Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha his administration has placed young people at the centre of the province’s economic development program.
Delivering his State of the Province Address SOPA, he said while Limpopo’s current unemployment rate is lowest in the country, at 18.5%, it’s still a noticeable increase from 16.6% in 2018.
Along with economic development, Mathabatha listed other priority areas for the province.
|– Economic transformation and job creation, |
– Education, skills and health,
– Delivery of reliable and quality basic services,
– Transforming human settlements and strengthening local government,
social cohesion and safe communities,
– Building a capable, ethical and developmental state.
He announced that 20% of state procurement will be set aside for youth-owned enterprises and 20% of state procurement will benefit women-owned enterprises. Some 7% will go to businesses owned by people with disabilities.
“We are also establishing Limpopo Skills Academy to feed the skills demand for the SEZ initiatives. We are happy to announce that we have completed the Youth Digital Skills Database”
The Limpopo government has also earmarked R150 million for the revitalisation of the Shayandima, Nkowankowa and Seshego Industrial Parks. This, Mathabatha said “will go a long way towards transforming the economy of our Province and creating the much-needed jobs.”
He conceded that there is backlog of road infrastructure in the province, and shared that they constructing 114 kilometres of road network at a cost of R1 064 billion across the province.
“These roads, which are being upgraded from gravel to tar, will be completed in this Financial Year. A further R3 billion has been set aside over the next MTEF period for upgrading of roads from gravel to tar as well as maintenance of existing road infrastructure,” the Limpopo premier said.
On school infrastructure, he said the Limpopo government will complete the upgrade of 67 schools across the province at a cost of R1.24 billion.
“We will also be commencing with the construction of 123 school infrastructure projects during this Financial Year. We have budgeted R1.62 billion for these projects which are expected to be completed during the current MTEF period.”
Some R900 million will be spent on constructing four special schools: The Asiphumelele in Sekhukhune, Rivoni in Vhembe, Pfunanani in Mopani and Mhinga in Vhembe.
Earlier, members of education lobby group Equal Education were removed police while demanding that Mathabatha prioritise the provision of water and decent toilets at schools.
Premier Mathabatha said his government will spend R192 million to address the backlog of school sanitation infrastructure in 100 schools across the province.
Mathabatha said the provincial government has partnered with the University of Limpopo to train EMS personnel to ensure a sufficient supply of well-trained EMS personnel.
He said his government is also “fast-tracking the delivery of low-cost housing… During this Financial Year we will complete a total of 3 921 housing units which were carried over from the previous Financial Year. This will be done at an amount of R348 million.
In addition, the premier said, “we will construct 6 535 more houses at an amount of R762 million in this Financial Year.”
Mathabatha welcomed the recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on “the commissioning of a high-speed train between Johannesburg and Musina.”
“This initiative will come in handy as an alternative mode of transport for the Province. This will serve as a game-changer and catalyst for the transformation of the spatial economy of the country and SADC region given our strategic location,” Limpopo’s premier said.