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Govt vows to leave no one behind in building a capable state

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Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake says government is committed to leave no one behind in building a capable state which renders quality services.

Speaking to residents of Wegdraai and the surrounding areas outside Upington in the Northern Cape on Wednesday, Dr Pilane-Majake said as part of her Pre-Presidential Imbizo they managed to mobilise relevant departments to bring services directly to the community.

“Government is committed to leave no one behind in building a capable state. The DPSA, will therefore, engage with the affected public to present a government that is receptive and responsive to the needs of the people and that contributes to improved service delivery.

“The engagement is in fulfilling the requirements of the Constitution to ensure that service delivery is prioritised and that all people receive the diligent services they deserve. Ours is a constitution derived from the many decades of the struggle for liberation.

Thus, every year, through the State of the Nation Address (SoNA), the President invokes government to implement critical programmes to ensure that the Constitutional imperatives are indeed delivered,” she said.

The Deputy Minister said while there is a potential of economic development in the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality, the development may not be specifically in Wegdraai, however, whatever development that takes place within the district, will have beneficial impact on all the local municipalities.

The district has 98 schools (inclusive of primary and secondary schools); 52 Primary Health Centre’s, which include a regional hospital; improved literacy, especially among the youth (15 to 24 age group).

The incidents of people with no schooling at all decreased between 2008 and 2018 by -2.7%. Those with matric only increased in the same period from 28 100 to 40 300; those with matric and tertiary education also increased by an average of 3% in the same period.

On the economic front, the major economic activities are growing, albeit at a slow pace. The major sectors, being mining and agriculture, have shown significant growth trend between 2008 and 2018, despite the vagaries of natural elements, especially the arid conditions in the province and the sparse population.

These two factors affect significantly economic growth. The infrastructure in the district is generally well maintained and utilised, with some exceptions in some of the districts in the province.

Existing challenges

Some of the identified challenges is the arid conditions and sparse population; lack of attendance of Early Childhood Development; although the poverty rate decreased from 2008 (30%) to 2018 (27, 8%), and the depth of poverty has decreased.

However, the province is devising means to grow the economy so that more jobs and business opportunities are available. Unemployment is still high, although it is favourable when compared with the national statistics.

The district is at 22, 07% while national is at 23, 60% in terms of the 2008 figures by Statistics SA.

“The difference is that some areas are more affluent than others, and the level of delivery tends to follow the affluence.  “Dawid Kuiper seems to have the most piped water into households (47,04%) than any other area. The !Kheis area seems to have the lowest (1, 85%).

“Sanitation and waste collection follows the same trend as the delivery of water. Dawid Kuiper is said to have the largest flush toilet number (24 000) while !Kheis has the lowest (2 310).  “The municipal contribution to waste removal seems to be the biggest (183 139). The second collection is by households having their own rubbish dumps (26 295),” she said.

With regard to governance at the local government sphere, Dr Pilane-Majake said: “governance is another challenge. The main contributory factor is lack of adequate skills. While the District Municipality has been receiving several clean audits, the local municipality are struggling with many disclaimers. The filling of posts is too slow and inconsistent.”

The Way Forward

According to the Deputy Minister, the N10 and N14 national roads which are a connection to other industrial areas provide a potential for economic growth. She said that the coordination of economic development through the District Development Model is a conduit for growth.

Dr Pilane-Majake said the provincial government has devised a plan to integrate, connect, coordinate and develop corridors and routes across the districts, province and national spheres by establishing varied growth centres.

The province has also devised a plan to diversify and grow people and the economy through the spatial development initiatives. Regional growth centres are being established with Upington as the main Regional Centre. Other centres are Kakamas and Grobleshoop, as well as Postmasburg and Danielskuil. There is also a plan to expand the electricity, water, sewerage, transport and telecommunication infrastructure as part of economic development.

Presidential Imbizo

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday and Friday lead a District Development Model Presidential Imbizo ZF Mgcawu District in the Northern Cape under the theme: “Leave No One Behind.”