The endowments are there: large tracts of arable land, a wealth of heritage sites to feed tourism and the creative economy, and an 800km coastal stretch to underpin interventions in the ocean economy and existing industrial infrastructure. With such bountiful social gifts, it is lamentable that the Eastern Cape continues to lag behind on all social, educational and economic indicators.

It is a sign of not only the skills and labour drain the province continues to experience, but also that the “home of legends” is plagued by a governance machinery characterised by an insensitive service ethic, rampant corruption and weak implementation capability. Much of the hopes and dreams outlined by premier Oscar Mabuyane over the last week or so will be impossible without a total overhaul of how the government (provincial, district and local) works and its relationship with its citizens and private industry.

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