26 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions(COSATU) in the Eastern Cape welcomes the State of the Province Address (SOPA) by Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane on 22 February 2024, but believes that much needs to be done to tackle unemployment and other areas which require improvement. 

The Premier presented the SOPA that gave account for the term of the 6th Administration. The address was a detailed account on progress yielded in the period under review as well as the setbacks and challenges encountered during the term of office of the current administration.

Key points in the address covered the seven priorities the Premier committed his administration to implement during this term. In 2019 the priorities were outlined as the creation of an ethical, developmental state, economic transformation and job creation, Education, Health, Human settlements and social security, Provision of quality basic services, and Safer communities.

The highlights of his address for COSATU were:

·       Improvement in the quality of education- Continuous improvement in the Matric results and building new schools in different regions to improve accessibility and modernising infrastructure.

·       Building New health facilities ranging from clinics to high quality hospitals with advanced technology equipment as well as delivering 213 ambulances to improve response times to emergences.

·       Building Safer Communities – Building of a Forensic Science Laboratory in Gqeberha to speed up forensic investigations ranging from DNA to ballistics.

·       Re-industrialization – Growth achieved in Coega and East London IDZ is commendable. 57 signed investments are crucial for job creation. On the eastern side of the province, Wild Coast IDZ and Eastern Seaboard developments are gaining momentum and shaping up very well.

·       Industrial Parks – More than 2000 workers are employed in the Industrial Parks and infrastructure upgrades in these parks are attracting investors. COSATU has long been calling for the reopening of these Industrial Parks

·       Investment in infrastructure – From the improvement of the state of roads to construction of two mega bridges to improve access (Msikaba Bridge in O.R. Tambo District and Mtentu Bridge in Alfred Nzo District).

·       Strengthening Governance and Public Institutions – Improvement in the audit outcomes in provincial departments and lesser municipalities with disclaimers.

The Eastern Cape remains one of the poorest provinces and a reservoir for reserve labour. It is still faced with historic developmental backlogs. Extensive work has been covered but a lot still needs to be done.

Chronic unemployment needs all stakeholders to join hands to address it. Government must continue to lead in this regard.

Successful crime-fighting strategies warrant a close cooperation among the police, policing forums, members of the community, and other law enforcement agencies.

We look forward to the implementation of commitments to grow the economy and create jobs.

Issued by COSATU Eastern Cape

Mkhawuleli Maleki(COSATU Provincial Secretary)
Mobile: 082 339 5482
Email: mkhawuleli@cosatu.org.za