Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Ms Sylvia Lucas, on the occasion of the tabling of Budget Vote 1 at the Council Chambers of the Frances Baard District Municipality

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Honourable Speaker and Madam Deputy Speaker
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
The Director General, Management and Staff of the Provincial Government
Distinguished Guests
Members of the media
The People of Northern Cape!

It gives me pleasure indeed to deliver this Budget vote in the year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of two of the greatest leaders this country has known, namely Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Speaker, we celebrate Madiba’s centenary not only as South Africans but also as citizens of this vast global village we call home. Plans are afoot both here and abroad to pay tribute to Tata Mandela’s legacy over the duration of his 95 years on this planet: especially the struggle for emancipation from apartheid and colonial bondage and the cause of influencing and building humane social relations across the world.

This year also marks the centenary of Ma Albertina Sisulu, another icon of our struggle who will be remembered for her unflinching commitment to the struggle for liberation, her tireless perseverance and deep compassion for the people of our country.

As we commemorate the centenary of the births of these humble yet gigantic stalwarts of our struggle, let us forever be mindful of their extraordinary moral strength and resilience over decades of persecution and hardship which inevitably, laid the basis to realize the founding principles of the Freedom Charter and ultimately gave rise to the development of the Country’ long-term plan, the National Development Plan.

I also wish to acknowledge and express our deepest appreciation to all the other stalwarts of our revolution, who became the founders of our democracy. The seeds of the democracy we enjoy today grew in the sacrifice of our people in their struggle against oppression in all its forms. The Freedom Charter’s vision is also contained within our country’s Constitution, as well as national and provincial goals and directive principles.

This budget vote speech is also delivered during youth month, albeit at the end of it, and in doing so, we want to pay tribute to the heroic endeavours waged by a courageous generation of young people who took on the might of the apartheid government. Hundreds of young men and women were brutally murdered as they were prepared to fight to the bitter end for the constitutional democracy we enjoy today.

Honourable Speaker

Last year we mentioned that in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of Offices of the Premier in the country, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) developed a generic organizational structure for this purpose. This structure has been approved and we are in the process of implementing this revised organisational structure as well as aligning it to the Human Resource plan. We are confident of the trajectory we are on in terms of the reconfiguration of the office. The office will be better positioned to respond and discharge its mandate of ensuring a prosperous province with a quality life for all. This is consistent with the ideals and vision of Madiba.

Honourable Speaker

It is fitting to mention once again that this Administration remains accountable and can be trusted with the Tax-Payers’ Monies. This is evident in the fact once again that during this audit cycle, the three oversight departments, namely the Office of the Premier, Treasury and Legislature, attained a “Clean Audit”, which bodes well for the role that they have to exercise over the entire Provincial Administration.

Managing and monitoring Performance Information is integral to good governance and improving on planned services and activities. In its endeavours to improve the audit outcomes of Performance Information and thereby improving the quality of services, the Office of the Premier has, through the combined assurance concluded with the Provincial Internal Audit unit, provided leadership and ongoing support to departments on the development of Annual Performance Plans and Quarterly performance reporting.

We will continue to work towards improvements in delivering good and quality services to the people of the Northern Cape within the confines of good financial management prescripts, including the support that we are providing to municipalities.

The fight against corruption remains on the agenda of the Provincial Government so much so that we have ensured that all provincial departments have anti-corruption policies and strategies including anti-corruption implementation plans. When we say that we are serious on fighting corruption, we stand firm alongside the President of the Republic when he called for stronger action against corruption and crime; be it in the public or private sector.

Honourable Speaker

In 2017, the Office of the Premier hosted a successful Stakeholder engagement session with participants from both the private and public sectors on fighting corruption.

In reinforcing the need to inculcate anti-corruption measures I made a call at the session that collectively we should consolidate the ethos of public service and develop a conducive working environment that will prevent corruption, thereby ensuring that the relevant services are delivered to the public in an effective an efficient manner.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In our last budget speech we alluded to the fact that the process of developing the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP) - Vision 2040 was at an advanced stage. We are happy to announce that the process of consultation in all the five districts is well underway. This will allow us to forge a people’s contract for growth and development.

We wish to make a humble plea to all our citizens, private sector representatives, public sector officials and academics to participate in and to seize the opportunities contained within this consultation process. Through participating in this process, you will exercise your rights and duties as citizens of this great Province. The successful realization of the implementation of the PGDP- Vision 2040 depends on the level of citizen participation and ownership.

