08 FEBRUARY 2019
... Despite adversity and challenges, the region shows plenty of promising developments, says Premier, Willies Mchunu
28 February 2019 – The Mercury
Yesterday we concluded this term of office and presented the State of the Province Address under the theme “we are ready to hand over towards even better and faster growth and development of our province and its people”.
The results of the 2018 KZN Citizen Satisfaction Survey is probably the most reliable source of where it is that we are finding ourselves at this stage of the race, purely because this is how our citizens are rating our performance. 
The main findings of this survey which was conducted by Statistics South Africa show that are that:
  • 39% of the sample population were outright dissatisfied, whilst 61% were overall satisfied with the performance of Provincial Government;
  • Services with the highest rating of satisfaction are education at 86%, health care at 80%, and maintenance of Provincial Roads at 70% of the respondents being overall satisfied with the rendering of these services;
  • Services with the highest rating of dissatisfaction are fighting fraud and corruption at 53%, enhancing entrepreneurial development and SMMEs at 41% and promoting accountable governance at 39% of the respondents being out rightly dissatisfied with our performance in these areas; 
  • Job creation is still rated as the highest priority our citizens expect us to attend to, followed by the need for housing and thirdly a need for enhanced and quality education and skills development.
We currently have 2.635 million people employed in our Province, compared to 2.536 million people at the same time last year. 
To demonstrate our resolve to deepen radical economic transformation, we as the KZN Executive Council identified six commodities/sectors, namely infrastructure development, agricultural produce, bakery, uniforms, furniture, and toilet papers for targeted procurement.
The implementation of this Provincial Preferential Targeted Procurement Programme is also accompanied by an enterprise and supplier development programme, providing technical training and support focussing on mentorship, skills transfer, incubation, reducing payment waiting periods, and infrastructural support. 
The contribution of tourism in the local economy continues to grow, from a R9 billion contribution to the Provincial GDP in 2014 to more than R10bn by 2018. 
Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone has attracted more than R10 billion worth of investments. The Zone continues to attract more investments into the province. 
In addition to the airport, the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone is one of the core components of the Aerotropolis. Its significance is clearly stated by the fact that between April 2015 and December 2018, 40 781 tonnes of international cargo and 28 885 tonnes of domestic cargo passed though the Dube Cargo Terminal.
The Dube AgriZone, handled produce to the value of R190 million over the same period and the greenhouse facilities at the Dube AgriZone are now 100% occupied.  
The total value of private sector investment in Dube Trade Port since April 2015 now stands close to R2.2 bn and public sector funding spent on capital infrastructure over the same period has now reached R594.6 million. 
This investment has since attracted 36 businesses operating within the SEZ-designated areas and has already generated revenue to the value of R246.9 million which makes it a very profitable investment. 
Over the past five years we doubled our efforts to ensure decent living conditions and sustainable settlements.
We have been providing piped potable drinking water to within 200m of a dwelling, to an average of 44 000 households per annum over the last five years.
The provision of access to sanitation has improved from 53% in 2011 to 61% in 2016. Access to electricity has improved from 78% in 2011 to 89% in 2016. 
With reference to sustainable human settlement and the provision of housing, we can report that over the last five years, we provided a total of 114,803 quality houses with basic services for families either being unemployment or earning below R3 500.00, including pensioners and child-headed households. 
We delivered 21,561 title deeds, with a further 16,227 title deeds to be handed over in the coming three months.
On the education front, we recorded a 6.5% improvement in matric results since 2014. The pass percentage of the “Class of 2014” was 69.7% compared to 76.2% of the “Class of 2018. 
We are pleased about the fact that we have been able to deliver 43 new schools within the province since 2014 and a substantial portion of our education budget is allocated to the maintenance and upgrading of our existing schools.
KZN Government has awarded bursaries to more than 16 000 students between 2014 and 2018 at a total cost of R1.8 billion.
We are pleased to report that life expectancy at birth increased over the last five years from 56.9 years in 2014 to 60.7 years in 2018;
We have seen a reduction of new HIV infections from 79,000 to 61,000 between 2014 and 2018. 
We believe that despite having had to face numerous challenges and in the midst of adversity, we have been able to execute our mandate and move this Province forward towards our Vision of being” a prosperous Province, with a healthy, secure and skilled population, living in dignity and harmony, acting as a gateway to Africa and the World’’   
To those that will take over from us after the May 2019 elections, we leave you with the assurance that you have a sound platform to build on. We encourage you to remain steadfast on the growth and development trajectory plotted for us in the National Development Plan and our own Provincial Growth and Development Strategy.