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Kimberley - Unemployment will remain a major concern in the province as long as the “inefficient implementation of ineffective policies”, along with a “non-official stance on corruption, greed and criminality”, are allowed to hinder opportunity and growth.

This was the response to the budget that was tabled by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (Dedagt) on Wednesday, with DA MPL Boitumelo Babuseng sceptical that the manner in which Dedat has allocated its funds for the next financial year would have the desired effect of reducing unemployment rates in the Province.

Babuseng stated that, with one of the highest rates of unemployment among the youth in South Africa, job creation was crucial but little was likely to improve until the right officials are appointed in key positions.

“The budget proposals from this department remain nothing but a smokescreen to allow criminality to flourish at the expense of honest, hard-working entrepreneurs,” he said, pointing out that more than 40% of the residents of the Province could not find jobs, with the youth, women and people with disabilities in particular excluded from economic opportunities.

“The Northern Cape has the second highest rate of young people who are not in employment. Problematic appointments at the entities’ boards is another example of how the department’s budget is used to promote patronage in the Province.

“The newly appointed deputy chairperson of the board of the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency is a director in two of the companies set to invest massively in the development of the Boegoebay Harbour. Indeed, just two months after his appointment as deputy chair, a strategic partnership agreement was signed between Honglin Investment and Promethean Investments during one of the department’s many outbound missions to China.