I’m here to stay – Mathale
Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale has dismissed as speculation rumours that he is about to send President Jacob Zuma his resignation letter.
Mathale also responded to media reports that he is planning to haul the ANC to the Constitutional Court to force it to review the decision to send the intervention team, saying: “I will never take the ANC to court.”
Speaking to journalists at a media briefing following his state of the province address at the Limpopo Legislature in Lebowakgomo, Mathale said he didn’t know where the rumours that he was about to resign came from.
“I’ve never discussed it with either the movement or anybody. I’m here by invitation from the movement. I grew up in it and will die in it, with my coffin strapped in yellow, gold and black,” he said.
“If I was an opportunist waiting to capture headlines, I would have come here and resigned. I wouldn’t even have presented the speech and you would be rushing to town to file your stories.”
In his speech, Mathale announced the formation of two “special economic zones” in Limpopo – one in Musina and the other one in Tubatse.
Of the one in Musina, he said: “This economic zone will focus on logistics and the beneficiation of coal. The second zone will be in the Greater Tubatse Municipality and it will explore the possibilities in the platinum group metals value chain.
He added: “There is currently a feasibility study under way with support from Anglo Platinum which seeks to establish a hydrogen fuel cell industry in the province.”
Mathale also announced that De Beers would establish the biggest diamond mine in South Africa in Venetia, Limpopo.
“When completed, the new Venetia underground mine will replace the open pit as South Africa’s largest diamond mine and extend the life of the resource until 2042.”
Union federation Cosatu secretary in Limpopo, Dan Sebabi, said Mathale was a rudderless leader who should have resigned or been fired a long time ago.
“The speech was a fairy tale. There was no commitment to public investment or infrastructure. It confirms our call that he should resign or be fired. He should resign and go into business as that is what he is good at.”
DA leader in the Limpopo Legislature, Jacques Smalle, also called for Mathale to resign.
“The speech was useless, (there was) no action plan for 2013/2014, especially in light of the problems here in the province. He has overstayed his welcome and hasn’t showed leadership.”