EASTERN CAPE PREMIER​​ Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane delivered his highly anticipated State of the Province address (SOPA) today in East London, outlining the province’s strides in economic recovery and addressing critical social issues. Despite facing a 41.9% unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2023, Mabuyane expressed optimism, stating that the province’s economic recovery is on an upward trajectory.

Mabuyane highlighted the province’s improved GDP, which has rebounded to R365 million in 2022 from pre-COVID-19 levels. Emphasizing the link between economic development and poverty reduction, he underscored the government’s commitment to addressing high levels of poverty and malnutrition through targeted interventions.

Addressing health concerns, Mabuyane noted a decline in the fatality rate due to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) but acknowledged ongoing challenges highlighted by the South African Human Rights Commission. To combat malnutrition, the government has allocated R60 million to support vulnerable households and expanded child support grants and school nutrition programs.

Mabuyane also addressed the province’s efforts to tackle crime, highlighting successes in arresting stock theft perpetrators and recovering illegal firearms. He emphasized the need for collaboration between communities and law enforcement to ensure public safety and combat gun violence effectively. Additionally, Mabuyane called for reinforcement of police presence to protect major construction sites and intensification of operations against illicit activities in the province.

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