Honourable Speaker

In order to ensure that the Premier and the Executive Council can effectively and efficiently utilise monitoring and evaluation information to track the performance of provincial government, the Office of the Premier will continue to build and strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation processes and practices within the provincial departments with the expected output of providing the citizens of the province with quality services and value for money.  

During the previous financial year, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation concluded a monitoring and evaluation capacity assessment in the Province. The outcomes of the capacity assessment will inform the development of the Provincial Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.  

Honourable Speaker
The Office of the Premier has the responsibility to ensure that the Provincial Evaluation Plan (PEP) is concluded in line with the requirements of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). To this end, we are happy to announce that we have received proposals for evaluation from departments.
The results of the evaluations will ultimately be directed at improving performance, accountability, decision making and generating knowledge on best practices for programme and policy improvements in the province.

Ladies and gentlemen

The Office of the Premier will continue to monitor the commitments that Departments made during the Citizen Based Monitoring Programme implemented during the last financial year in the Umsobomvu Municipality and for the 2018/19 financial year, the Citizen Based Monitoring programme will be rolled out in the Phokwane Municipality.

This year the province will also implement the new Frontline Service Delivery (FSD) model as outlined by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation which is designed at monitoring government services and activities through the adoption of an area–based strategy and integrated service delivery monitoring programme. This entails bringing together key stakeholders involved in the service delivery model so as to ensure that integrated planning and implementation takes place.

Honourable Speaker

The people of the Province can also take encouragement from the fact the Northern Cape Administration has also been consistently scoring 99% against the target of 90% set by the Presidency, in resolving the cases reported to the Presidential Hotline. Indeed we are a Government that listens to its People!

Similarly, our commitment to the people is further echoed by the fact that this Northern Cape Executive makes every effort possible to listen to the people of the Northern Cape, through the Executive Council Outreach programme of government.

Since the start of the Programme, it has evolved and it is now one of the Flagship Programmes of Provincial Government, spanning over twenty years of uninterrupted engagements with the people of the Northern Cape. The Programme has taken the Executive Council to the most far-flung areas of the Province to experience first-hand the living conditions of its people thereby affording the people an opportunity to interact directly with their elected leadership.   

Agbare Speaker

Hierdie program van die Regering sal voortduur om een van die programme van die ANC beheerde Regering te bly. Dit is ook duidelik en vanselfsprekend dat Regering se hulpbronne ingespaan sal word om hierdie program van die Regering te dryf. Ek is dit eens dat dit van kardinale belang is dat ons met ons mense persoonlik moet ontmoet en aanspreek dit wat hulle kwel. Hierdie program sal dus aanhou solank as wat die ANC die Regerende Party is. Ons weet almal dat dit sal baie lank wees!

The National Development Plan enjoins us to forge partnerships with all sectors in society for the attainment of a better and prosperous South Africa.  For this reason, we have been engaging with our partners in the private sector to roll out winter relief programmes for the elderly as well as construction of houses for the elderly, child-headed households and destitute families in need of decent shelter that we encounter on our community outreach engagements. We wish to express our gratitude to especially Standard Bank and Alexkor, for their noble and generous gesture for an on-going period and for working with Government to improve the lives of our poor and vulnerable. These are the types of collaborative partnerships that we often call for in all sectors in order to make it possible for us to move this Province forward for the benefit of its entire people.

Honourable Speaker
Huge strides have been made by the Office of the Premier in institutionalising the monitoring of Performance Information in support of the implementation of the Provincial Programme of Action and implementation of the departmental Annual Performance Plans.

Through the ongoing quarterly monitoring and analysis of the Programme of Action, the province is able to overcome institutional and service delivery bottlenecks and improve on the impact of services by highlighting areas of performance that require remedial action.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In our ongoing effort to promote skills development , the African National Congress led Government of the Northern Cape continues to put in place programmes aimed at developing young people as a means of addressing poverty and underdevelopment and in this regard, we remain committed to providing young people with broader opportunities; and strengthening youth service programmes. This is also being realised through partnerships which we build with various role players to provide opportunities to young people through skills development initiatives.

In furtherance of this commitment, the office initiated a two year Legal Internship Pilot Programme which saw the enrolment of 12 female LLB graduates. These graduates have been allocated to all 12 provincial departments which are responsible for their stipends and they have been placed at Law Firms around Kimberley. The aim is to equip them with practical experience which will prepare them to be employable both in government as well as in private practices.

