Kiviet must confront fact that EC skidding wildly off course - DAILY DISPATCH 17 Feb 2011

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PREMIER Noxolo Kiviet has the unenviable task of delivering the Eastern Cape "State of the Province" address tomorrow. It is unenviable, because the province she leads is in a dire state of disrepair. According to the fifth annual scorecard of development indicators released recently by the National Planning Commission, the Eastern Cape has the highest levels of poverty in South Africa. Nearly half of the population 48 percent live in poverty compared to the national average of 33 percent. The province also "boasts" the lowest access to electricity and piped water in the country. And government spending on health is rock bottom on the scorecard at under R1 500 per person per year. As if this all isn't bad enough, the Eastern Cape also tragically lays claim to the second highest death rate in children under five years (after KwaZuluNatal), with 65 out of every 1 000 babies born in the province dying before they even reach their first birthday.

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