The Provincial Executive Council of KwaZulu-Natal, chaired by the Premier Sihle Zikalala, held its last ordinary meeting for the year 2020 today, 02 December 2020.
The following issues were deliberated and decided upon:
OUTBREAK OF BRUSCELLIONOUS DISEASE
The Provincial Executive Council received a detailed report on the outbreak of the bruscellionous disease. The Provincial Executive Council is issuing an appeal to all farmers and livestock owners and citizens to adhere to all measures that are being put in place to curb the spread of this disease. All livestock owners are urged to remain vigilant and to be on the lookout for all the signs of this disease among the animals (cattle to be specific). The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will engage with all stakeholders and embark on an education and awareness campaign.
NO MAJOR EVENTS DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON
The Provincial Executive Council, considered various request from event organisers in relation to hosting major events that are associated with the festive season. The Executive Council assessed the requests against the COVID-19 situation in the province and the country. The Executive Council on advice by medical and scientific practitioners resolved not to encourage the hosting of major events in the province owing to the threat and risks imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Executive Council also noted that the country is still under lockdown and the state of disaster is still in place. People are encouraged to visit and enjoy the province of KwaZulu-Natal, they can hold small family activities without compromising the disaster management regulations. There is evidence of the second wave which has becoming real in other provinces. KZN is edging closer towards the Covid-19 second wave cliff, according to the latest figures. The government understand the social and economic impact of not hosting major events at popular locations in the province during the festive season, however, it is the view of the government that lives of our citizen’s matter and need to be protected. The Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal has a duty to protect the lives of citizens and does not want to take decisions that may be regretted later. The Provincial Major Events sub-committee of the Provincial Executive Council will communicate with all major events organisers and stakeholders on this decision.
PROGRESS ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CLOTHING AND TEXTILE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE.
As part of efforts to rebuild and transform the economy, the Provincial Executive Council received an update on the establishment of the Clothing and Textile Special Economic Zone. The area of Ezakheni in Ladysmith has been identified as a suitable location to host this SEZ due to its strategic location along the N3 corridor. The development of this SEZ is premised on the corridor approach which will leverage clothing and textile comparative advantages of various regions along the N3 and N2 – from Newcastle -Mooi River –PMB –Hammersdale –Durban -Isithebe and Richards Bay. Furthermore, the cabinet endorsed the principle of decentralizing industrialization in the province by locating the SEZ in one of the rural districts of the province. This economic shot in the arm of the province of KwaZulu-Natal is in line with the commitments announced by the Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Sihle Zikalala during their respective state of the national and provincial addresses.
EXTENSION OF STAFF CONTRACTS TO HELP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID -19 (7051 Job opportunities)
The Provincial Executive Council supported a request by the Department of Health for the extension of the contracts of thousands of employees (7051) who have been recruited on a six-month contract basis to help strengthen the fight against COVID – 19.
The retention of these staff members for a further six months to work on Covid-19 sites is a major boost to the Province’s COVID – 19 Resurgence Plans, and will ensure that that the province is equal to the task in the event that the country is hit by a second wave of this deadly and incurable virus. These contracts have been extended until the end of March 2021.
KWAZULU-NATAL READING STRATEGY (5 500 Job opportunities created for young people)
The Provincial Executive Council received a progress report on the implementation of the KwaZulu-Natal Reading Strategy. The strategy is in response to His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call that “every 10-year old must be able to read for meaning”. The Provincial Executive Council supported the roll-out of the KZN reading strategy 2020-2025, and firmly believes that this is will go a long way in capacitating leaners to read for meaning in at least two languages.
One of the previous key findings is that learners even at grade 4 are unable to read for meaning, and some schools do not have a good methodology to teach or assist learners to read for comprehension. The strategy has been developed in consultation with universities, social partners, NGOs, publishers and teachers.
The reading strategy introduces about 5 500 employment opportunities for KZN youth in the form of being Reading Champions and Library Assistants. These Reading Champions will be deployed to quintile 1-4 primary schools, and will support teachers to implement reading activities and the mandatory reading period in schools.
BASIC SECTOR EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE (73 566 Job opportunities created for young people)
In a concerted bid to mitigate the scourge of youth unemployment, the Provincial Executive Council also approved the implementation of the Basic Education Sector Employment Initiative in KwaZulu-Natal. This programme, which is spearheaded by the Department of Basic Education, will provide temporary employment of young people who are between the ages of 18-24 years. It will help provide support to teachers in the classroom and schools in general. This is part of the President’s stimulus package for the education sector. An amount to the tune of R1.4 billion has been set aside for this programme. A total of 73 566 education assistants, General School Assistants and other assistance are set to benefit from it. This initiative will prioritise those with NQF level 4 (matric, TVETs) etc. The successful incumbents will be remunerated with a stipend of R3500. Women, girls, and people with disabilities will be prioritised under this programme.
The successful incumbents will, in addition to providing support to schools, be orientated and trained to ensure that upon the expiry of the term of service, they have gained new skills and experience that will be of value for further employment in other sectors. The contract period for this initiative is 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021 (four months).
UP COMING EVENTS
25TH YEAR COMMEMORATION OF THE SHOBASHOBANE MASSACRE
The Provincial Executive Council will on the 24 December 2020, commemorate and pay tribute to all the families that perished during the Shobashobane massacre on Christmas day in 1995. This commemoration is an important milestone in the struggle for liberation and an opportunity to renew commitments to bring accelerated development, and to restore the dignity of every citizens.
REBUILDING OF THE TOMBSTONES OF STRUGGLE STALWARTS MOSES MABHIDA AND JOHNY MAKHATHINI
The Provincial Executive Council welcomed the decision by the Department of Arts and Culture to rebuild the tombstones of struggle luminaries Moses Mabhida and Johnstone “Johnny” Mfanafuthi Makhathini. The current area where the tombstones are located is experiencing environmental challenges, hence the relocation and the rebuilding of the tombstones. Once complete, this rebuilding process will give due honour and dignity to these freedom fighters, who made a priceless sacrifice and contribution in dismantling Apartheid, and ushering in a democratic South Africa.
CELEBRATION OF 60 YEARS OF LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
The Provincial Executive Council approved the programme to celebrate 60 years of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The occasion will also be used to honour the recently-departed founder, Joseph Shabalala. To this effect, an Isicathamiya Competition and talent search programme will be organised. The Annual Cothoza Music Awards will be re-launched and be called the “Dr Joseph Shabalala Music Awards”. A memorial lecture will be held in 2021 in honour of the many who was popularly known as Mshengu Shabalala. Mambazo will also visit His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini, ahead of the commencement of the celebrations.
APOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE RENTAL HOUSING TRIBUNAL
The Provincial Executive Council approved the appointment of new members and a board to constitute the KZN Rental Housing Tribunal. This structure is responsible for solving disputes between landlords and tenants. The tribunal will assist tenants who have been evicted unlawfully due to disputes involving rent payments and other matters. The board has been re-established in terms of the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999. The tribunal will receive complaints, investigate, and facilitate their resolution. It is hoped that the appointment of this tribunal will contribute to the stabilisation of the rental sector.
SOCIAL COHESION AND MORAL REGENERATION COUNCIL
The Province of KwaZulu-Natal will host the social cohesion and moral regeneration workshop on the 9th of December 2020.
Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
For more information
Please Contact - Lennox Mabaso –
Spokesperson - Provincial Government Communication
Mobile - 0828842403
Director: Communications - Office of the Premier