As part of our efforts, the Office of the Premier, with the assistance of the SETAs, managed to assist 26 unemployed youth in terms of internships and work integrated learning programmes for the previous financial year.  

Honourable Speaker

Through our coordination efforts towards the development of and sustaining a skilled and capable workforce as outlined in Outcome 5 in the National Development Plan, we are pleased to report that for the 2017/18 financial year about 3401 young people from across the province benefitted from SETA supported learning programmes such as internships, learnerships, work integrated learning, skills programmes and apprenticeships. The Office of the Premier has enrolled two thousand one hundred and thirteen in the same programmes for this financial year.

The PSETA was able to assist us with the enrolment and placement of 20 disabled young people across departments for a one year learnership programme studying towards a National Certificate in Public Administration NQF Level 4.

Ladies and gentlemen

We have also signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Department of Roads and Public Works and the Construction SETA, which saw the enrolment of 80 learners into a one year Learnership Programme for IT and Artisans related skills. Learners participating in this programme are from the Frances Baard, ZF Mgcawu and Namakwa Districts respectively.

We have also facilitated the partnership between Department of Health with the Health and Welfare SETA towards skills development programmes, for both the employed and unemployed learners, to the value of R4.3 million.

Honourable Speaker

We are of the firm conviction that unemployed young people will benefit from all these interventions and their implementation will be monitored through the Provincial Skills Development Forum and reported to the Human Resources Development Council.
Furthermore, as part of our commitment to the development of young people in the province, the office has allocated almost 17 million rand, to the Premier’s Education Trust Fund for the 2018/19 financial year to make higher education opportunities available on a full-time basis for young people of the Northern Cape that possess academic potential but do not have the means to realize it.  A further contribution of 700 hundred thousand rand was also made by the Northern Cape Mine Managers Forum as well as a further amount exceeding 700 hundred thousand rand from Solar Reserve for bursaries, besides the existing contracts that we have with Solar Capital and Mulilo Holdings. In excess of 500 students will benefit from these bursaries and financial support. We will also continue to engage the Independent Power Producers and other private sector partners to formalise agreements so that learners from the Province can benefit on a larger scale.  

Honourable Speaker

The Office of the Premier annually sets aside 1% of the total personnel budget as required by law to train and develop its employees through the provision of bursaries, skills programmes as well as short courses and International Study opportunities.
One hundred and twenty two employees benefitted from the HRD initiatives within the Office of the Premier, during the previous financial year and a total of 120 will benefit from these initiatives in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it also gives me great pleasure to announce that two female officials applied for the International Scholarships Programme coordinated by DPSA through the Office of the Premier and were successful. They are studying towards the Masters Degree in Public Policy and Masters of Science in Human Resource   Management, in Australia and Ireland respectively.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Northern Cape Provincial Administration encourages women to actively participate in our economy and seize the opportunities that our new democracy offers. Our constant message is to encourage women to unleash the enormous potential within them and make full use of the opportunities to enter into the mainstream economy. For this financial year, a total of R4.9 million has been made available to the Mme Reka Thusa Trust to assist previously disadvantaged women on economic empowerment initiatives in the Province that will end up contributing to the wider job creation programmes of the provincial government. We are in the process of fundraising from outside sources to augment this amount.

Honourable Speaker

The mandate of the Special Programmes unit within the Office of the Premier is to essentially drive transformation throughout the entire Provincial Administration. It is currently set up as per the following units, namely: Office on the Status of Women; Office on the Rights of the Child; Office on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and the Moral Regeneration Movement. With the changes to the current Organisational Structure, the following 4 components will be added to Special Programmes: Youth, Elderly, Change Management and Service Delivery Improvement Programmes. Moving forward, it will be known as the Provincial Transformation Programmes. Obviously these changes will come at a cost. However, these changes will be effected with necessary speed given the reality of the current fiscal challenges.  

Ladies and gentlemen

To this end, the Province has developed a Provincial Plan of Action for Children under the auspices of the Office on the Rights of the Child. At the heart of the plan is the creation of an enabling and supportive environment for children. We now have Child Ambassadors in all five our District Municipalities whose primary responsibility is to take up children-specific matters and escalate them to government for the necessary interventions. These Child Ambassadors are school going children from 12-17 years old chosen by the Departments of Education and Social Development respectively.

