EXCO Media Statement
03 August 2017
- The Executive Council held it’s ordinary meeting yesterday [Wednesday, 02 August 2017] in Mbombela and approved a number of issues.
EXCO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the family of Member of Parliament who died in car accident
- The Executive Council received with shock the sad news that a member of parliament from Mpumalanga, Nkomazi sub-region, serving in the basic education portfolio committee, Mr Timothy “TZ” was killed in a fatal accident in Paarl yesterday.
- The Executive Council has extended its heartfelt condolences to Mr Khoza’s family and wished a speedy recovery to other three members who got injured who are reportedly receiving medical attention.
- Premier praises EXCO for well-handling the Special Provincial Official Funeral for the late Mr Ray Phiri
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has praised the Executive Council for well-handling of the special provincial official funeral for the late Mr Ray Phiri while he was away on a short leave.
- It was for the first time the provincial government handled the special provincial official funeral and it succesfully worked with other relevant stakeholders including the family in ensuring a dignified send-off for the late Mr Ray Phiri.
- The Executive Council has expressed a concern that provincial departments continued to have accruals while spending their budgets and such was not acceptable as it was unplanned, undisclosed and not cash backed spending of the budgets.
- The Executive Council has called on members of the executive council to constantly monitor the budget spending in the departments and ensure that there are no accruals. The Executive Council has further approved a system that would record payments by the departments as money is being shifted from the original budget to something unplanned for.
- The Executive Council was brifed that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation [DIRCO] through its public participation programmes will honour the Mandela Day in the province by engaging on various activities.
- Accompanied by more than 20 high commissioners and ambassadors, DIRCO Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will visit and make donations at two community based organisations, Uthando House Care Centre and Mshadza Special Care Centre in Mshadza village near Hazyview on Saturday, 5 August 2017. They will also make donations at a local poutry project.
- Uthando House Care Centre currently provides shelter, security, care and comfort for about 25 children who are physically and sexually abused. Children are found through human trafficking cases and brought to the centres by the South African Police Services and social development.
- On the other hand, Mshadza Special Care Centre provides day care and stimulation for children with moderatre to severe disabilities and it looks after 60 children within the community. Both centres survive on donations with a number of voluntary staff.
- The visit to the centres will be preceded by a gala dinner to be hosted by MEGA where it is expected to present investmemnt opportunities available in Mpumalanga to the high commissioners and ambassadors.
- The Executive Council received a report that the provincial government will honour its commitment to retrospectively pay all officials that had been appointed on acting positions without compensation.
- The Executive Council noted progress with regards to the establishment of the Nkagala International Airport Development Project and that the initiative by the provincial government was receiving attention from Minister of Transport in acquiring the licence.
- The Executive Council had recommended that the Mpumalanga Provincial Government should take ownership of the project from the private sector with the view to unblock the bottlenecks that impeded the progress of the project.
- The Executive Council was brifed that the provincial government was making progress in minimising unscrupulous litigations by the lawyers who were involved in scams through its centralised command centre stationed in the Office of the Premier.
- The Executive Council was further briefed that about 50 percent of the litigations took place in the Department of Health because of medical negligence and the lack of records thereof.
- The Executive Council has tasked the Department of Health to generate an electronic record management system in an effort to minimise unnecesary litigations.
- The Executive Council received a briefing with regards to the progress made in the establishment of a state of the art Thaba Chweu Boarding School for the learners from the farm schools around Mashishing area.
- The school will only be built immediately a suitable site has been identified.
- The Executive Council was briefed on the activities for the Women’s Month Programme, and that the provincial celebration will be held at Dipaliseng Local Municipality in Balfour on 19 August 2017 under the theme “The Year of OR Tambo: Together Depeening Democracy and Building Safe and Crime Free Communities”.
- South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 09 August 1956 in protest against the extension of pass laws to wmen and the control in the movements of black people.
- The Executive Council has asked that women’s programme should go beyond Women’s Month, and should be a year-long programme in an effort to address the ills faced by women as they ended up being killed because they were economically reliant to men for survival.
