The Provincial Executive Council chaired by the Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube held its first ordinary meeting for the year 2023 and took the following decisions:
EXCO SATISFIED WITH THE GLITCH-FREE COMMENCEMENT OF THE 2023 SCHOOL CALENDER YEAR CONGRATULATES THE MATRIC CLASS OF 2023
The Executive Council welcomed the report on the assessment of the start of the 2023 calendar year for schools that was conducted by various Members of the Executive Council and Members of the Provincial Legislature.
The Provincial Government applauded all education stakeholders for ensuring a glitch free start to schooling in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Provincial Executive Council also congratulated the Matric Class of 2022 for achieving the sterling matric results of an overall pass rate of 83% against all the odds.
Once again in 2023 KwaZulu-Natal will constitute the biggest schooling system in the country with over 2,8million learners in 6242 schools.
The Matric Class enrolment is again expected to be the largest in the country to sit for the examination in October this year. 1777 schools will have Matric and 90 000 educators will be daily involved in educating leaners in all our schools in 2023.
The Executive Council is satisfied that all the teachers were at school and that all the learner Support Material was distributed on time in all the schools.
The Exco appreciated progress with the work being done in the 186 schools that were damaged by floods and these will be supported to ensure that learning losses are mitigated.
KZN TO PILOT ONLINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM
The Executive Council has given the green light for the province to pilot the online registration system for schools. The Province will identify a few districts which will be used as the pilots before the system is rolled in rest of KwaZulu-Natal.
EXCO said the Department of Education should learn from experiences in Provinces that had already been implementing this system over the years, and where necessary, this would allow improvement of the existing system.
SMART SCHOOLS AND NON-VIABLE SCHOOLS
In line with the building of a smart province and launching youth into the digital revolution, EXCO welcomes the focus on technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which will see 14 Primary Schools offering Robotics resources and training teachers in the Information Communications Technology Curriculum Integration.
Exco has directed the Department of Education to audit the non-viable schools and to explore the possibility of these schools being converted into learning and training centres or community colleges to build a skills base to grow the local economy.
PLACEMENT OF LEARNERS AFFECTED BY FLOODS
Exco is satisfied that learners affected by floods have been placed in schools. EThekwini had the highest number of learners affected by the floods. A total of 785 learners are provided support under this programme. Through the Department of Social Development the government has ensured that deserving learners have been provided with school uniforms. Learner transport is being offered to leaners to ensure they do not miss their lessons and are in class on time.
EXCO wishes all the learners well as they embark on their post-schooling years and wishes to encourage them to explore TVETS for vocational training and technical skills.
The province requires a strong technical skills base as it seeks to recover economically.
Learners who do not qualify for the TVET colleges or universities are encouraged to explore the Second- Chance Matric Programme.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REVISED NEW PREFERENTIAL PROCUREMENT POLICY TO DRIVE ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
The Executive Council received the report on the Preferential Procurement Guidelines following the Constitutional Court judgement against the PPPFA 2017 regulations.
The Provincial Government has welcomed the development of guidelines by the Provincial Treasury to assist departments and municipal entities with their preferential procurement policy.
The Provincial Executive Council remains committed to using the state procurement as a key instrument to transform the provincial economy for the benefit of women, youth and historically disadvantaged groups in line with its mandate as a developmental state.
EXCO TAKES A STAND ON SUSPENDED OFFICIALS BLEEDING GOVERNMENT COFFERS DRY
The Provincial Executive Council has directed all departments to speed up disciplinary cases on officials on precautionary suspension due to allegations of misconduct and either transgressions.
The province undertook a status and age analysis in respect of disciplinary cases including precautionary cases. The Exco is concerned that some of the cases are dragging for a long time due to various legal wrangles leading to time frames being exceeded.
The Provincial Government notes that there are a high number of cases in the Labour Court. The Executive Council has approved that “Operation Mbo” – joint multi-disciplinary approach be undertaken.
The Province is concerned at being associated with the highest stigma of high number of suspended officials on full pay. Even more concerning is the money being paid in salaries received by officials on suspension while they are not gainfully employed.
The EXCO has directed all departments to finalise all outstanding cases and speed up the filling of labour relations posts to clear the backlogs.
KZN PROVINCE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE SCIENCE INSTITUTE IN DOHA
The Province of KwaZulu-Natal will participate at the International Administrative Sciences Conference to be held in DOHA from 06 -09 February 2023.
The theme of the conference will focus on Developmental States, Professionalization of Public Administration and Public Policy. The Provincial delegation will be led by the Premier and will comprise of a senior official within the Governance, State Capacity and Institutional Development Cluster.
The Province will draw lessons to improve the performance of the state and benchmark with regions with similar development agenda.
KZN CLIMATE CHANGE COUNCIL TO ENSURE PROVINCIAL PREPAREDNESS AHEAD OF DISASTER SEASONS
While the province is still reeling from impact of the recent floods, the Provincial Executive Council has resolved to convene the KZN Climate Change Council to ensure provincial preparedness and build provincial resilience to climate change effects.
During the January to June season it has become a norm that the province will one way or the other experience a catastrophic impact in the form of disasters induced by the climate change.
The KZN Climate Change Council will seek to mobilise all stakeholders to be better prepared in order to respond timeously to the effects and impact of climate change and to develop sustainable methods of adaptation where appropriate.
UMTHAYI MARULA FESTIVAL
The Provincial Government will participate at the 2023 Umthayi/ Marula Festival which is used to showcase women-led business initiatives.
The Marula Fruit/ Umthayi has become a unifying festival promoting social cohesion among all South Africans. The occasion promotes African unity with our neighbouring African countries and is a major tourist draw card.
Umthayi / marula immortalises and preserves the unique cultural practices of the people of Northern KZN. The Government will be investing in programmes to support women cooperatives.
The Departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs as well as Agriculture and Rural Development will be leading interventions to ensure the uMthayi/Marula festival becomes an economic catalyst to boost the tourism economy, create products for marketing and exports using the marula fruit and create jobs.
The Executive Council passed its condolences once more on the passing of the Mayor of Ugu District Municipality, Cllr. Phumlile Mthiyane and the Municipal Manager Dr Sibusiso Ntombela. The Exco also extends condolences on the passing on Isiphakanyiswa Dadi Wilson Ntlabati.
Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government Communication