Premier Willies Mchunu: KwaZulu-Natal State of the Province address 2019

State of the Province address as delivered by Mr T W Mchunu, MPL, Honourable Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal on 27 February 2019

His Majesty – Hlanga Lomhlabathi;

Queen Mothers;

Ondlunkulu Besilo;

Abantwana Basendlunkulu;

Members of the NCOP present;

Former Premiers;

Madam Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the KZN Legislature;

Honourable Judge President – KZN Division;

Honourable Ministers present;

Honourable Deputy Minister present;

Honourable Members of the Provincial Executive Council;

Honourable Members of the Legislature;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps present;

Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi P H D Chiliza and Umama we Sizwe saseMadungeni;

Members of the Executive Committee of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders;

Mayors and Councillors of Local Government present;

Advisors to the Premier;

Members of the Provincial Planning Commission present;

Director�General, Mrs Nonhlanhla O Mkhize;

Heads of Provincial Departments and other senior officials present;

The Provincial Commissioner of Police;

The Provincial Commissioner for Correctional Services;

Business representatives present;

Labour representatives present;

Academics present;

Religious leaders present;

Struggle Stalwarts and their Families present;

All other social partners and broader civil society present;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Listeners and viewers at home;

Sanibonani! Good day! Goeie more! Namaste! A Salaam Wailikum!

Madam Speaker, I stand before this august gathering to deliver this, the last State of the Province Address in the 2014 to 2019 Term of Office, which also coincides with the attainment of 25 years of democracy in our country.

Our first democratic elections held on 27 April1994 moved us towards building a society that, for the first time, would not be based on the colour of one’s skin, but one which sought to build one united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.

At national level, ever since 1994, a vast majority of South Africans have given the ANC a resounding mandate to lead this transition from the divisions and pains of apartheid towards nation building and social cohesion.

Led by Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding father of our democracy, we dreamed of building a new country that, like a phoenix, could rise from the ashes of apartheid and take its place among the nations of the world.

We thus deliver this State of the Province Address, fully aware both as government and the governing party that we carry the hopes and aspirations of millions whose dreams we must help realise.

We therefore wish to extend our heartfelt welcome and appreciation to all Honourable Members of the Legislature and all our special guests present here today.

We also wish to welcome the members of the public who are following us on various media platforms, for supporting us and encouraging us to complete the work that we, as your representatives in the KwaZulu Natal Legislature started in May 2014.

Madam Speaker, despite our best efforts at promoting peace, non-violence and reconciliation, the first years of our democracy were characterized by hostility and a great deal of intolerance, even during the debates conducted in this House.

We must then also acknowledge that at times, such debates may have spilled over to communities, and sparked conflicts that led to bloodshed. Consequently, years after attaining democracy, this Province continued to be ravaged by political violence that left many people destitute, displaced or dead.

Your Excellencies, Compatriots and Fellow Citizens, as we celebrate this historic landmark today, we must pause to remember the thousands of the

people of this province who perished in the political violence. We salute all our martyrs whose lives were shed and whose blood watered the tree of liberation. At the same time, knowing what we know of the devastating effect of violence on communities and individuals, we remain committed to doing everything we can to make sure that violence never returns to KwaZulu Natal.

Madam Speaker and Honourable Members, in this regard we wish to recognise His Majesty – Isilo samaBandla’s role as a cohesive force for the people of KwaZulu Natal.

We pause here to salute His Majesty for guiding us as our cultural father.

Hlanga Lomhlabathi !!! We shall forever be indebted to you for being ever ready to lend weight to government events and for promoting an uptake of our programmes on service delivery. It has been a special honour and a privilege to be able to work with His Majesty to serve the people of KwaZulu-Natal over the past 25 years.

Bayede Hlanga Lomhlabathi!!!!!!

Compatriots as we reflect on the years gone and focus on the dawn of a new year, I am reminded of the words of Martin Luther Junior when he said:

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Fellow Citizens, when the ANC was voted into power to be in charge of this Provincial Government in 2004, we never pretended that our journey to prosperity was going to be an easy one and to be achieved in just a few years.

We wish to express our sincerest gratitude to the Excellencies former Premiers, Dr Sbu Ndebele, Dr Zweli Mkhize and Mr Senzo Mchunu. Equally, we extend our appreciation to former and current members of the Provincial Executive Council for their contribution to changing the lives of our people.

The collegial spirit that has come to characterize the leadership of this government has strengthened us as a team as we faced different situations that required us to take responsibility, both individually and collectively.

As we wrap up this term of office, we are humbled and yet proud of the growing mood of optimism among all our citizens the majority of whom have been touched by service delivery programmes. In particular, the spirit of volunteerism under the Thuma Mina programme which is being championed by the President of the Republic His excellency Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa is already bringing South Africans together across the political divide. In KwaZulu Natal we join the rest of South Africa.

Source: Government of South Africa