By: Otto Ngoveni
The Limpopo Executive Council met on the 27th September 2017 to discuss a wide range of issues pertinent to delivery of services to the citizens of the province. This meeting comes less than a week after a successful investment trip to Europe and some of the points raised during the discussions are key to improving the province’s economy.
In the Provision of Financial Support to Limpopo PSL Teams In line with established practise from other provinces regarding support of professional teams plying their trade in the PSL, the Executive Council has approved that the Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) should, with the support of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, negotiate and enter into a formal agreement (MOU) with the two Football Clubs based in the province, namely Baroka F.C and Polokwane City F.C.
LTA will roll out support to these two teams, utilising funds from their current budget. In the event of a shortfall, the Provincial Treasury department will consider making additional funds available.
The EXCO also touched on the Education Turnaround Strategy, where the Department has developed a new strategy (The Ten Point Plan on LTSM) to ensure timeous delivery of LTSM for the next Academic Year (2018)
There has also been a significant increase in learner enrolment as well as improved
attendance and retention in Limpopo schools in the 2017 academic year, resulting in the need for an increase in the provision of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).
The Province has registered an increase in the participation rate in Maths and Science subjects for the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC), and recorded an increase in the pass rate compared to 2015.
In terms of the Agricultural sector, Agri-Parks were established where the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (LDARD), Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and District Municipalities are working together on the implementation of the Agri-parks programme in each of the five District Municipalities.
Agri-parks have been adopted as a model for the revitalisation of agriculture and agro-processing value chains, as one of the nine-point plan to grow the economy and create jobs, also as envisioned by the NDP, Limpopo Development Plan (LDP) and the New Growth Path (NGP) on integrated and inclusive rural economy.
Amoungst the issues, the government spoke about the Stabilisation of LIM345 Municipality where the Vuwani Regional Office has been opened with effect from 07 September 2017, and the Community Development Workers are currently manning the offices on a daily basis.
The Interim Project Manager from COGHSTA reports to the municipal offices three times a week and the District Municipality provides cleaning services at the office.
The Limpopo Province is considered a leading province in the Sub Tropical Fruit Production with Sub tropical fruit orchards that cover at least 204 square kilometres and employs at least 8 200 people. Fresh fruit exports contribute to foreign exchange earnings in the country.
LEDA together with the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is expanding its primary production in this sector to double the size of its current capacity in order to increase levels of exports and inputs into food processing.
Spain is a serious global competitor in agriculture, especially in citrus production and our entry in the Spanish agricultural market is through the expansion of our niche agricultural competitiveness in which Spain is less dominant in order to enhance market opportunities for the expanding sub-tropical fruit production, especially, avocadoes and macadamia nuts.
The aim is to increase exports by at least R500 million in the next three years. Relationships have been built and next month, some Limpopo farmers will be visiting Spain for the purpose of marketing their products under the with the help of the provincial government.
The Limpopo Economic Development Agency is building the Information, Communication and Technology Sector in order to enhance production efficiencies, expand access to information by people across the whole province and to create opportunities for youth development in the field of ICT.
The Transport, Storage and Communication sector contributes R13.1 billion to the Gross Domestic Product of the Province (4.8%). This sector must contribute at least 6% of the Gross Domestic Product of Limpopo, expand access to knowledge in rural areas and bring the talent
of our young citizens into manifestation.
University of Rennes in France – one of the leading universities in the area of ICT has agreed to partner with the Limpopo Connexion (a subsidiary of LEDA which is in the process of rolling out Broadband in the province) and the University of Limpopo in building the knowledge economy in the province. This breakthrough enhances the potential success of the Innovation Hub project which is being developed by the Limpopo Connexion.
The implementation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone is gaining momentum. The Musina-Makhado SEZ has committed foreign direct investment of R40 billion and will employ no less than 19 000 jobs of which 12 000 will be metallurgists.
On the 19th September 2017 the SEZ Operator Permit was presented to Shenzen Hoimor at the BRICS Exhibition held in Xiamen. With this milestone the implementation of the SEZ is gathering pace.