- The Executive Council received a briefing that there was progress with regards to the establishment of the proposed Provincial Planning Commission which is expected to comprise of sector development expects.
- The Provincial Planning Commission will assist with long-term planning embedded in the fulfillment of the fundamental rights or human rights of citizens of Mpumalanga. For instance, investment in education should cover the primary school level right up to the university and the emloyment level, for the strategic objectives to be realised.
- The envisaged benefits of establishing the provincial planning commission include amongst others; improving evidence-based policy making, increase communication and accountability in the use of public funds as it will report directly to the Executive Council, it will further assist the provincial government to achieve provincial priorities, and that it will drive the alignment to strategic success for the province by focusing implementation towards common long-term goals.
- Further, the provincial planning commission will mobilise society around a commonly agreed set of goals and objectives, it will create a greater coherence in government’s work between departments. It will provide longer-term certainty, improving the quality of decision making for all parts of government and partners, allowing all stakeholders to invest with greater confidence. It will provide basis for trade-off betwee competing objectives and facilitate sensible sequencing of major decisions.
- The Provincial Planning Commission’s broad mandate will be to take a broad, independent and critical view of the province, by consulting with and drawing on the skills and expertise of multiple stakeholders, to build consensus and find concrete solutions to key challenges faced within the province.
- The Executive Council has expressed satisfaction on the implementation of the Fortune-40 Young Farmers Incubator Programme by the Department of Agriculture Rural Development Land and Environmental Affairs that it was bearing fruits.
- The programme was announced by the Premier in his state of the province address in 2015 and recruited the youth into cooperatives and placed under the stewardship of an incubator programme.
- Currently there are 14 farms in production and the Executive Council has since tasked the department to extend the number of farms by another 15 farms. The farms headed by youth cooperatives deals with selected commodities such as grains, vegetables, aquaculture, livestock, forage and poultry.
- The department currently provides strategic support to the youth to ensure that the objectives of the programme are realized in areas of supply of production inputs, development of infrastructure, providing stipend to the young farmers, providing training, transport, accommodation and farm maintenance.
- The Executive Council approved the establishment of eight dairy farms in Bohlabelo, Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni districts respectively and a milk processing facility at the site of the Fresh Produce Market for the supply of raw milk.
- The Executive Council was briefed that the number of SA milk producers had decreased from 3665 in 2008 to 1683 in 2016 representing a 54 percent decline. Mpumalanga Province registered the highest decline of 69.2 percent from 302 in 2008 to 93 in 2016.
- The margins are low and therefore price fluctuations in fuel, electricity and labour highly affected the productivity of the operations, and hence there was a consistency of supply by volumes by small producers.
- The Executive Council has approved the launch of the Mpumalanga Smart Citizen Application Project. The Smart Citizen Project is a service delivery framework in which citizens are able to report service delivery issues to government through different channels such as using a mobile phone [smart and USSD], social media, online and over the counter.
- Through this APP, senior provincial government officials and management can use SmartInsight reporting tool to monitor requests, track the efficiency of the resolution process and identify trends for the improved planning. The APP will accommodate variety of languages.
- The APP will go live on Sunday, 20 August 2017 and will formally be launched by the Premier on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 in Mbombela Stadium. The APP may be downloaded from Play Store or communities may forward their complaints by dialing the following USSD No.*134*674# at a cost on 20c worth of data.
Accruals in the departments, still a major challenge
DIRCO/Mpumalanga International Mandela Day
Report on the retrospective payment of outstanding acting allowance
Update Report on Nkangala International Airport Development Project
Update report on litigations
Progress report on the Thaba Chweu Boarding School
Women’s Month Programme
Report on the establishment of the Provincial Planning Commission
Update report on the implementation of Fortune-40 Young Farmers Incubator Programme
Establishment of the dairy facility in Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga Provincial Government to launch Smart Citizen App
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 082 616 6698