CEMENTING RELATIONS: Premier Cassel Mathale with Guo Gengmao, governor of Henan province in China.
Cassel Mathale Mathale and the governor of China’s agricultural-rich Henan province, Guo Gengmao, have agreed to review their eight-year relationship to include agriculture as a strong point.
The two made a commitment during Mathale’s almost one week business tour to the country last week.
They wanted the agreement to make sure that matters of agriculture, mining and economic development were adequately addressed.
Mathale said: “We need concrete steps in implementing our plans. We need less talk and more action.”
The premier, who was accompanied by three MECs and business people, also visited Fantawild Development, a company that specialises in theme parks and film production.
The theme parks give visitors a physical experience of the magical world of films. It is a major source of tourist attraction to the Asian country.
The premier said their experience at Fantawild had given them new ideas for exploring tourism in his home province.
The delegation also went to Funtop LED Lighting, which produces light bulbs.
The company employs 200 workers and exports its products to several countries.
In addition to employment creation, Mathale was impressed by the company’s environmentally friendly electrical products.
“Our province has a great market for this product (a light bulb that is enviro friendly) and therefore has great investment potential,” he said.
Before flying to China the delegation also visited a landfill site in South Korea and a road corporation research institute.
They also visited a company specialising in telecommunication, and electronic services.
Accompanied by three MECs, Pinky Kekana (economic development, environment and tourism) Jacob Marule (agriculture) and Pitsi Moloto (roads and transport), the leaders hope to open business investments between the province and the Asian countries.
Mathale was heavily criticised for flying overseas while his comrades in the ANC where at each other’s throats during the conflict-ridden provincial nomination conference.
His faction nominated Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe overwhelmingly at the controversial conference.
President Jacob Zuma’s supporters staged a walkout on Wednesday and Thursday last week, ignoring the nomination process.
Mathale returned home to find his province stung by allegations of bogus branches and delegates and is now faced with dealing with the problem.