MEC Sam Mashinini: Free State Economic, Small Business Development 2016/17 Budget Vote

14 Mar 2016

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Free State Legislature,
Honourable Premier,
Honourable Members of the Free State Legislature,
Leaders of different political parties,
Mayors and Speakers of different Municipalities,
Chairpersons, Board Members and Chief Executive Officers of Public Entities,
Director-General and Heads of Department,
Members of the Traditional House
Bomme le Bontate
Baqolotsi ba Ditaba

Madam Speaker, as we stand here among the people of Maloti-a-Phofung in particular Tshiame today as part of this Government’s programme of taking Government to the People we take courage from the principles and values borrowed from the wisdom and magnanimity of the Freedom Charter, a timeless monument of courage, nationhood and justice which was authored by all our people, black and white an adopted in Kliptown in 1955.

 Everything we do as the ANC Government will stand or fall based on how we respect or ignores the opening demand of the Charter stating that that People Shall Govern!

Somlomo singathanda ukunikela inkulumo yethunamuhla ku Teboho Mkhonza, oyi’ sishoshovu so lusha kumphakathi esa dutshulwa  ka bhlungu sashona kwi nkonzo kwezidingo zoku bhikishwa  yokuqala yeningi eNingizimu Afrika ngo-2005  entabazwe.

Nakwaneng e sa tswa feta, Tshiame le yona e ile ya thefulwa ke merusu nakong eo trasforma ya motlakase eneng e tjhele. Qwaqwa le yona e tjamelane le bohata bo boholo ba tlhokeho ya metsi ka lebaka la komello. Le ha ho le jwalo puso tlsa boetapele ba Tonakgolo Ace Magashule e lwana ya kgumamela hore bothata bona bo ye ka theko.

Le hara mathata a kang ana re ipiletsa baetapeleng ba setjhaba ho bontsha boetapele ba nnete e seng ho batla ho bonwa ba le bahale ba se nang tjhebelopele feela.. 

This is the responsibility bestowed upon us by the Freedom Charter when we pledged ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage until the democratic changes set out in the Freedom Charter have been won.

Calling for leadership, President Nelson Mandela in the unpublished sequel to his autobiography once said, “Good leaders fully appreciate that the removal of tensions in society, of whatever nature, put creative thinkers on center stage by creating an ideal environment for men and women of vision to influence society. Extremists, on the other hand, thrive on tension and mutual suspicion. Clear thinking and good planning was never their weapon”.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality and Maloti a Phofung is an important economic area for the Free State Government because of the N5 and N3 as well as the Drakensberg Mountains. Our robust engagement with SANRAL and the National Department of Transport about the De Beers By Pass and our resolve as the African National Congress and the Free State Provincial Government is aimed at ensuring that the N3 remains the life blood of this area and we will win that battle.

Madam Speaker, our programme of action emanating from this policy statement is aimed at addressing the economic legacy of apartheid where race and class are inextricably linked to systematic discrimination, dispossession and super-exploitation on the basis of race.

The department’s programmes and plans will strive for ongoing active interventions to ensure that all our people benefit, equitably, from the government’s programme of action as declared by the Freedom Charter that- People shall Share in the Country’s Wealth.

Honourable members, our focus towards achieving our mandate, among others, will be on

  • Championing economic development in the Free State
  • Radical socio economic transformation
  • Addressing declining mining and agriculture
  • Implementing  national development plan
  • Broaden ownership of assets to historically disadvantaged groups.
  • Enhancing Manufacturing and Industrialisation

Madam Speaker, if we were to achieve what we have set out to do, as representatives of the people and public servants alike, we are committing to a new resolve to double our efforts towards ensuring that our individual and collective work makes a difference in the lives of the people of the Free State- our only reason to be in the public service.

We are further committing to more cooperation and collaboration between the DESTEA and other departments on economic programmes. Every activity of  each department from primary education, feeding scheme and matric results in the Department of Education, early childhood and eradication of poverty in Social Development, building of infrastructure in Public Works, establishing emerging farmers and agro processing in the Department of Agriculture, provision of decent housing in Human Settlement fighting crime and moving goods  in Police, Roads and Transport, development of artist and sports men and women in Sports, Arts and Culture, local economic development and provision of basic services in all municipalities coordinated by COGTA,  prudent fiscal management in Treasury and the coordination role of the Premier, all contribute towards the economic wellbeing of this province.

