As the country strives for post-lockdown economic recovery, the Eastern Cape has a great potential of being counted among major role players.
Speaking at the Eastern Cape Executive Council Lekgotla, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the province has diverse resources that can be utilised to stimulate economic growth.
The Eastern Cape is battling with high levels of poverty and unemployment. But with its natural resources and infrastructure, it can unlock opportunities. This could result in the province being an investment destination.
President Ramaphosa says the province must come up with plans to turnaround the fortunes of its people, by driving programmes of economic transformation “that better the lives of the citizens of the province, especially traditionally marginalised groups like women, young people, persons with disabilities, and rural dwellers. This lekgotla must come up with concrete and tangible proposals to attract development and investment in sectors that leverage the endowments of the province.”
President Ramaphosa also wants action to be taken against municipalities that fail to render basic services.
“At this difficult time, when poverty is likely to deepen as a result of the pandemic, we have to demonstrate that we are a caring, professional government accountable to the people we serve. Poverty-alleviation programmes will need to be stepped up and creative, innovative measures conceptualised.”
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane says they are equal to the task.
“This is going to be a monumental task but it is not insurmountable. It is going to require extra effort from us. As leaders from the front, we have to do twice the amount of work we were supposed to do, to make up for a lost time. This means more hours of work and fewer hours of sleep for all of us as leaders. Unfortunately, this requirement comes with the territory of our responsibilities.”
President Ramaphosa is expected to deliver his State of the Nation address this week to outline plans for the year ahead.
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)