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We want to communicate a strong message that the people of KwaZulu-Natal are one big family united in diversity. It is this diversity of our South African nation that makes us a unique country in its pursuit of the ideals of non-racialism, non-sexism, unity, democracy, equality and human rights based on the Constitution.

These are the ideals of other great leaders such as Dr John Langalibalele Dube, Mahatma Gandhi, Inkosi Albert Mvumbi Luthuli and Nelson Mandela. Drawing from exemplary leadership of these great leaders this government will continue to create an environment that gives all South Africans, irrespective of race or colour, the opportunity to contribute towards the building of a prosperous province.

As different communities, we must have common concerns and aspirations about the future of our country and our province. We all should share a passion for the creation of an integrated non-racial society enjoying freedom, living in a safe and prosperous province. We must all pull together to make ours the most stable and prosperous province.

Both the 2015 KwaZulu-Natal Citizen Satisfaction Survey and the 2016 Community Survey, both conducted by Stats SA, confirmed that although substantial progress has been made in addressing poverty in our Province, the gains made are not adequate or at a pace to meet the expectations of our communities. It is therefore imperative to embark upon a process of Radical Economic Transformation as a drive to address the persevering triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

As the Province with the second largest contribution to the National economy, we need to ensure that the call for radical economic transformation does not only remain a slogan, but that it should find practical expression in our government and private sector programmes.

Job creation remains central to achieving our objectives of inclusive growth, radical structural economic transformation, distributing the benefits of growth more widely and consequently reducing dependency on the welfare system, by broadening economic participation.

The pattern and pace of economic growth needs to be adjusted and accelerated to achieve this outcome. It continues to require investment and interventions by both the public and private sectors to enable a conducive environment to further stimulate the generation of employment opportunities and inclusive economic growth.

We know that together, through the dedicated, intensive and collective effort of all sectors of society, be it government, business, labour or civil society, we can take this Province to where we believe it should be.

Extracts from the 2017 State of The Province Address delivered by Mr T W Mchunu, Honourable Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.

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