Bokone Bophirima’s provincial government held a two-day Executive Council (EXCO) Lekgotla at Cooke’s Lake Lodge in Mahikeng to highlight how it has been able to implement the National Development Plan (NDP).
The EXCO Lekgotla reflected on the work done by provincial departments, districts and local municipalities as well as state-owned entities.
Premier Supra Mahumapelo briefed the media on developments following the Lekgotla.
“We have assessed the progress we have made and the economy of the province is growing at 2%, which is above the national average. As the provincial government we have taken a decision to intensify the Setsokotsane 10 by 10 Campaigns on the issue relating to fighting greed, crime and corruption,” he said.
The provincial government will also be embarking on lifestyle audits on all government employees, mayors and councilors.
“Over 700 public servants and politicians will come under scrutiny as we conduct these lifestyle audits. From March this year we will be starting at the Premier’s Office where an independent team will start auditing the Premier and the administration. From there after, the auditors will be going to various departments on a monthly basis. This team will then be reporting on a quarterly basis to the public on the results of this lifestyle audit,’’ said Mahumapelo.
The provincial government will also be looking at all government related projects to see if all the procurement processes were followed when tenders were awarded.
“This will help to stop all these wild allegations against officials that are unsubstantiated. We encourage all members of the public to come forward with any information that might help to investigate corruption in the province,” said Mahumapelo.
The provincial government will also be intensifying its Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) industrialization programme.
“As government we consume over R7 billion in services and products that are sourced from overseas and other provinces. We want to manufacture these products locally in our VTSD areas. Eskom has come on board and they have agreed to help us with electrification. Their target was 12 234 households for the 2017/2018 financial year, but they have reached 12 32, which is over a 100% of their target.”
In terms of municipal audit outcomes, the provincial government recently met with the Auditor General (AG) to discuss ways to improve the audits.
“When I came in as Premier we found that there were 15 ailing municipalities. We have reduced the number to eight, but some attention will have to be paid to these municipalities because the number has now increased to 12. We are working with the AG to see how we can reduce this number,” the Premier said.
In terms of water supply, 87% of people in the province have got access to clean drinking water. The province has realised that there are issues relating to infrastructure, but the Premier said this is being addressed.
Mahumapelo said the province of Bokone Bophirima would be using technology to report damaged roads and potholes so they may get quick attention.
“We will be using technology where road users can send information through a mobile application to Department of Public Works and Roads so that potholes can be fixed within 12 to 18 hours. This will assist in ensuring that our roads are safer to use,” he said.
The provincial government will have fully implemented the national cabinet decision on rationalisation of State Owned Entities (SOEs) by April this year.
“We are going to combine all SOEs under one roof, which will be called the People’s Economic Growth Agency (PEGA), which is currently known as the North West Development Corporation (NWDC). SOEs that will fall under PEGA include the North West Parks Board and the North West Housing Corporation”.
Mahumapelo said the provincial government is looking at ways in which it can turn public servants into entrepreneurs. He said this is important because after serving for about 15 years in the public sector they have enough money in their pension funds that can be used as start-up capital for businesses. This will enable them to leave the system quicker to allow new entrants into the system. He said the provincial government would be speaking to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on how they can turn this into a reality.