Priority No.1 – Basic Services
We are humbled by progress made in the provision of basic services in KZN. However, people are clear that their immediate challenge is access to clean potable water. Water is life and access to it is an important human right enshrined in our Constitution.
Our province had made progress in many areas on the provision of water. However, due to factors like climate change, environmental degradation, ageing and dilapidated infrastructure, the progress has been reversed.
The provincial government will coordinate with District Councils to assess their status on provision of water and develop a comprehensive plan to ensure we meet this demand as a key and urgent deliverable amongst the basic needs of our citizens.
Priority No.2 – Job Creation
We know that one of the major challenges facing our country is the unacceptably high level of unemployment. This is a major challenge which is ruining lives of our people, especially the youth.
We will strengthen the coordination of all skills development programmes to better equip our people with relevant skills. We will also be moving with speed to stimulate economic industries that have the potential of creating more jobs; and these include the following:
• Developing a dedicated support mechanism and infrastructure to enhance manufacturing, given that most of the manufacturing activities create more jobs.
• Develop a dedicated support to clothing and textile through exploring possible incentives or establishing a dedicated Special Economic Zone for Textile.
• Provide a comprehensive support package to KZN farmers so that they can become more productive and profitable. This will include a dedicated mechanisation plan and access to market for small scale and subsistence farmers.
• We will further engage National Government in conducting assessment of all farms that have been returned back to communities. We must engage in a process of reactivation all those farms within a clear framework based on supporting those who work the land. It is high-time that the land that has been redistributed to our people is utilised productively, hence this support must focus on those who are committed to work the land.
Priority No 3 – Growing the Economy
We fully appreciate that economic growth is central to job creation. The provincial government commits to the following:
• Ensure acceleration of the investment drive that the Province led towards the Presidential Investment Conference to attract more investors to the province.
• Ensure the implementation of all catalytic investment projects by setting up a permanent coordination mechanism which will support project promoters to fast-track implementation.
• Ensure the implementation of District Industrial Hubs and comprehensive support for industrial parks such as KwaSithebe, Ladysmith and Newcastle. All our efforts on industrialisation will continue to feed and be linked to our two Special Economic Zones namely Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay Economic Development Zones.
Priority No.4 - Growing SMMEs and Cooperative
We want to declare poverty as a public enemy. We say so because poverty creates a vicious cycle of hunger, indignity, and insecurity. It contributes to social instability, crime, moral decay, and compounds the impact of under-development.
It is abundantly clear that a democracy can only survive if it is founded on a thriving, shared economy. A thriving economy, in a national democratic society, requires efficient markets that address the racial and gender exclusions of the apartheid past as well as address the peri-urban squalor and grinding rural poverty.
Experience and international research tells us that small and micro enterprises play a major role in fighting poverty, in particular, through small and localised business opportunities.
Therefore, our major focus over the next five years will be on pursuing the radical economic transformation programme – Operation Vula. We are going to ensure that government source its required products from local small and micro enterprises and cooperatives.
The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs will soon launch the Operation Vula Fund to provide financial support to feasible SMMEs and Cooperatives.
We want to lift millions of people out of poverty through a clear radical economic transformation programme.
We will focus on the development of rural areas and ensure that communities in these areas enjoy the fruits of democracy. We want to rebuild these local areas as engines of national and provincial economic development.
It is through the development of rural communities that we will ensure meaningful inclusive economic growth, redistribution of wealth and the creation of an equal society. We want to deliver a genuinely new South Africa where there is equal access to opportunities.
Priority No. 5 – Education and Skills Development
Education is central in national development. It is through education that the country’s human resource gain capacity to be absorbed by industries. The provincial government will continue with plans to provide access to education, including ensuring that children at the age of three years attend Early Childhood Development.
We want to see our department of education moving with speed to ensure that secondary education fully embrace the provision of technical skills and the evolving technological development which is part of Fourth Industrial Revolution to ensure that there is a just transition and that no one is left behind.
Priority No. 6 – Human Settlement and sustainable livelihood
We will continue with the provision of houses and ensuring a sustainable livelihood to all our people. In the last financial year the department detailed mega housing projects which absorbed more people. These are:
• the building of 25 000 houses at Cornubia in eThekwini;
• 10 000 houses in uMhlathuze;
• 10 585 social/rental housing in eThekwini Inner City;
• 27 875 Urban Hub units in KwaMashu Bridge City;
• 18 000 Urban Regeneration units in Umlazi;
• 20 000 units in the Amaoti Greater Housing Project;
• 9 511 units in Johston, Blaaubosch Cavan; and
• 4 600 units Ilembe: KwaDukuza:Hyde Park.
In other words, over the next few years, the Province will deliver no less than 125 000 units. We will give progress when we present the State of the Province Address in June 2019.
One of the major focus of this administration will be to develop and implement a clear plan to provide houses to all people who stay in transit camps.
The department will embark on a vigorous approach through establishing war-rooms together with affected municipalities to ensure implementation, monitoring and delivery of projects targeting these communities living in transit camps.
Priority No. 7 – Build a Peaceful Province
It is an indisputable fact that KwaZulu–Natal is characterised as one of the violent provinces in the country. We need to take decisive action to address violence and crime in the province.
We will ensure the implementation of all recommendations of the Moerane Commission which was tasked to investigate factors behind the killing of political leaders and activists. This work will also include support by the National Task Team which is investigating cases related to the killing of political leaders.
Crime has equally become a vicious scourge in many areas. People live in fear as criminals embark on a reign of terror in communities. The situation gets compounded by the lack of effective response from law enforcement agencies because of apparent the lack of capacity, inadequate resources, or alleged lack of commitment from the police. We will monitor the functioning of all police stations which have high levels of crime and ensure that we take necessary interventions.
We will further ensure the functioning of community policing forums to help mobilise communities to work in support of the law enforcement agencies.
Working with the people and all sectors of society, we commit to building a peaceful province where no one will live in fear.
Priority No. 8 - Build a caring and incorruptible government
South Africans from all walks of life have spoken.
Through their votes, people have made a telling statement that they need a government that cares, listens, and responds to their concerns. We commit to move with an accelerated speed while providing services with care to all
We have undertaken to ensure that all departments are fully functional, effective, and strictly adhere to the public service principles of Batho-Pele.
We take this opportunity to call on all government employees to serve our people honestly, respectful and with diligence. There must be no excuse to selflessly and faithfully serve the public.
We are mindful that the conditions of some public servants require major improvements and we commit to spare no time in attending to their legitimate concerns so that all public servants are single-mindedly focused on serving the people.
The Premier’s Office will embark on Operation Siyahlola which will focus on the functioning of the departments, government service centres and monitoring the implementation of government projects.
We will do this to ensure that we instil the culture of serving the people because ours is a National Democratic Revolution which seeks to attain human dignity and equality for all. The state as a pillar of human support must treat, care for, and protect all people, especially the weak, vulnerable, and the disabled.