Limpopo records progress in improving citizens' lives

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha says much has been done to improve the lives of people in the province.

“When we achieved our April 1994 democratic breakthrough, less than 30% of rural households had access to electricity,” Mathabatha said.

Delivering the State of the Province Address in Polokwane on Thursday, Mathabatha said the provincial government has electrified at least 94.% of rural households in the province, marking a significant improvement in access to electricity.

“People in rural areas overwhelmingly depended on firewood to cook, using three-legged pots. There was deforestation, impacting trees and other plants, an important source of oxygen supply for human life, and a key resource of environmental conservation,” Mathabatha said.

Mathabatha said forests have risen in various areas that were affected due to the massive household electrification programme.  

“In healthcare, it is pleasing that we currently have 476 clinics in Limpopo and 216 of healthcare centres (45%) operate 24 hours a day,” Mathabatha said.

Mathabatha said in 2010, the province reached 80% access to water, reaching more communities and improving public health outcomes.

“However, because of various countervailing factors, we have experienced a decline to 69.1%. We are worried about this, and we are hard at work with authorities in the water provision space to improve the situation.

“It is important to note that we have improved access to sanitation to 63.1%, up from 26.9% in 2002, and up from a far lower baseline in 1994.” 

Mathabatha said the tarred roads network in the province has significantly expanded since April 1994.

“It is now covering rural areas that were neglected before. Through this progress, we have enhanced connectivity and improved transportation efficiency, facilitating economic development in Limpopo. At present, our target is to surface 13 800 kilometres from gravel to tar,” he said.

Mathabatha said the provincial government has worked very hard in education.

“Our efforts are now visible in improved matric results. We have improved from a 38% matric pass rate in 1996. At 79.5% in 2024, our matric pass rate now approximates our 80% target.”

Mathabatha said Limpopo's contribution to the national economic output over the past three decades has improved.

He said in 1996, Limpopo contributed 5.3% to the national gross domestic product.

“Despite the global economic and pandemic crises, our contribution to national GDP reached 7.3% by 2023. This reflects the strategic efforts undertaken by the province to harness its vast natural resources, develop critical sectors and attract investment.

“From just over 911 000 households in 1996, we have increased to over 1.8 million households in 2022. This substantial growth in households highlights Limpopo’s growing population. We have now reached over six million people, according to the latest census,” the Premier said. –