The Office has also developed the Child-Friendly-Communities (CFC) Framework as a guide to municipalities when developing their IDPs. The primary purpose of the CFC framework is to ensure that municipalities take up the issues of children seriously, such as safe parks and Early Childhood Development centres, to mention a few.

Last year, ladies and gentlemen, the province also hosted the Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament (National Parliament). We are thus in the process of developing a Provincial Growth and Development Strategy for Children. The aim of the strategy will be to specifically isolate issues of development for our children. We have engaged with various strategic private sector partners such as Old Mutual, Vodacom, Transnet as well as Sun International with a view to bring them on board with Child Participation programmes. Old Mutual has started the process of training children on being prudent with money related matters. Before the end of this financial year, we will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the partners, clarifying both their roles and contributions.  

Ladies and gentlemen

The Office on the Status of Persons with Disabilities continues to ensure that the policy space is created to engage on solutions to the plight of the persons with disabilities. I’m pleased to announce that we have procured the Embosser machine which will help in generating documents in Braille. Stakeholders have also been trained on the implementation of the White Paper on Persons with Disabilities.

Further to this, partnerships have been forged with several strategic partners such as Petra Diamond Mine, National Home Builders Registration Council, Small Enterprise Finance Agency, National Youth Development Agency, amongst others, to drive the transformation agenda in the province. As a result, a highly successful Disability Rights Awareness Month was commemorated in 2017.  We have recently entered into a partnership with Ottobock, a German company, specialising in prosthetic sciences. We will be training 50 persons with disabilities on the repairing and servicing of wheelchairs. This training will be taking place in the JTG district. Once concluded the programme will be of benefit to the Department of Health, especially on the repair and servicing of wheelchairs. The intention is to roll it out to all the districts in the Province.   

Honourable Speaker

In response to the scourge of violence against women and children, we launched the Call-To-Action Campaign in the province last year. Symbolically, the call was for all to wear Black on Thursdays as part of spreading the message throughout.

Ladies and gentlemen

August 9th marks the 62nd Anniversary of the historic march of more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, to protest against the extension of pass laws to women.  We continue to use the state to strengthen the important position of women in our society, simultaneously giving recognition to their desire for change. Last year the province also hosted the national Women’s Day celebrations and it was a huge success with more than 18 000 people attending the event at Galeshewe Stadium.

Several Gender Based Violence (GBV) dialogues were held throughout the province during Women’s month. These dialogues were conducted in conjunction with the National Department of Women and Lefika La Phodiso, which facilitated the process. Consequently, we have initiated the development of the Provincial Gender Based Violence strategy, informed by these dialogues. We intend to launch the strategy before the end of this year. We are calling on all departments and municipalities to support the development of a coherent policy on Sanitary Dignity for our young girls and vulnerable women.

A high-level delegation, led by the Premier, attended the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women (UNCSW 62) in New York earlier this year. We are in the process of sharing the report and giving effect to the recommendations adopted at this session.
This year, Women’s Month will be celebrated in the context of the Triple Centenary Celebration (Madiba, MaSisulu and 100 years of the Bantu Women’s League). As a result, the Women’s Month will be launched through a 2-day Women Empowerment Seminar (1 & 2 August 2018). This year, the national event will take place in the Western Cape and as a province we will participate fully.

Honourable Speaker

We are pleased to announce that the Moral Regeneration Movement office has been re-established and fully functional. To date, all the District MRM structures have been launched and inducted with the assistance of the National MRM office. The province also hosted the national MRM month last year in July. Working together with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, we will host the Provincial Social Cohesion and Nation-Building Seminar before the end of this year.

Honourable Speaker

The Office has been able to minimize the reputational and legal risks emanating from litigation, through the intensified assistance it is providing to departments in the provincial administration.

Knowing the challenges that municipalities are facing, the Legal Services unit has signed legal support agreements with most municipalities, which will see them building capacity in municipalities through the provision of legal advice and assistance, as well as training on relevant legislative provisions.

Ladies and gentlemen

In the pursuit of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, the Office mediated between the Kimberley Artisanal Miners and the Department of Mineral Resources and Mining houses, a process which saw the successful resolution of the dispute in the awarding by the Department of Mineral Resources, of two mining permits to the Artisanal Miners. This process has now entered the second phase of us facilitating access by these Artisanal miners to the necessary public services in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

We have also intensified our intergovernmental relations, and are assisting the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform with the challenges being experienced in Communal Property Associations, to ensure that they adhere to legislative prescripts.