Economic Outlook

During the State of the Nation Address on the 11 February, Honourable President Jacob Zuma indicated that “a resilient and fast growing economy is at the heart of our radical economic transformation agenda and our Nation Development plan”.  This realisation Madam Speaker, calls on all stakeholders, the civil society, labour and the private sector to work together to mitigate against harsh economic situations we find ourselves in.

The Free State economy grew by about 1.7% in 2014. This was lower by 0.7 percentage points between 2004 and 2014. In terms of broad economic sectors, the contribution of the community services sector to the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the province was the largest in 2014, accounting for 25.3%. The community sector, is particularly the backbone of the economy in smaller and more rural local municipalities and thus its contribution towards their GVA is generally large. The finance sector was the second sector at 15.3% and the trade sector came third with 14.5%. At the bottom of the table was the construction sector with a contribution of 2.7% of the total GVA.

The growth of the economy is expected to remain subdued due to global factors such as slower growth and demand from trading partners such as China, Eurozone and other emerging economies. In terms of IMF’s 2015 World outlook report, the global economy will remain subdued due to “the gradual slowdown and rebalancing of economic activity in China away from investment and manufacturing toward consumption and services, lower prices for energy and other commodities, and a gradual tightening in monetary policy in the United States”.

The ongoing drought is also going to impact negatively on the economy. The drought has not only forced farmers to plant 30% of total hectares in 2015, but has damaged the crops already planted.

Economic Development and Small Business Support

Honourable Speaker, SMMEs play a pivotal role in the development of our country`s economy. If we were to succeed in accelerating economic growth in our province, we have to put into sharp focus the development of small business and cooperatives - this is our real answer to job creation. We need to empower them to accelerate growth. Our message however, to our business people is that once they have been assisted they should be able to fly. They can’t come back again and again and again, ba ntse ba re Leqe! Leqe! Leqe! Ba kgutle hape bare ako tshele ka moo.

Isebe liya kubeka ukudalwa kwemisebenzi phambili zonke iinkqubo zalo nemisebenzi ekucwangciseni ngoko kuqoqosho negalelo kuphuhliso lwezoqoqosho kwiindawo zethu.

Whilst we have budgeted R 122, 500 million from our own funds for this programme, we will work with other state owned agencies like IDC, SEFA and National Departments like Department of Small Business Development, DTI, Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Affairs, National Department of Tourism and as we said, our own provincial departments as well as the private sector to leverage funds for economic development in our province.

Business Confidence in the Free State

Speaker, allow me at this stage to outline just a few of economic initiatives in different stages of completion in different parts of the Free State demonstrating investor’s confidence in the province. These programmes will undoubtedly inject much more needed capital and create sustainable jobs for the people of the Free State.

These are:

Braam Fischer Airport Development Node

A total of R2.6 billion will be spend for this development.

Lemo Mall Bloemside

The mall is developed at a costs of R228 million and will be opened in April this year.

Botshabelo Mall

The R340 million 21 300 square meters mall is currently under construction and is scheduled to start operations in the second quarter of the year.

Thabong Mall in Matjhabeng

A modern shopping R260 million mall will be opened in Matjhabeng on the 24th of March 2016.

Maluti Mall in Maluti a Phofung

The R420 million shopping mall in Phuthaditjhaba is a further indication of investor confidence in the economy of Maluti a Phofung. Construction has started and the mall will be opened in October 2017

Thanda Tau Development on N3 Route in Phumelela

The construction has started on the R80 million project will be completed by end of July this year.

Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ

The project will be opened latter this year by President Zuma and has been allocated R244 million for bulk infrastructure with further R600 million for customised factories. Investments in this project planned to be fully operational by end of 2018 is estimated at R7.5 billion  

Private Hospital in Intabazwe

The total cost of this development nearing completion is R360 million

Madam Speaker the total investments of these project at R 12.032 billion belies the popular view propagated by self-declared economic and political analysts that under President  Jacob Zuma and Premier Ace Magashule, business and investors are hostile towards the Free State.

