President Cyril Ramaphosa during his recent State of the Nation Address (SoNA) defined South Africa as a country that rises above adversity, capturing and igniting hope. The nine Premiers also shared plans in line with the SoNA through their 2023 State of the Province Addresses. These also focused on priority issues including the energy crisis, service delivery, climate change, job creation and healthcare.
Premier Panyaza Lesufi stressed that:
- Fighting crime was a top priority, the province will be increasing its budget for fighting crime from R750 million to over R1 billion in the next three years.
- Starting from the 1st of April 2023, suburbs, townships, business districts, schools, and other public places will be connected with high-tech, face and car-recognition closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs).
- The province is also at an advanced stage of buying 180 drones that will gain access to areas that are difficult to patrol and police. These drones are equipped with technology that can capture the direction of a bullet and where they come from.
- The province has bought 400 new police cars so that from the 1st of May, every ward in Gauteng has a 24-hour patrol vehicle.
- 6 000 young men and women have been recruited to monitor and police Gauteng 24/7, they will be on the streets of Gauteng from the 1st of May 2023.
Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape announced:
- The Province has established a Steering Committee jointly with the Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu to urgently attend to water and sanitation challenges across the province.
- The Steering Committee has developed a plan to deal with immediate water challenges, with priority being given to Ditsobotla, Naledi, Madibeng, Ramotshere Moiloa and others.
- The Provincial War Room on the water will be retained which forms part of the accelerated rapid service delivery approach announced in 2022.
Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane presented that:
- Even in the toughest economic times, some sectors keep the provincial economy going, that keep employing new people and retaining existing jobs. The auto sector does this exceptionally well.
- The province recently established an auto sector aftermarket programme that will benefit 300-panel beaters and mechanics in the Eastern Cape.
- The programme will be rolled out by the Automotive Industry Development Center Eastern Cape (AIDC-EC), and it will focus on training, capacity building and aftermarket funding over the next 3 years.
- The programme aims to capacitate panel beaters and mechanics to access the R40 billion annual spend by the insurance industry and the R100 million spent by Government Fleet.
- In the last few months, the East London Industrial Development Zone SOC Ltd (ELIDZ) has attracted R535 million in investment while the Coega SEZ has received corresponding investment value pledges of R557.7 million. Manufacturers in the ELIDZ created an additional 1200 jobs last year.
Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha said:
- The provision of healthcare and education services should be among the first to be insulated from electric power supply interruptions.
- Healthcare will be prioritised with the installation of solar power in hospitals and clinics in the province.
- The province will soon launch the Renewable Energy Strategy by Musina-Makhado SEZ in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development.
- The strategy serves as a blueprint to guide investments in our energy cluster, and also to promote sustainable development.
Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane said:
- In partnership with the Presidential Climate Commission, the Climate Investment Fund and the World Bank, Mpumalanga is exploring plans to diversify its local economies.
- This will reduce dependency on coal; re-skilling and upskilling the most vulnerable in the labour force; and support small businesses and co-operatives in local communities to access emerging opportunities in the green economy sector.
- Through the Youth Development Fund, the province has in the current financial year approved 36 companies for funding, with a total amount of R92.3 million
- The province will set aside 30 percent of its Youth Development Fund to fund businesses owned by people with disabilities from rural areas.
Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube offered:
- Kwa-Zulu Natal will be establishing an Energy War Room which includes government and strategic partners to oversee the province’s response to the electricity crisis.
- By the end of March 2023, KZN will appoint a panel of energy experts to coordinate and help accelerate the implementation of the KZN Energy Master Plan.
- Building standards will be reviewed to ensure new houses are fitted with energy-saving equipment and that it is standard for RDP houses to be fitted with solar rooftops.
- All departments and municipalities will finalise registers of water infrastructure, hospitals, clinics, schools and key assets that will be exempted from load shedding.
- EThekwini Metro is at an advanced stage in implementing its energy generation capacity with the first phase covering 400 MW and increasing to 2000 MW by 2030
Premier Alan Winde described:
- The Western Cape Government has set aside an R89 million emergency fund for ensuring that municipalities are resourced to ensure safe drinking water and working sewage infrastructure during load shedding.
- The money will be used to purchase backup generators for the treatment and supply of water services.
- The provincial treasury department will allocate just over R1 billion rand to respond to the energy crisis in the upcoming three-year budget period.
Premier Mxolisi Dukwana disclosed:
- The province’s biggest task is to ensure that communities live in quality houses, are safe, and have access to healthcare and education.
- The province will spend R1.9 billion on upgrading and maintaining road infrastructure
- The Free State provincial government will be exploring the implementation of solutions such as 24-hour road construction.
Premier Zamani Saul conveyed that:
- The implementation of the Digital Call Centres for Emergency Medical Services in partnership with Vodacom in Upington and Kimberley has seen a drastic increase in the number of calls from an average of 3 000 to 10 000 calls per month.
- We also note the improvement from 45% to 85% in the management of calls for ambulances.
- Government in conjunction with the World Health Organisation has established the Health Informatics Unit and the Provincial Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHOEC). This will help to improve health management, data analysis, planning, emergency and disaster response.