Premier Stan Mathabatha delivers his last state of the province

LOCAL NEWS

By Mpho Modiba

POLOKWANE-The Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha gave his last State of The Province Address in the 6th administration at Jack Botes Hall, Polokwane on Thursday, February 29.

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha says the province has, over the past decade, worked tirelessly to bring stability and sound administration.

“Through collective effort and unwavering commitment, we have seen remarkable improvements in audit outcomes and overall provincial performance,” Mathabatha said.

Delivering the State of the Province Address in Polokwane on Thursday, Mathabatha said the once prevalent disclaimer audit opinions are now a thing of the past in the provincial departments, public entities and municipalities.

“In 2013, Limpopo was at a critical juncture. Five departments were under national administration. Confidence in our provincial administration was waning. Our task was clear, yet daunting. It was to breathe life back into these departments and restore confidence in our governance.

“[Now] no department is under administration. As we reflect on the progress we have made, let us also look to the future with optimism and determination,” Mathabatha said.

Mathabatha said the story of Limpopo’s renewal and development is far from over.

“It is a continuous journey, one that requires an active citizenry, and the collective effort of every community and leader. Together, we can build on the foundation we have laid, striving for even greater achievements and a brighter future for all who call Limpopo home.

“Our trajectory towards a Limpopo that we all yearn for is taking shape during an unfavorable, harsh global reality,” he said.

Mathabatha said under the circumstances, the province needs to build greater self-reliance and increase its share of value addition in finished products.

“It is important to continue our efforts to achieve manufacturing localisation, to deepen and expand domestic beneficiation of our minerals and primary agricultural products, industrialise and drive large-scale employment,” he said.

Mathabatha said since 2022, the province has become the fifth largest province in South Africa.

“Although we have moved from the fourth spot, we have become the largest contributor to Gauteng’s population.

“Our economic and social development programmes should help us retain our youth, while protecting their freedom of movement. Democracy has brought about many shifts. More people stay where they want to,” he said.

Food security

Mathabatha said the provincial government remains determined to support its people in food production.

“Limpopo has established a firm role in food security in our country.”

Mathabatha said 29% of households in the province now grow food in their yards.

“This is a testament to the fact that we have an active citizenry in food production. We remain determined to support our people in food production,” Mathabatha said.

He emphasised the need to build on the progress made, harnessing the potential of the  youth, investing in infrastructure, fostering industrialisation and promoting sustainable development.

“… We have made progress in addressing the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. We also all acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done. I am sure we all agree that the road to success is a journey, not a sprint,” Mathabatha said.

Mathabatha said as the province, they reaffirm what President Cyril Ramaphosa said during the State of the Nation Address earlier this month, that the provincial government must strive for a non-racial and non-sexist democratic South Africa.

Finally, I wish to pay special tribute to my late wife, the First Lady of Limpopo, Margret Mathabatha, who was my pillar of strength, from the first day as I took over the responsibilities as Limpopo Premier.

Your support was not limited to my responsibilities as the Premier, you were also a dependable ally, a beautiful wife, my comrade, a caring mother to our children, a pillar of strength to the impoverished, a gender-based violence activist, and a darling of my family, relatives and the people of Limpopo.

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