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LIMPOPO ECONOMIC SUMMIT

By Matodzi Makananisa

POLOKWANE, LIMPOPO - The people of Limpopo have an opportunity to rebuild the province as a place of innovation, production and commerce. This opportunity should be used to revive the region as the bread basket of Africa by exploiting the full value chain of agriculture and agro-processing. To realise the great potential for Limpopo to become an industrial hub, government needs to build partnerships with the private sector. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the Economic Summit in Limpopo

This is according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was speaking at the Limpopo Economic Summit on 4 November at The Ranch, outside Polokwane. Addressing the 500-strong delegation representing different sectors of the economy, Deputy President Ramaphosa encouraged Limpopo to ensure that it becomes an attractive destination for local and foreign investment. He was vocal against corruption, saying it hindered progress and if not stopped in its tracks, has the potential to undermine efforts of good governance: “Good governance must be our creed. We must also cut red tape and lower the cost of doing business. We must inculcate the culture of hard work, attract the best talent and continually develop the capabilities of our people. We must value the practice of openness and transparency,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa to a round of applause. The Deputy President wasted no time reminding the CEOs of state-owned entities that they must use their spending muscle to empower small businesses. “We want a provincial administration that is efficient, clean and places a premium on excellent service. Government must continue to focus on the social needs of the people, ensuring they are healthy, secure, skilled and housed. Just as technological progress drives growth and development, social progress provides a conducive environment for investment,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa. “We must all work deligently to promote peace, dialogue, social cohesion and the rule of law. It is only in such an environment that we can increase the confidence for others to participate in mutually beneficial public-private partnerships. Partnerships for growth and development require trust and confidence. To promote such collaboration, the national Cabinet recently endorsed a framework for the participation of the private sector in infrastructure delivery. This framework recognises that state owned companies charged

with provision of economic infrastructure are often constrained in their ability to finance projects,” continued Deputy President Ramaphosa. Deputy President Ramaphosa, who was given a standing ovation by the delegates, made his entrance with the Premier of Limpopo Stan Mathabatha, Polokwane Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng, MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture Onicca Moloi, MEC of Safety and Security Nandi Ndalane and MEC of Agriculture Mapula MokabaPhukwana. In welcoming the delegates, Premier Mathabatha explained the need for such a summit. “Consistent with the National Development Plan, in 2014 we convened an all-inclusive provincial development summit to discuss and adopt the Limpopo Development Plan. The plan clearly defines and provides a framework for the economic growth and development agenda of our province. Most importantly, it reflects our shared vision and strategic imperatives towards poverty reduction, elimination of social inequality and a creation of sustainable jobs in our province. It is in this context that we have decided to convene this summit to give more meaning to the Limpopo Development Plan. “We want to leave this place with clearly defined imperatives on how we are going to achieve the envisaged sustainable socio-economic, infrastructural and institutional development in our province. “We have anchored the Limpopo Development Plan around the competitive advantages of our province which include mining, agriculture and tourism as strategic economic growth points. This summit must therefore guide us on how we are going to industrialise through mineral beneficiation, development of the agro-processing


PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017