi to Derdepoort road, Dudfield to Gelukspan road, Setlopo - Dithakong - Mantsha to Mareetsane road, Lokaleng - Mogosane - Tlapeng to Mmasutlhe road, and Delareyville - Ganalaagte - Kopela to Mareetsane road.
We also welcome the plan to build a medical school in the province and a commitment to continue using the National Inter-Country agreement with countries such as Cuba, Tunisia and Iran, to facilitate the recruitment of specialists. We further welcome the initiative by the province to work with the private sector and the mining industry to increase the Emergency Medical Rescue Services in the rural areas with the intention to ensure that at least one ambulance is stationed at each clinic in the province.
We are pleased with the announcement that this government will in the remaining years of this administration pay extra attention to beneficiaries of the Kgetsi ya Tsie Bursary and Skills Development Fund to allow the poor and working class greater access to higher education.