Re Hlasela bofuma, tlala le tlhokeho ya mesebetsi ka tshebedisanommoho le dikgwebo tsa private.

Enterprise Support Programme

Madam Speaker, the Freedom Charter declares that, ‘All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to entre all trades, crafts and profession”.  Inspired by this call, our commitment of support to small business as the Provincial Government remains unshakable. That is why in the current financial year, through state procurement, this government has supported 1705 enterprises through state procurement of goods and services totaling R2.1billion.

Reiterating President Zuma’s commitment on behalf of this government on the support of SMMEs, during the State of the Province Address, Honourable Premier Ace Magashule said, “Our focus this year will continue to be on reducing red tape, supporting hawkers, and providing decent shelters for our micro enterprises in the province, the roll out of the Black Industrialist Development Programme and a focused approach to the value chains to grow our local enterprises”

Madam Speaker during the 2015/16 financial through our Micro Enterprise Support Programme we were able to support 281  Micro Enterprise & Cooperative with productive assets to the value of R20 million. Five Free State enterprises were assisted with compliance with the requirements of SABS Certification in order to improve their chances of market penetration, ordinarily the costs for this accreditation are beyond reach of many enterprises.

Honourable Members, our Government choses a mixed economy between all stakeholders to harness the role of the state, private sector, cooperatives, small and medium enterprises and the informal sector in shaping the growth of the economy.

The government of the Free State commit that SMMEs in the Free State should have stake in the R20 million Enterprise Development Pilot Project that aims to revitalise the country’s industrial parks and support the integration of local economic development to bolster the small business sector. This initiative is introduced to help small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) grow sustainability. This programme will give support to the SMME sector over a period of two years until December 2017.

Honourable Members, we have taken a bold decision to change the genetic makeup of township enterprises in the Free State. This we will do through the length and breadth of our Province. We continue to look for township enterprises that shows extra ordinary entrepreneurial desire to succeed and we will unashamedly support them.

Few of the entrepreneurs we believe will form the core of the critical mass of the new generation township trade have been invited and I will like them to stand so that we could see them.

Black Industrialist Programme

Madam Speaker, the deracialisation of the country`s economy remains a key part of all economic programmes of our government. This government has resolved to place our economy on a new growth path that will deracialise the economy and make a fundamental break with the ownership patterns of the past.

More than ever before, we are convinced that this country requires an activist, interventionist and capable state that takes decisive action to effect radical economic transformation. It is for this reason that the government has announced the Black Industrialisation Programme which is aimed at black people directly involved in the origination, creation, significant ownership, management and operation of industrial enterprises that derive value from the manufacturing of goods and services at a large scale; acting to unlock the productive potential of our country`s capital assets for massive employment locally.

Describing the criteria to qualify for this programme, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, says “You have to be involved in a company that is controlled by black people and individuals have to be working in the manufacturing industry’’.

Ka lenaneo lena re rera ho hloma bora dindasteri b aka bang 10 nakong ya dilemo tse 5 mona Freistata Re ipiletse ho borakgwebo ba seng ba hodile baporaefete ho sebetsa le rona ho etsa bonnete ba hore morero ona o wa atleha

Youth Empowerment

Honourable Members in line with our programme of youth empowerment, we can announce as our achievements that in 2015/16, 28.3% of all financial support by this department alone valued at R5.6 Million went to businesses owned by young people.

Also working in partnership with the Amalgamated Beverages Industries (ABI), we supported  young deserving people of the Free State through the Young Entrepreneurship Programme known as “BIZNIZ the BOX” in Matjhabeng as part of the Township Revitalisation Programme. Few of these young people are among us today and I would like them to stand up and be acknowledged.

Youth empowerment for active participation in the economy continues to receive attention in our programme of action. Honourable speaker, the crisis of unemployed among young people remains a source of great concern to the government.