Honourable Speaker

We are in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technologies are emerging and affecting our lives in ways you cannot imagine. In addressing our provincial Information Technology challenges, the establishment of an Information Technology Shared Service Centre (ITSSC) is under way. This Information Technology Shared Services Centre, once established, will drive the provincial Information Technology Agenda for provincial government and bring about radical service delivery improvement.

As a first step in addressing the Information Technology infrastructure challenges, the setting up and implementation of the Provincial Virtual Private Network, will be completed before the end of the current financial year.  

Honourable Speaker

The Office of the Premier continues to promote and facilitate effective intergovernmental relations between the different spheres of government. Intergovernmental forums serve as consultative platforms to discuss and resolve disputes amongst departments and municipalities. The Premier’s Intergovernmental Forum (PIGF) meets regularly and consults on broad developments in the province, as well as on the implementation of national and provincial policy and legislation.

The Northern Cape Province is also committed to building and strengthening relations with countries on the African continent and the world at large. As a result, the Office of the Premier has facilitated a number of outbound missions to other countries, namely, Namibia, China, Brazil and United Kingdom to deepen and intensify relations.  The areas of cooperation cover broad fields such as tourism, agriculture, trade and investment. The Northern Cape and Namibia are natural partners because we share the Atlantic coastline and a border with our common challenges of poverty and youth unemployment. These partnerships are beginning to yield the mutually beneficial results as our people and businesses are beginning to take advantage of this collaboration.

Honourable Speaker

The total budget allocation for 2018/19 for the Office of the Premier is R248.3 million compared to the R246.5 million allocated for the 2017/18 financial year.  The budget for Vote 1 decreased because R13.5 million of the total allocation is earmarked for funding specific once off Provincial projects; which in real terms reflects a negative growth in the budget.

Earmarked funds for the 2018/19 financial year received by the Office of the Premier include R 3.5 million for the Provincial Growth and Development Plan and the Spatial Planning Land Use Management ACT (SPLUMA).  R5 million has been set aside for the Planning Commission (institutionalisation of planning) and a further R5 million for the Northern Cape Premiers Educations Trust Fund.

Honourable members, the allocated budget for the respective programmes are as follows:

  • Programme 1:    Administration with a budget allocation of R 111, 2 million
  • Programme 2:    Institutional Development with an allocation of R 91, 4 million
  • Programme 3:    Policy and Governance with a budget allocation of R 45, 5 million

Honourable Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen

In celebrating the invaluable and sterling contribution of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, Government has initiated the Thuma Mina campaign, which seeks to reconnect government with the people of our country and at the same time improving the lives of our people. As part of this campaign we will also be hosting a number of events in celebration of the Mandela centenary month in pursuit of his legacy. The provincial launch will take place on the 1st July 2018 by way of an Interfaith Service followed by Mandela Fridays. Mama Sisulu’s centenary month in October will have a separate programme and it is envisaged that similar activities will be undertaken to commemorate her legacy.

We will use the Mandela and Mama Sisulu centenary to recommit ourselves to their values and principles. This is a call by government for all partners and society at large to practice the legacy of struggle icons such as Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.
We call on our communities to actively participate in the various activities in order make a difference in the lives of our people, inspire change and make every day a Mandela day.

Honourable Speaker

I stand here today proud for what we have achieved amongst the many challenges for the people of this province, who have entrusted the African National Congress to create that better life that once was a distant dream. I also believe that working together; despite our differences, we will undoubtedly ensure a quicker realization of our aims and objectives and to propel the Northern Cape to greater heights. May we one and all become the vehicles for positive change and may we in unison rise to the challenge that lies ahead.

Thuma mina! I am here! I am ready! Send me!

Honourable Speaker

As I conclude, allow me to express my profound appreciation to the Director General and the entire staff of the Office of the Premier, as well as the staff in my private Office for all their hard work and support. I also wish to thank my family, my religious family in my parish as well as my family in the ANC for their invaluable support and guidance.

Moreover, together with my colleagues in the Executive Council, I can confidently state that we have a clear vision for the Northern Cape Province that will certainly yield economic prosperity, peace and stability for all.  

Allow me then Mr Speaker, Members of this august House, Ladies and Gentlemen, to present the Budget Vote of the Office of the Premier for the 2018/2019 year to be accordingly tabled for adoption.  

I thank you!
Baie Dankie!
Kea leboga!

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