Limpopo Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha thinks it is time that all people in the province come together and fight the common enemy: poverty, unemployment and inequality. Mathabatha also promised to better living conditions for all villagers in Vhembe District and is adamant that the month-end provincial summit in Polokwane will yield solutions to the three challenges.
Together with MECs of the province, Mathabatha was addressing a crowd of unemployed youth at an imbizo held at Mudavula Stadium on Friday. The imbizo was the first since government started its outreach programme that seeks to find challenges that people face in this province. He said that there is no better time for people who have voted the ANC into government to smile than now as good services were on their way.
Mathabatha reminded them that the ANC government tries its hardest to fast-track services, unlike the apartheid government. “Apartheid and colonialism had destroyed this country for over 300 years. We (ANC government) said to ourselves that it should not take 300 years to bring about change to our people, to better the lives of our people in this country. We then developed a reconstruction and development programme, where we said while we are reconstructing all that the apartheid had destroyed, we must also be able to develop the economy of the country,” Mathabatha said.
Mathabatha understood that life had been difficult for the people and said the two houses that have been given to two families in that area are just the beginning of good things to come, from roads to health facilities and jobs. And his address was punctuated by applause and laughter.
“For as long as you do not have proper infrastructure you will never have economic investment, your businesses will continue to suffer. As long as you don’t have roads you will not be able to attract good investment into your area. For as long as you do not have water and sanitation in your area, you will not be able to attract investment. “These are key features of a developing economy. You need to develop your health services, education services and infrastructure because you will still need skill,” he said. “The mistake that I think we committed is that when we gained independence in 1994 we did not invest enough in our young people.
We should have identified highly brilliant young people and sent them overseas to developing economies so that they learnt skills to develop the economy like South Korea did. “South Korea sent their youngsters to good economies for five years. They spent a lot of money on them so that when they returned they would create jobs, not wait for government jobs. We are trying to bring back jobs in this country,” Mathabatha said.
He added: “The Provincial Government will be holding an economic summit to discuss problems facing this province. We will come out with remedial solutions. I am happy that today we are here in Mudavula and I hope that all people will sit down, solve infrastructure, poverty, unemployment and the like. There will be roads and quality facilities and infrastructure in this place so that jobs can be created.”