“Throughout the past four years we have remained committed to our goals of reconstruction and development as well as adapting to the challenges we face,” these were the words of MEC for Finance, Motlalepula Rosho when delivering what could possibly be her penultimate Budget Speech for Provincial Treasury.
In retrospection, she conceded that progress on addressing socio-economic challenges experienced by communities has been slow and the work of democracy has always been arduous and daunting.
The Province is experiencing sluggish growth and high unemployment. The provincial GDP growth has averaged 1.0 per cent for the years from 2018 to 2021 which is a far cry from the 6.0 per cent growth targeted by the National Development Plan (NDP). Based on Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey Reports, the unemployment rate in the province was at 38.0 per cent in quarter 1 of 2023 which was higher than the same period at 30.1 per cent in 2022. These are exacerbated by a provincial population that is growing at 1.6 per cent which is at a faster rate than the average economic growth.
“Nevertheless, throughout our province’s history, we have consistently moved forward, expanding our founding principles to embrace all individuals, not just a select few. We remain hopeful that the ongoing efforts will eventually yield positive results. Despite the real progress we have made, we acknowledge that it is insufficient. The true potential can only be realized if our democracy functions effectively. We possess all the necessary tools to overcome any challenge that confronts us. It is imperative that each of us, regardless of political affiliation or personal interests, restore the sense of common purpose we urgently require. This is why we serve, not to gain points or claim credit but to enhance the lives of our people.
“The past five years have been immensely fulfilling, allowing me to gain invaluable experience in the workings of the Provincial Treasury as well as advancing the strategy to strengthen internal controls and promoting good governance.
Issued by North West Provincial Treasury
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