To address this, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in partnership with Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) have made available R2.7 billion over five years, for quality youth business across all sectors, including agriculture, metals and mining, and industrial infrastructure. We therefore call upon our young entrepreneurs to raise their hands and claim a justifiable stake in this fund. 

Foreign Direct Investment

In this financial year, the department successfully hosted the China in South Africa Week in the early part of 2015 and the Global Investors Trade Bridge in the latter part of 2015 to encourage SMMEs to penetrate International markets as well as to entice foreign direct investment.

The following Chinese businesses has shown keen interest in investing in the province such as Covec BYD, Fujian Energy Group (Pty) Ltd; JiaqiJao: Brick Manufacturing company, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University Fujian Lesotho JUNCAO Research and Technology Projecton the Agri-Parks operating model.

 From these initiatives, though they are long term projects, we are happy to announce that negotiations are at an advanced stage towards the establishment sustainable industries in the Free State.

Maluti-a- Phofung – SEZ is progressing well towards its goal of establishing industries in the area. The Free State Development Corporation recently undertook Inward Investment Promotion mission in India and have had engagements with potential investors to establish in the SEZ. To date, fifteen (15) companies have presented us with letters of intent. Five of these companies have progressed significantly towards implementation.

These are:

  • A partnership between a South African and Chinese shareholders to manufacture medical equipment
  • SA and Chinese collaboration for manufacturing of Smart meters
  • A South African Company with local BEE component to manufacture apple juice concentrate
  • A partnership between a German and South African shareholders to manufacture new generation gas canisters
  • Four companies from India are considering investing in the Free State in steel and agro processing industries.

Consumer Protection Office

Madam Speaker, our unsuspecting people often fall prey to unscrupulous businesses and lose millions of their hard earned cash on shady deals.  These include being sold defecting electronic devices, substandard workmanship, used vehicles not in good conditions, underhand agreements like cellular phone contracts.

Our office of the Consumer Protector takes up all cases and fights this harmful business practices. Work done through the Consumer Protection Office and Consumer  continue to  resolve many cases where consumer complaints totaling R13,8 million, have been finalised and money returned back to consumers.

Ditho tse Hlomphehang, re nka monyetla ona o tsebisa hore ka labone la di 31st tsa March 2016, re tla keteka Letsatsi la Lefatshe la Ditokolelo Tsa Bareki mane Charles Mopeli Stadium a Qwaqwa

Tourism Development

Domestic tourism remains a critical component of economic growth and job creation in our Province. From the shores of the monstrous Vaal River in Fezile Dabi, through to majestic Drakensberg mountains in Thabo Mofutsanyana and the political and historical heartland in Mangaung, over to the confluence of the Mohokare and Orange Rivers at Tussen die Reviere in Xhariep and the cultural melting pot in the Free State mining belt of Lejweleputswa, the Free State is tour wonderland awaiting to be discovered.

Since the launch of the Big 5 Route Concept, we have relentlessly worked with various stakeholders to ensure that these routes are equipped with products that will keep tourists longer in our province.

To further increase our domestic market, we will soon be launching a new Tourism Television Programme, which will run on the Hlasela TV platform. This programme will endeavour to educate and entertain viewers about the Free State tourism.  Over and above this, the Entity will be introducing a Tourism application where tourists and travelers to our province will have access to what the Free State has to offer.

Our efforts and endeavors towards placing the Free State on the main stage of tourism, will be rewarded handsomely when South Africa descend on the Free State on the 27 September to celebrate the World Tourism Day in Matjhabeng at Phakisa.

Madam Speaker, we would like to announce that the environmental education center to the tune of R5million in Naval Hill will be finalised during this financial year. This center will support learners in environmental education and will increase the number of visitors visiting the Naval Hill and the Planetarium.

Siyaqhuba!!!!

The National Tourism Career Expo (NTCE)

This coming financial year, the Free State will host the second episode of the three year National Tourism Career Expo which aims at promoting tourism as a career of choice amongst young people. This event provides the Free State Province with the opportunity to create a platform where tourism`s appeal as employment of the future is exposed to learners and unemployed graduates.

