Plans for the future establishment of a provincial bank, rubber-stamping the construction of an International Convention Centre in Polokwane and reiterated support for Limpopo’s capital to obtain metro status in 2021 count among resolutions taken at a two-day Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) lekgotla of the African National Congress (ANC) in the province.
The lekgotla commenced at Bolivia Lodge on Sunday afternoon and came to an end on Monday. Sharing a host of resolutions with the media during a presser at provincial ANC headquarters Frans Mohlala House on Tuesday, ANC Provincial Secretary Nocks Seabi said the PEC has reflected on progress made by the ANC-led government and challenges confronting both the party and government in delivering on the mandate of transforming South Africa into a true non-racial and equal society. It formed the basis for setting new goals for 2017.
Proposal for provincial bank
On the matter of a proposed provincial bank for Limpopo, Seabi highlighted the need for assistance to people who find it difficult to access the four main banks when wanting to start a business or build a house.
In his address at the opening of the lekgotla ANC Provincial Chairperson Stan Mathabatha touched on education and said 2017 started off with bad news with the non-delivery of text books to schools having been very disappointing and painful. “I have already tendered a public apology to the people of Limpopo for this sad episode. I have also directed the MEC for Education to develop a detailed plan of action to redress the situation,” he said. In the same vein Seabi informed the media during the briefing that the lekgotla had prioritised the appointment of curriculum advisors who should visit schools and advise on streamlining of subjects. In dealing with other resolutions pertaining to education-related matters, he simultaneously referred to the lekgotla taking resolutions for unused former colleges of education to be reopened for training or any other educational purpose, a robust training programme for school management teams and principals, the back to school campaign to be well coordinated with clear mandate and without disruption of teaching and learning and for all procurement and ordering of learner-teacher support material to be completed by June this year and all material to be distributed to schools by November this year.
With regards to health issues the lekgotla noted a lack of leadership and management at certain health facilities, resulting in people receiving poor healthcare services and resolved, among others, that managers should be mentored and trained and also that consequence management should apply while further resolving that health infrastructure funding be prioritised.
Radical economic transformation
On radical economic transformation Seabi announced the intended establishment of a provincial planning commission within the Office of the Premier that would also strengthen monitoring and evaluation capacity of government.
International Convention Centre
Seabi further emphasised that, in support of the industrial plan for the province, a decision was taken favouring the revitalisation of plans for the establishment of an agro-processing plant and Gateway International Airport, including the transfer of its management to Airports Company South Africa in order to improve operations, as well as the construction of an International Convention Centre in Polokwane.
Having noted progress regarding development of Musina-Makhado and Greater Tubatse Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the Lephalale energy cluster, the lekgotla indicated that the plan to build another energy generator within the Musina-Makhado SEZ should be completed by October this year, he pointed out.
Within the context of infrastructure development, delegates to the lekgotla resolved that the provincial government should develop an over-arching master plan for integrated infrastructure planning and development in Limpopo that should talk to all infrastructure development sectors.
Water and sanitation
The lekgotla directed that the Limpopo Water and Sanitation Master Plan be implemented with speed to focus on, among others, the timely development of raw water resources, well-planned and synchronised construction of treatment works, bulk lines, reservoirs and reticulation as well as adequate and timely supply of water to all communities and growth points.
Finally the lekgotla expressed the view of wanting to see the creation of regional water utilities mandated to plan, build, operate and maintain bulk water infrastructure.
Storie & photos: YOLANDE NEL