Free State premier, Ace Magashule has reiterated that once finalised and operational, the provincial Growth and Development Strategy will go a long way towards improving the efficacy of both government and social machineries and, consequently, the lives of the poor people in the province.
Known as the Free State Vision 2030, and based on the national Development Plan, the document seeks to ensure that, by 2030, “the province shall have a resilient, thriving and competitive economy that is inclusive with immense prospects for human development anchored on the principle of unity, dignity, diversity, equality and prosperity for all.”
It is in the final stages of drafting and is expected to be ultimately tabled in the provincial legislature for approval and adoption in the coming weeks.
According to Magashule, this follows “extensive consultations with the broader public to review the Free State Growth and Development Strategy.”
“We have recognized the value of creating the environment, institutions, processes and mechanisms crucial for inclusive growth and development,” said Magashule.
The Premier’s office will be charged with overseeing implementation of the development strategy, made these revelations on Monday at SS Paki secondary School in Vredeford, where he was tabling the 2013/14 budget vote for the premier’s office in the Free State provincial legislature. Magashule’s office been allocated about R280-million.
Magashule stated that his office will, in the new financial year, focus on programmes of administration, as well as coordination of provincial departments and the governance policy, which provides strategic management services.
“This year we will intensify our public participation programme under the banner of Operation Hlasela, and our commitment to work with all our people remains unwavering. We will also pay special attention to ensure that all Free State residents, regardless of their status, have easy access to information about government services and are able to access available resources and opportunities.
“In addition, we will ensure that information is not just available in government offices but actively and proactively bring this information to those who need it to improve their lives and develop their communities,” said Magashule.
Magashule said he will continue to ensure that government departments work collaboratively to ensure effective service delivery.
“The office of the premier has played a pivotal role over the years in providing coherent strategic leadership and coordination in provincial policy formulation and reviewing, planning and overseeing service delivery planning and implementation in support of provincial and national priorities and plans.
He promised to focus on removing unnecessary bureaucratic stumbling blocks to ensure that the provincial government remains efficient and responsive to the needs of the people of the province.
“Through such integration and co-operation, we have been able to make the provincial government to be more people-centric, improve service delivery, use resources effectively, increase the impact of existing resources and remove unnecessary bureaucratic blockages. The township renewal programme we launched in 2009 is an example of what can be achieved through integration and cooperation among departments and across spheres of government.”
With education topping the priority list of both provincial and national governments, Magashule announced that a total of 1 025 learners will take part in a short skill development programme, starting on April 1 2013.
“The construction SETA will offer 475 learnerships and 33 bursaries to deserving students for civil engineering studies while we facilitate learnerships in music industry, sound technology, arts and culture. Some leaners will be assisted to obtain FET certificates in various fields of study.”
He said the intension is to ensure that learners who participate in the learnerships acquire full accreditation from the SETA by 2014 and to provide NQF 4 qualification in public administration. The Free State Training and Development Institute will solely facilitate transversal training programmes for all provincial departments.