To give impetus to this programme, in the coming financial year, the Department in conjunction with the National Department of Tourism will recruit 100 unemployment matriculants to expose them to the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the Free State. 

The training of this young people to be known Tourism Buddies will take place for a year, and learners will be placed at the identified and willing host employers in the industry comprising but not limited to accommodation establishments like hotels, resorts, guesthouses as well as restaurants.  Learners will receive a stipend or R100.00 per day for 22 days in a month for twelve months. 

Tourism Product Development

Our achievements in this regard include;

  • Provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards were successfully hosted, and 2 Free State establishments  went on to place the Free State  on the map  and won awards at the National Lilizela Tourism Awards

Honourable Members, to ease entrance into this industry, for the first time this financial year, we have introduced a tourism development and hospitality grant totalling R4 million. This we are doing to as part of our tourism transformation agenda where we have identified a need for diversified tourism development so as to have variety of products and attractions for both domestic and international tourists to enjoy in the Free State.

Our efforts will focus on improving the standard of some of Bed and Breakfast owned by black people in the Free State. Some of them a here with us today and I would like them to stand up so that we can see them.

Madam Speaker, we have allocated R58.084 million of our own funds and will work with other stakeholders such as National Department of Tourism, Tourism SA, Brand SA to place the Free State at the centre of tourism initiatives in this country.

Effective Regulatory Framework on Gambling in Liquor in the Free State

Madam Speaker, our commitment for a streamlined legislative framework to ensure effective and efficient licensing of gambling outlets and registration of liquor traders is at the center of the amendment of the Free State Gambling and Liquor Act.

Through this amendment we want to address the proliferation of liquor outlets among our communities which directly have a bearing on moral decay particularly among young people.  We are also actively involved in the amendment of the National Liquor Act whilst also dealing with the problem of two sets of legislation governing liquor trade in the Free State. Madam Speaker because of the rampant abuse of alcohol among young people, we have resolved to increase the age limit from 18 to 21 years in the Free State.  

As part of our commitment to facilitate entry of new entrants to reflect diversity of ownership in the Gambling industry, during the 2015/2016 financial year, 21 Limited Pay-out Machine Site Licences bringing the total site licences in the Province to 76 sites were issued. We also licensed the second route operator to roll out a 1000 limited pay-out machines in the Free State.

Illegal gambling continue to undermine all the efforts to see the gambling industry as a legitimate economic activity in our Country. In order to protect the public and our licensees, the Free State Gambling and Liquor Authority together with other enforcement partners have embarked on a massive drive to clamp down on illegal activities including illegal online gambling. In the current financial year 45 illegal gambling machines were seized and destroyed.

Madam Speaker, sizakuqhubeka nge nfudiso zokuphelisa izinga eliphezulu lo ku setjenziswa kotjwala nokudlala ngemali ku jongwe imvuzo.  Sizaku jongisisa kultsha na banto aba ngazilengelanga.

Re Hlasela Botahwa le ho Gembola ka hara setjhaba sa bo rona !!!

Honourable Members the effectiveness and relevance of our state owned entities remains a great source of concern. How they are managed and governed will be our priority going forward. Articulating the need to review these entities during the presenation of the National Budget, Minister of Finance, Honourable Pravin Gordan said, “…the mandates of some of our entities overlap, some operate in markets that should be more transparently competitive and some are no longer relevant to our developmental agenda. Some are in perpetual financial difficulties.

So we must take decisive steps to ensure that they are effectively governed and that they contribute appropriately to the attainment of the National Development Plan.”

In order to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of maintaining these entities, we have prioritized their respective boards regular reporting and accounting to the MEC and their CEO’s to account regularly on their transfers and the impact of the funds allocated to them.

Siyaqhuba!!!!

