19 September 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

More youth to benefit from Office of the Premier budget  

by: Obakeng Maje   date: 11 May 2018

Lawmakers of Bokone Bophirima this week approved and passed a R775.3 million budget for Office of the Premier for the 2018/2019 financial year, paving the way for young people of the province to benefit from this office. 
 
Premier Supra Mahumapelo tabled his office’s budget at the North West Provincial Legislature on Tuesday. He said the focus on empowering young people would be continued in this financial year ending next year in March. 
 
In reviewing the financial year that was 2017/2018, 
Mahumapelo said his office has achieved a lot through the Youth Entrepreneurship Service  (YES) and State-Owned Entities (SOEs) such as the North West Development Corporation (NWDC). Many young people across the province have been linked to and assisted through skills, entrepreneurship and job creating opportunities, he said. 
 
“We have 1000 youth on general security practices learnership. We also have another 100 youth who are now retail store owners supported by the VTSD retail economy. Going forward, the entity will receive funding through the Office of the Premier to carry out its mandate in terms of the North West Youth Entrepreneurship Services Fund Act that was passed by the Provincial Legislature recently.
 
“During the 2017/18 financial year, the Office of the Premier spent R48million to fund 403 students from Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies to pursue studies in public universities. An additional R12million was spent to fund the enrolment of 43 students with the Denel Technical Academy (11 as Electricians, 12 Aircraft Mechanics, 10 Fitter & Turner and 10 Welders). In the new financial year 2018/19, additional 115 bursaries will be allocated to support youth from poor and working class families in our VTSD areas,” he said.
 
In the past financial year the province hosted a successful VTSD Skills Development Lekgotla attended by 300 participants from all over the country, including national government departments. Mahumapelo also added that the NWDC has received a massive boost after it secured R110million worth of investments for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bojanala District.
 
“This was our effort to establish a special economic zone in the region and this project is estimated to attract investment to the value of R4billion. The project has the potential of creating 6 045 jobs over a five-year period. 
 
“Through the NWDC, a retail warehouse has been established and launched in Potchefstroom. In addition to the warehouse, a mini shopping complex comprised of a butchery, tuck-shop, hardware store and a hair salon has also been launched in Ventersdorp. More than 100 beneficiaries have been identified and have undergone training. It is our intention to further roll out the VTSD Tuck Shop economy to the rest of the districts,” Mahumapelo said.  
 
He said these activities have a direct impact on the lives of the people. Mahumapelo added that he was also encouraged by the key achievements registered for 2017/18 financial year.
 
“We will finalise the Data Centre Modernisation project in the 2018/19 financial year. This project is intended to host all North West Provincial Government data and centralise all applications and systems. The Data Centre is providing a platform for an integrated management of government information. We will also finalize the Enterprise Architecture, which will provide an ICT blueprint for the digitisation of the provincial government. 
 
“This assists in prioritizing transformational initiatives that are service delivery focused. The transformation broadband connectivity is imperative and VTSD areas like Mofufutso, Madinonyane, Gopane and Mocoseng will receive free wifi soon. The service provider has already been appointed and is on site,” Mahumapelo said. 
 
Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Office of the Premier and Finance, Economy, Enterprise Development (FEED), Wendy Matsemela said: “We welcome the budget and we hope it will be used accordingly. We also request the Office of the Premier to submit a detailed report on how he is willing to implement this budget in some projects.”
 
Freedom Front Plus Provincial leader, Johannes Schutte, also gave the budget a thumbs up. 
“We support the budget and the ideas of turning the economy around. The capital city of the North West province, Mahikeng can become an economic hub. Mahikeng is strategically well-placed and if the idea is well-implemented, the area could become a gateway into Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries,” Schutte said.  
 
TOTAL BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR 2018/19 
 
1.      Administration
R124 488 million
 
2.      Institutional Development
R404 717 million
3.      Policy and Governance
R246 176 million 
Total
R775 381 million