Premier Senzomchunu: Kwazulu-natal State of the Province Address

 
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Recognition of Dignitaries

His Majesty - HlangaLomhlabathi

Madam Speaker

Deputy Speaker

Honourable Members of the Provincial Executive

Honourable Members of the Legislature

Mayors and Councillors of Local Government

Amakhosi and Members of Traditional Councils present

Acting Director-General

Heads of Department and Public Entities

Social partners in business, Inter-faith and broader civil society

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sanibonani!

Introduction and scene setting statements

We are honoured and humbled to get this opportunity to address you on the state of our province. The challenges we are facing as a country and as a province as outlined by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address and how we intend dealing with them as articulated by the Minister of Finance, PravinGordhan yesterday, are by their very nature all humbling.

KwaZulu-Natal, like all other Provinces and the whole country, has no doubt that the combination of economic downturn in our country, severe drought and high unemployment have connived to create a very difficult situation for us indeed.

In February we trust. This is a month that lifted our spirits as a nation beyond any imagination in 1990. The announcement that Tata Madiba would be released and banned political organisations would be unbanned sounded unbelievable, as announced on 2nd February in the National Assembly. When the 11th of February 1990 indeed came, it was true inspiration to see Tata Nelson Mandela walking tall out of prison.

He touched the powerless and the powerful through his compassion and values of humanity. We invoke his spirit not out of convenience but because of its moral authority and its inspirational power, which must continue to guide our nation even in the most of difficult times.

Budget cuts and implications thereof limit government's ability to deliver the way we would under normal circumstances. I have always taken as common course that Indlalaibangaulaka, nothing else, I now know that budget cuts also have the same effect among us as the Executive.

Here in this address we will remind you of undertakings we made last year, give you progress we have made on them and outline priorities for the future.

In the last two weeks we have received news of lightning disaster related deaths which took place in Harding and Mhlabuyalingana resulting in the death of 12 people in our Province.

We also note with great concern the deaths that have taken place on our roads especially Ruth First Highway where cyclists were killed by motor vehicles a few months ago.

The taxi incident at Reunion Railway Station near uMlazi also which saw the death of 3 (three) children of which two were siblings is disheartening indeed. Children are the future and as society we need to care and protect them at all times.

We have also received news of storms in some parts of the province which have caused serious damage to property. To the families, relatives and friends of those who parted we say 'Akwehlangalungehli'.

Our message to the people of KwaZulu-Natal today is that we must be full of hope and use this opportunity to gather strength physically and mentally to propel ourselves further with much vigour, and WE CAN¦

In crafting the State of the Province Address, we invited the public to make their suggestions. We used the mainstream media and social media to enable the people of this province to tell their government what it should do to improve their lives.

We heard your calls and listened to your suggestions. The following excerpts called us to more action!

NhlanhlaKhumalo: uMongameliuthi "UmnothoWezweUleleKwezolimo"akesiqinisekakhulukumkhankasowokuthiakubuyelweemasiminikulinywehlezinobubhaobusikhungethebungehlakakhulu. Akaqinisekakhulu u Macingwanekwezolimo.

Ants Jean-louis: Coloureds need jobs and housing in KZNUpgrade schools in our black townships. upgrade Wentworth soccer grounds and living conditions. introduce different sporting codes into Black, Coloureds and Indian schools and townships.

Jerome MfanufikileDlamini: Macingwane, akekukhulunywekuphindekusukunywengentuthukoemakhaya. KwaVulamehlokuWard 9 awukhougesinamanzi.

We wish to assure these fellow compatriots of our commitment to them and we will look at these matters and many more.

Madam Speaker, after careful consideration on an appropriate theme for 2016 State of the Province Address, we came up with KwaZulu-Natal - A Growing, Developing and Caring Province Firmly FocussedOn Vision 2030!

Building on the progress we have made thus far

Madam Speaker, the 2016 State of the Province Address is the second one to be delivered in this five year cycle in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) and our own Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP). As announced in the 2015 State of the Province Address, we have now shifted our focus to the 2015 to 2020 period, or the second quarter of the 20 Year Plan.