Effective Environmental Management

Honourable Speaker the constitution unites the people of SA in working towards a society where all have sufficient food, clean air and water, decent homes and green spaces in their neighbourhood. Section 24 of the Constitution entitles everyone to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation, promote conservation and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

For this reason, here in the Free State, we believe that the present generation should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To this end we have allocated R171.745 million for this mandate. Our environmental programmes are therefore aimed at ensuring sustainable and responsible development. Let me site few of the projects we will be embarking during this financial year,

  • With regard to the revitalization of our Resorts and Protected Areas, the department will be spending R41m for Infrastructural Development and maintenance. This will make our facilities to be competitive with other top class facilities in the country and will ensure that people visit our province and our facilities.
  • The department will also employ 160 EPWP workers that will combat alien invasive vegetation in 5 Protected areas as well as do maintenance work our Resorts. A further 120 job opportunities will be created through our cleaning and river health programme.
  • The department entered into negotiations in the Memel area with land owners, this has resulted in the approval of eleven landowners for the declaration of the SNEEUWBERG Protected Environment.  A 17 500 hectare protected area will be declared in this financial year. Further to that, Ingula will also be declared a Protected Environment adding a further 10 000ha into land under conservation.
  • An estimated 70 Environmental authorisations will be processed 2016/17. These authorisations are issued to mitigate detrimental impacts of developments on the environment and the people. These authorisations include bulk services projects, human settlement and industrial development. Out of this process our people receive the benefits with regard to job creation, a healthy and sustainable environment and sustainable economic development.(Afrikaans)

Environmental Law Enforcement

Our programme fighting environmental crime is ongoing. During this financial year, among others, achieved the following:

  • Rhino prevention operation in conjunction with SAPS;
  •  An unprecedented fine of R250 000 for illegal lion trading in Bethulie was imposed

Unfortunately despite our efforts, during 2015, 11 rhinos were poached in the Free State province, six of them from in provincial protected areas and the rest from privately owned game farms. To save this majestic animal, working with the national department, the permission was secured to dehorn all the rhinos in the protected areas.

With the cooperation of the SAPS, Departmental Green Scorpions and the Departmental Veterinarian and Game Capture Unit the process of dehorning the rhinos is now 90% complete. DNA samples of all rhino and horns removed have been taken and microchips implanted in horns and live rhino.

Ongoing monthly special anti-poaching operation with the South African Police are taking place and various successes have been registered. This will definitely deter poachers from entering the province. To protect the rhino population in the Free State, constant communication with private rhino owners take place and the department’s dedicated law enforcement officials attend all rhino actions taking place within the province.

Transformation of Game Industry

The game industry in the Free State generates $ 20 million per year from hunting packages. A single foreign or international visitor in the country for hunting spends an average of $120 000 per visit.

This industry is an important mainstay for international tourism into the Free State. Madam Speaker our call for the transformation of this industry is yet another expression of the Freedom Charter that “That all other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people”. Precisely for this reason, the government has to do everything in its powers to ensure entry of the previously disadvantaged into this lucrative business.

Towards this programme, we have put aside 861 animals worth about R9.5 million to demonstrate our seriousness towards the transformation of the industry in this country. We also intend to seed all animals on loan scheme worth about R10 million.

Already, 24 black game farmers are benefiting from this scheme. We also invited them because we want them to understand our plan and commitment with this programme. Can they also stand so that we can see them. For this programme to succeed, these beneficiaries should up their game and identify the markets and understand the value chain and down streaming in this industry.

Ons doen 'n beroep  op gestigde wildboere om saam met die regering as deel van die verbreding van die eienaarskap en beheer van die bedryf in die rigting wat saam verseker dat ons die ekonomiese nalatenskap van apartheid. Op hierdie manier, sal ons 'n voortdurende aktiewe ingryping waarborg om te verseker dat al ons mense billik voordeel trek uit die rykdom van ons land.

Re hlasela tlhokeho ya mesebetsi ka diphofolo tse hlaha!!!!

Cleaning and Greening

Cleaning and greening of our communities for effective human settlement underpins our programme of ensuring that communities live in environmentally healthy areas as espoused in the South African constitution.

