Efforts by the North West provincial administration to intensify the fight against the worrisome ills of unemployment, poverty, hunger and poor education levels must be welcomed and applauded by all South Africans.
The provincial government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Supra Mahumapelo has so far taken decisive steps to not only improve the lives of citizens in the region, but also introduced several government-driven programmes to turn around economic development aimed at benefiting the citizenry .
Programmes such as the much talked-about Setsokotsane, the VTSD (villages, townships and small dorpies), biekie biekie maak meer and other slogans made famous by Mahumapelo, we believe, are sincerely and truly aimed at promoting economic growth and nothing else.
With the unemployment statistics in the province standing a staggering 38 percent affecting especially young people, the North West province announced several new measures which would help to address both poverty and joblessness while improving economic growth. Mahumapelo told a media briefing in Moruleng last week that students who dropped out of school, those who are trained but failed to find jobs due to the wrong qualifications which are not in demand were just some of the factors affecting definite employment.
“In fact, there are people whose qualifications are not relevant for the economy and are adding to unemployment figures, a thing we should try and address as the government”, he said adding that most unemployment people were in the province’s villages. Farms, townships and small towns where poverty and unemployment was more prominent a fact which forces people to migrate to big cities.
He said the provincial government would seek ways to change this scenario and through its departments, focus on prioritising programmes aimed at reducing youth unemployment and poverty levels.
Mahumapelo’s announcement that a legislative process was ongoing to change three provincial government entities including the North West Development Corporation (NWDC), to be known as the NW People’s Growth Agency (PEGA), the North West Transport Investment (NTI) which will fall under PEGA and whose board will be changed into NWPEGA while PEGA will partner with the Industrial Development Corporation and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to deal with economic challenges.
However, the public still need to be assured beyond any doubt that while these remain all very interesting developments in the economic “crystal ball” of the province, they have nothing to do with widespread allegations made by naysayers that “Supra is busy building his own empire for a rainy day”.
It will indeed be a pity that at the end of it all, it is discovered that there had been ulteria motives in such well orchestrated plans aimed at building the provincial economy and empower our young people.
We welcome any move aimed at supporting and ensuring that the economic transformation of the province takes place.