As we do so we are mindful of the fact that as much as we have our eyes set on longer terms goals and objectives, we also have to account for what it is that we have been able to deliver in the past year; as well as to ensure that we achieve particular predetermined outcomes and deliverables within the next financial year.

In looking back at what we have achieved, against what it was that we committed to do in the 2015 State of the Province Address, one soon realises that we have indeed moved our Province forward and that we have remained well on track to 2030 and beyond.

Both the NDP and the PGDP, spell out our long term plan. Year on year our plans must reflect the long-term vision. We want to reaffirm that we have a stable framework.

In highlighting our achievements last year, I would like to recognise upfront the efforts made not only by government, but also that of our partners in this process, namely business, labour and civil society. The KZN Economic Council has been a very successful institution to draw all of us together around the various social accords and has united us in our quest to work towards a shared vision.

As an effort to ensure continued planning, we have started the review of our Provincial Growth and Development Strategy with the intention of retaining a 20 year planning horizon and therefore extending our planning timelines to four five year quarters between now and 2035. We are on track to present this to the Provincial Executive Council Lekgotla scheduled for August this year.

This revised Strategy is informed by three very critical documents for the Province, namely:

the Revised KZN Situational Analysis as an objective assessment of exactly where the Province finds itself within the local and global context in 2016;

the 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, which gives a clear indication of the perceptions of our citizens on services they receive from government, as well as what they regard as their highest priorities to be attend to; and

the PDGP Implementation Report where we measure our performance against the targets we had set in 2011, and a clear indication of areas requiring special attention.

The Economic and Fiscal Situation

We are extremely concerned about sluggish international, national and provincial trends. The global growth was estimated at 3.1% in 2015 with a projected growth at 3.4% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017.

In advanced economies, a modest and uneven recovery is expected to continue. The picture for emerging market and developing economies is diverse but challenging. The slowdown of the Chinese economy, lower commodity prices, and strains in some large emerging market economies will continue to weigh on growth prospects in 2016-17.

Risks to the global outlook remain tilted towards the downside informed amongst others by:

A generalized slowdown in emerging market economies;

China's economic slowdown;

Lower commodity prices; and

The gradual exit from extraordinarily accommodative monetary policy (brakes on quantitative easing) in the United States.

If these key challenges are not successfully managed, global growth could be derailed. Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa will see a gradual pickup in growth, but lower commodity prices will retard this growth.

The domestic economy is under severe pressure as a result of subdued global economic performance. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reduced SA's economic growth outlook for this year from 1.3% to 0.7%, the lowest forecast on record so far. As such, the combination of factors like high debt service costs, high costs of compensation of employees and contracting tax base, places a severe strain on the fiscus. The emerging consensus is that unless we public spending, we will have trouble with our debt obligations thereby risking further downgrade to possible junk status in sovereign credit rating.

This situation has understandably impacted negatively on government revenue streams and the fiscal situation of the state, where we are now have to absorb substantial budget cuts. This will obviously have a significant impact on our ability as a Province to achieve our growth targets, which were set in 2011 on an assumption of an annual growth rate of 5%.

3.2 KZN Real Growth Trends in Gross Domestic Product

GDP growth rebounds to 1.2 % q-o-q in 2015 Q3, bolstered by manufacturing (6.2%), finance (2.7%) and Trade (2.6%). This came after contracting by -1.6% q-o-q in 2015Q2 on account of a contraction of -17.4% in agriculture, -8.6% in Mining and -6.3% in manufacturing. Agriculture, mining and electricity contracted again in 2015:Q3 falling into recession. Manufacturing rebounded at 6.2% after posting -6.3% in 2015:Q2

In terms of the composition of the Provincial labour market, the provincial unemployment rate (official) is currently siting at 20.5 and expanded rate is 35.5. Between Q3:2014 and Q3:2015, the number of discouraged and unemployed persons have decreased quite significantly. The Community and...

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