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Focussing on economic growth, education and youth

Written by Noluthando Motswai
The North West highlights key priorities.

Economic development, improving education and youth empowerment are key priorities for the North West province.

Premier Supra Mahumapelo said the province will introduce the Oliver Reginald Tambo top maths and science achievers for all Grade 12 learners in all schools in villages, towns and ‘small dorpies’ to fulfil  former African National Congress President Tambo’s wish to see the African child master science and maths subjects.

“This Tambo initiative will launch the first cohort of learners who will be products of consistent push, a year-long dedicated strategy aimed at identifying and giving support throughout the year to all learners from Grades 9 to 12, said Premier Mahumapelo.

To achieve this, non-governmental organisations,  university lecturers and retired other professionals will be recruited to provide extra classes over weekends, evenings and holidays.

Support for the youth

During the 2016/17 financial year, the North West Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) fund came into effect. This paved the way for the establishment of a new youth fund that will serve as a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurship, skills development and job opportunities.

YES, located in the Office of the Premier, will have ongoing engagements with development finance and institutions like the National Youth Development Agency and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency to provide support packages that will create sustainable jobs and working enterprises managed and operated by the youth.

“On 1 March, 200 youth began training in security-related fields. The YES, in partnership with the North West Development Corporation and the South African National Defence Force, continue to give both financial and non-financial support to youth enterprises,” said the Premier.Funding for higher education

 The North West government will spend R48 million to fund 493 students in higher education institutions across the country in 2017.

“In partnership with Denel Technical Academy a new satellite campus will be launched in Mahikeng in June, with an initial intake of 40 students with at least a 50 percent matric pass in mathematics and science.

“The total cost of student funding for tuition in the first year will be R6 million, or R150 000 per student for a full government bursary,” the Premier confirmed.

He added that the province has partnered with the National Department of Water and Sanitation and the Presidential Youth Development Programme to train 561 artisans and water agents in four municipalities.

“Government, working with Eskom, will training 31 technicians sourced from various villages, townships and ‘small dorpies’, and 60 students will be awarded bursaries for the 2017 academic year.”

Electricity for all

Over 19 000 North West residents now have access to electricity, 122 houses over the target was set at the beginning of the financial year.

“The North West has reached an impressive coverage rate of 85 percent, and the backlog, to reach universal coverage, is 15 percent.”

In the 2017/18 financial year government and Eskom will connect 4 787 houses in the Bojanala Platinum District, 4 832 in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District, 2 203 houses in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District and 178 connections in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District.

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