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State construction company on cards

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“These are all hard things to do, but the right things at the same time. We must therefore have the moral fortitude to continue doing what is right over and over again.”

Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul

NORTHERN Cape Premier Zamani Saul has announced the establishment of a state construction company that will implement 30% of the provincial government’s infrastructure projects.

Saul made the announcement during his maiden tabling of the budget for the Office of the Premier yesterday.

According to Saul, the state construction company will also serve as training institution and incubator for small businesses.

Saul stated further that the Province would also see the establishment of the Northern Cape Mining Company that will help to have a comprehensive understanding of our ore deposits and to present shovel-ready projects to investors.

“Work is also under way to have a soccer team from the Northern Cape in the premier league and different models on how to implement this have been presented to us.”

He added that there was also visible work being done to improve the public health system in the Province. “We are busy establishing a partnership with the Western Cape provincial government for the introduction of electronic files in all health care centres.”

Saul said that pending the finalisation by the president of the framework on lifestyle audits, the provincial government would also develop a programme for life-style audits for the entire provincial executive council, starting with the premier. “The DG, DDGs, chief directors and all directors will be subjected to lifestyle audits in the Province,” he said.

“These are all hard things to do, but the right things at the same time. We must therefore have the moral fortitude to continue doing what is right over and over again.”

Saul further expressed his concern about the escalation of horrendous acts of violence against women and children.

“The sad reality is that the issue is so pervasive within our society that 41% of rape survivors are children, of which only one in nine cases are reported and only 4% of these result in prosecution. Despite these discouraging figures, we currently have 38 successful rape convictions throughout the Province, which range from a minimum of 10 years to life sentences.”

Saul announced further that the Provincial Gender-Based Violence Strategy would be launched before the end of this financial year, while his office was also initiating “an all-encompassing Public Service Men’s Dialogue, as a matter of extreme urgency”.

Saul also stated that within his first three months in office he had identified some of the challenges facing the provincial government. These, he said, included corruption and rent-seeking, particularly in the procurement of government; bureaucratic fiefdoms, which result in silo approaches to service delivery; skills deficit; bureaucratic red tape that serves systems not people; citizen participation deficit; poor relationships with private sector, civil society and academia; weak planning and limited integration between projects; slow roll-out due to capacity or financing constraints; lack of specialised skills such as planners, researchers, GIS specialists and town planners; inadequate community benefits from infrastructure development, community alienation from involvement in infrastructure roll-outs and less community “ownership” and pride in infrastructure assets; out-dated infrastructure audit; and poor implementation of High Impact Projects

“The Northern Cape has to do a lot more with less resources, which will require joint planning, joint budgeting and cutting of wastage, inefficiencies and executive frills in the system.”