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Free State sheds light on its plans

Written by Albert Pule
The province is doing  all it can to ensure a better life for community members.

The Free State provincial government will continue to send students to international universities, open new health facilities and implement the back-to-basics approach for clean governance.

Premier Ace Magashule made the announcement during his recent State of the Province Address.

He said his administration will model its work on the life of activist and struggle icon and former President of the African National Congress Oliver Reginald Tambo.   

“We do this because we appreciate the influence of President Tambo in ensuring that the Bill of Rights became one of the tenets of our Constitution.”

Improving education

Since 2009, the provincial government has been sending students to further their education in medicine, engineering and other Science-related studies at various local and international universities, including those in China, Russia and Cuba.

“We have successfully increased the number of bursaries from 139 in 2009 to 8 232.

“Out of these, 861 students are pursuing various fields of study in different countries in the world,” said Premier Magashule.

He added that many other students will also be sent to other countries. “Later this year 48 students will go to Turkey for vocational training, and 29 will study agriculture in Bulgaria.”

Enhancing healthcare infrastructure

Premier Magashule’s administration is striving for quality and affordable healthcare services.

“In our endeavour to achieve a healthcare system that works for everyone, we identified four strategic outcomes to improve the national health system, namely to increase life expectancy, decrease maternal and child mortality, combat HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB) and decrease the burden of disease.”

The province has improved TB screening from 65 to 70 percent. Currently, 100 percent of new multi-drug resistant TB patients are on the new drug, Bedaquiline.

Developing rural areas and supporting farmers

Farmers in the Free State will receive support from the provincial government to make a positive contribution to the economy. 

“We will provide support to producers with high potential to contribute to the economy. We will also focus on commodities with high value chain and potential to contribute to agro-processing and job creation.

“The main commodities receiving support include grain, poultry, ostrich, fish, red meat, vegetables and fruit production,” said Magashule.

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