Successes in job creation and ensuring youth are educated were top of Premier Sylvia Lucas‘s State of the Province Address (Sopa) for the fifth administration. Lucas praised her team for its ability to increase investments.

However, opposition parties were not convinced.

The Northern Cape government says it has created work opportunities in the Expanded Public Works Programmes in government and the mining sector. That’s despite the province facing an unemployment rate of more than 40%.

Lucas says the unemployment in the province is currently at its lowest.

“Unemployment in the province is at its lowest currently; for the fact that it has declined and it was only at 25% excluding the discouraged job seekers.”

Premier Lucas also hailed TVET colleges in the province and the Sol Plaatje University as her government’s efforts to educate the youth.

“If you look at the money that we have spent on education for the past five years, just for the three years in our collaboration with the Mine managers Forum, we have already spent R4 million in terms of making sure our young people get access to post school education.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Andrew Louw says that youth unemployment is still a challenge in the province.

“Youth unemployment is still a big challenge, yet today the Premier said there is improvement; I beg to differ. There are way too many young people who are going day in and day out unemployed.”

Pakes Dikgetsi, Congress of the People (COPE) National Chairperson, says the Premier in her Sopa failed to account for the past five years.

“It failed to account for the period of five years. It failed to tell the people of the Northern Cape why for the five years she has not had a vision, she has not had a plan.”

Despite the opinions, Lucas and her party remain proud of her legacy.

Meanwhile, the countdown has started to see who will keep the job creation legacy alive.

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