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The Premier of Limpopo, Mr Stanley Mathabatha, has expressed the extent of disparity in relation to the economic conditions in the province.  

During his speech to welcome National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Limpopo delegates who visited the province to embark on the Provincial Week programme, Premier Mathabatha said Limpopo is the second province after Western Cape with the lowest unemployment rate, but still the second poorest in the country after the Eastern Cape.

“The latest statistics figures indicate the state of dilemma for the province. Although we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, we still need to reduce unemployment from 20.8% to 14% in the medium and long term,” said Mr Mathabatha.

According to him, the province has created 32 000 jobs, which is the highest number in the country followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal with 29 000 jobs in the second quarter of 2017.

The Provincial Week is the annual programme of the NCOP intended to give permanent delegates and provincial legislatures an opportunity to undertake oversight visits to employment-creation initiatives across the nine provinces.

The theme for this year is: “Advancing our collective efforts to creating work opportunities for our people”.  

Over the next two days the delegates, together with some of the Members of the Limpopo Legislature, will break into two groups to conduct oversight visits in Waterberg and Vhembe Districts.

The group that will be in Vhembe will visit five projects including Zwithi Food and Soap production and Nwanedi Agricultural Hub in Musina, Den Staat Irrigation Scheme in Mapungubwe, Makuya Nature Reserve in Thulamela and Awelani Lodge located between Musina and Phafuri.

Meanwhile, the group that will be in Waterberg will visit seven projects including a road project in Ga-Seleka, Mivami construction and Babirwa Trust in Abbotspoort, Morogwa CPA in Lephalale, Dwaalboom clinic, Bakotudi Organic Primary Agriculture Cooperative in Thabazimbi and Rejarenamile Agriculture Cooperative in Sebilong village.

The leader of the delegation and Whip, Ms Tsepane Mampuru, said the delegation takes pride in acknowledging that it is not only a great team, but is also dedicated.

“We are still struggling to push hard on provincial departments because we are not provided with the information. We requested many times to be invited when departments present their reports to the legislature or at least have those reports forwarded to us in Parliament,” said Ms Mampuru.

Ms Mampuru also reiterated that the delegation would like to be invited when the province hands over major projects.

By Justice Molafo
10 October 2017