Some of our achievements in this regard include;

  • Plant 9 000 trees around the five district municipalities in the Province.
  • 5 Local Municipalities have been trained on the Waste Information System; these municipalities will now be expected to report quarterly to the system and this will give an indication of the tonnages of waste going to municipal waste disposal sites;

Ka  hodima tsena  re hlwaile ditoropo tse 12 le dinoka tse fetang ka hara metse ya rona bakeng sa ho hlwekiswa ho fokotsa mathata a bakwang ke ditshila ka hara metse ya rona. Re tlo sebetsa mmoho le di Eco Clubsa le dikolo ho phethatahatsa mosebetsi ona.

Madam Speaker, re thabela ho phatlalatsa hore re ntse re tshwarahane le tlhodisano ya Bo Mmasepala ba hlwekileng ba nang le tsela ya ho ntlafatsa diabaka ka difate

Pehelo e kgolo mona ke ho bona hore na Mmasepala o tla sebedisa moputso jwang ho ntlafatsa maemo a setjhaba le tikoloho.

The requirement is that the winning municipality must submit a project plan on how this prize money will be utilised to further improve the quality of public life and the physical environment.

The Greenest and Cleanest Municipality Award Ceremony will be held during this month.The first prize is R500 000.00, second prize is R300 00.00 and third prize is R200 000.00.

Re Hlasela bohlaswa ka hara metse ya rona.

Climate Change

Madam Speaker, our country has experienced one of the most severe droughts in years and our province was no exception. As we all know the Free State is endowed in agriculture and the impact of this current drought has left our farmers devastated which has a direct impact on food prices and exacerbate job losses.

These are direct results of Climate Change which is caused by distribution of weather patterns that last for extended periods of time.

Die invloed van klimaatsverandering kan lei tot massiewe oesverliese, oorstromings, verlies aan habitat, hittegolwe, veranderinge in weerpatrone, mense met gesondheidskwessies, uiterste weerpatrone,

Die gemiddelde koste van mielies het gestyg met 37% laas jaar in die Vrystaat. Hierdie styging in pryse het 'n direkte impak op die armstes van die armes en dreig voedselsekuriteit in Suid-Afrika.

To respond to the devastating effects of Climate Change, we are currently undertaking the Vulnerability and Assessment study to establish which parts of the Free State are susceptible to climate change. We are also planning a road show in the new financial year to educate our people about this natural phenomenon and develop the Free State Resilience Strategy against Climate Change.  

Governance

Administrative and fiscal discipline will continue to receive our undivided attention in order to ensure that funds under our individual and collective responsibilities are expended for the purposes they were allocated for. To this end, we have declared 0 tolerance on misappropriation of funds.

To achieve this, we have established committees to monitor irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Every responsibility manager will take full accountability for any laps in the controls. 

Conclusion

Honourable Speaker, let me at this stage take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Premier for his guidance and support in the execution of our responsibility and the African National Congress for showing us the way and keeping us focused to the course of changing the lives of the people.

We also wish to thank the portfolio committee under the Chairpersonship of Cde Thabo Meeko for their oversight and commitment to ensure that our programmes are in line with the mandate the electorate gave us. We also thank all the National departments we are accountable to, Chairpersons of Boards and Board Members, CEOs of Entities, management and staff.

My gratitude also goes to the immediate past Head of the Department Mr Mogokare Seleke and the current Head of Department Ms Matilda Gasela, the Staff for their commitment to see this department discharging the mandate given to us by the people of the Free State.

Lastly I would like to thank my family for their understanding and support in our endeavour to discharge the mandate given to us by the people of the Free State to the best of our ability. 

Madam Speaker as we conclude, we are the first ones to acknowledge that much is still to be done to achieve a dream of a better life for all.

To attain this dream all of us, those inside and outside the public service, should be live up to the declarations of the Freedom Charter and aspire to ensure that “The National Wealth of our Country, the Heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the People”.  Let us soldier on as Fidel Castro once said, “In the army of workers there must be discipline, there must be comradeship, there must be unity; you are the officers of this army, you are the leaders.”

Re a Hlasela. Forward Forever. Backwards Never!!!

Honourable Speaker we now table before this house the budget of the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs for the 2016/17 financial year.

Our total allocated budget for the 2016/17 financial year is R493 548 million.

Province: