ANC BOKONE BOPHIRIMA CONGRATULATES THE PREMIER ON HIS RESPONSE TO SOPA DEBATE AND WELCOMES THE PROVINCIAL BUDGET SPEECH
The ANC in Bokone Bophirima congratulates Premier Supra Mahumapelo on his responses to the debates on the State of the Province Address (SOPA). Premier Mahumapelo was very clear that the lives of the people of the province need to be uplifted, especially from the proceeds of the province's wealth.
We are pleased that he was able to unpack his plans for the provincial government, as announced in his SOPA late last month. It is important that our people get their land back and as the ANC, we appalud the Premier for taking a principled stance that a referendum should be proposed to settle the land issue once and for all. We indeed agree with him that the 'willing seller willing buyer' option must be abandoned because it has not worked. It is a great idea that the Premier is proposing of a RHR land price tag, which will also help contribute to nation building and reconciliation.
The ANC also welcomes the Provincial Budget Speech tabled by MEC for Finance Economy and Enterprise Development (FEED), Wendy Nelson.
We are proud that our provincial government values education so much that the bulk of the budget is allocated to the Department of Education and Sports Development. This shows the seriousness of an ANC government to ensure that education - one of our top five priorities in our election manifesto - is supported with the necessary resources to improve its quality. Education gets R15.3 billion in 2017/18, R16.3 billion in 2018/19 and R17.4 billion for 2019/20 financial year. As we have consistently said, improving the quality of education will help build the necessary skills and generally the economy of Bokone Bophirima.
The ANC also welcomes the allocation for the Department of Rural Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) at R 1.4 billion for 2017/19, which will sum up to R 4.4 billion over the MTEF. An additional amount of R75 million has been set aside for Agri-parks. Agriculture is part of the mainstay of our province's economy and we are happy that the government's Agri-parks initiative has opened the space for our previously disadvantaged small farmers to get into the market.
We are equally happy that the Department of Public Works and Roads has been allocated a R2.9 billion budget for the 2017/18 financial year, with R 960 million of it going towards funding the upgrading and construction of the dual carriageway from Rooigrond to Mahikeng. We know that our province's roads still need a lot of money - a total budget of R8.6billion for the 19 786 kilometres of our entire road network as announced by Premier Supra Mahumapelo in his State of the Province Address (SOPA).
The R15 billion allocation for Social Development will go a long way in pushing back poverty and helping our communities live decent lives. The ANC government cares about the people of South Africa and as a governing party we get encouraged when those we deploy in government sing the same tune as us, that of improving the lives of the people.
The ANC looks forward to departmental budget that will be tabled soon, which will unpack how these budget allocations will be utilized.