23 February 2017
Since Sylvia Lucas became premier of the Northern Cape in May 2013, unemployment has escalated dramatically. She has failed the people of this province by failing to table a feasible plan to reduce unemployment and attract investment.
In April 2013, the expanded unemployment rate of the Northern Cape stood at 36%. In December 2016, it skyrocketed to 43%. This seven per cent increase in three years shows that the Lucas administration has nothing to offer our people but promises. We have a lost generation of youth who are not in education, employment or training, but the premier spends her time fighting off hate speech cases rather than providing leadership.
The province is expected to operate without a Provincial Growth and Development Strategy. The current strategy was formulated for 2009 to 2014 and has not been reviewed since. Whenever this topic is raised, laughable excuses are offered and the blame shifted. Most recently, the Office of the Premier complained that it did not receive funding to review the strategy. It is completely unnecessary to outsource this work to consultants when there is an administration filled with economists, researchers and analysts. It is also unacceptable that a lack of funding gets blamed when the Office of the Premier spent almost double that amount on catering in the previous financial year. It shows that the Lucas administration prioritises KFC over job creation.
Furthermore, despite promises of support to SMMEs, the Economic Growth and Development Fund fails to facilitate entrepreneurship. In the first six months of the 2016/17 year, not a single cent was spent from this fund. The department of Economic Development & Tourism simply shrugs its shoulders and says it is reviewing its transfer policy. While the officials twiddle their thumbs, our people are unemployed and our entrepreneurs are suppressed.
Adv Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson for Economic Affairs
082 302 2117 / 079 874 6179
071 251 5558