Limpopo amongst poorest

POLOKWANE — Despite several interventions, Limpopo remains amongst the poorest provinces in the country, this was revealed by Limpopo Premier, Stanley Chupu Mathabatha, during the launch of the National Council of Provinces Provincial Week in Polokwane recently.
During his speech to welcome National Council of Provinces (NCOP) delegates who visited the province to embark on a week long 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 Mathabatha.
The week long programme which was held under the Theme “Advancing our collective efforts to creating work opportunities for our people” was aimed at giving NCOP and Provincial Legislature delegates an opportunity to ensure the following:
• Engage with both National and Provincial Departments and other stakeholders to get a sense of challenges regarding poverty, unemployment and inequality.
• Undertake oversight visits to employment creation initiatives across the nine provinces, including short and long-term project.
• Undertake oversight visits to labour-intensive programmes and large-scale investment projects in electricity, rail, water and transport infrastructure.
• Get a broader understanding of the economic challenges facing provinces.
• In Lephalale the delegation visited the Sefihlogo/Letlora road construction project. The road is a Public Private Partnership between Exxaro, Road Agency Limpopo and Lephalale Municipality.
This significant milestone multi-million rand project will see the reconstruction of the 47,6 kilometres which will service 13 villages, covering three Wards that struggle with transportation due to the dilapidated road conditions in the area.
The villages that will benefit from the upgraded Rietfontein Road (D3102 and D3114) are Sefithlogo, Morwe, Botshabelo, Moong, Segale, Botsalanong, Kopanong, Kgobagodimo and Letlora, while the upgrading of Road D3109 will benefit residents from Kiti, Motsweding, Dipompopong and Mokuruanyane.
Leader of the delegation, Devet Monakedi, applauded the partnership which resulted in the realisation of the construction of the road, stating that the project is an example of a good relationship that the other government institutions can benefit from private strategic partners. More than 30 local SMME’s are currently benefiting from the project.
The entourage proceeded to Babura Trust, a livestock and vegetable production farm. Numerous challenges ranging from shortage of water, lack of proper fencing to ineffective irrigation system were identified. The delegation came up with recommendations that: The Department of Agriculture and Forestry should:
• Explore the idea of establishing hubs where small scale farmers can supply their production for distribution;
• Provide farm management training;
• Develop a plan to assist the Babirwa Trust to be self-sustainable and other similar small scale farms to be self-sustainable.

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