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The North West’s permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) visited three service delivery sites yesterday. The sites were Springbok Pan grain silos, Ramaine High School and the Sundowner Guest Lodge.

The visits were carried out to assess employment-creation initiatives by the government and private sector under the theme: “Advancing our collective efforts to creating work opportunities for our people”.

The Springbok Pan grain silos are a value chain agri-park located near Itsoseng, in the Ditsobotla Local Municipality. These silos have been operating for three years and form part of the three silos that belong to the Department of Rural Environment and Agricultural Development. One has the capacity of storing 50 000 tons, while the Kraaipan and Vryhof silos can each store 90 000 tons. 

Mr Boingotlo Nthebe, who is the Whip of the North West Provincial delegation, wanted to find out about the production process and the costs of production. The production capacity is 1 to 2.2 tons per hectare for emerging farmers and 3 to 5 tons per hectare for commercial farmers. It costs roughly about R8 000 per hectare to produce grain.

The silos were built by the former Bophuthatswana homeland government and they needed to be refurbished at a cost of R16m to instal damp proofing as a means to avoid crop losses. More than R33m was invested last year and the silos made over R53m in profit.

At the Ramaine High School, Magogwe in the Mahikeng Local Municipality where the North West Provincial Government has a programme that trains 1 000 young people on security services every year through Sasseta (Safety and Security Seta).

Part of the aim of the programme is to allow the provincial government to establish a state-owned security company that will guard government, municipal and state-owned buildings.

The delegation also heard that more than 100 entrepreneurs are currently receiving a one-year training in wholesale and retail at the Ramaine High School. Part of what they are taught at the school is how to run a retail business in a multi-business container consisting of grilled red meat and chicken (“Chisa Nyama”), hair salon, hardware store and convenience store.

It is hoped that after training, the graduates will be able to buy discounted goods from large-scale food producers and can compete with other business entrepreneurs in the market.

The site visits were followed by a public meeting at Gopane Village Tribal Hall where more than 300 community members attended the public meeting. The people told the delegation about the lack of the delivery of services to them.  

They complained about the lack of water, electricity, police services, limited health services and high unemployment rate.

Today the delegation will visit the Leeudoringstad School of the Deaf and a clinic and primary school in the Maquassi Hills and Matlosana Local Municipalities.

By Tebatso Vusi Mabilisa

12 October 2017