His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Hisham Alalawi attended on 16/2/2012 the opening session of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in Cape Town and listened to the State of the Province speech addressed by the Premier of Western Cape Ms. Helen Zilla, in the presence of a number of members of parliament, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps .
Ms. Zille discussed the challenges faced by South Africa in general and the province of Western Cape in particular, including unemployment, poverty and inequality and stressed that the provincial government’s priorities is to reduce poverty, as well as to create proper environment for economic growth through the development of economic partnerships for the region with other countries.
She also pointed to the Economic Development Program adopted by the Government of the Province which will be launched in April 2012. The Program aims to create the much needed fiscal growth, create jobs as well as reduce the red tape to starting a business in South Africa. The Program will also focus on utilizing technology and promoting the use of internet and making it available to the largest possible number of individuals. Ms. Zille also elaborated on children's education mentioning that funding of Rand 466 million, equivalent to $66.5 million has been allocated to fund the curriculums in schools within the Province.