EXCO Media Statement
12 May 2017
- The Executive Council held its ordinary meeting yesterday [Wednesday, 10 May 2017] in Mbombela to approve the Departments’ annual performance plans and to discuss other matters.
Malaria outbreak in Bushbuckridge Municipality
- The Executive Council was briefed about the recent outbreak of 545 cases of malaria in Bushbuckridge Municipality. The Executive Council expressed a concern that a municipality such as Nkomazi, due to its proximity to malaria stricken countries, could be adversely affected by the malaria prevalence.
- The Executive Council has called for the speedy and resolute management of the epidemic by the provincial Department of Health in order to mitigate and ultimately contain the spread of the virus.
Disposal of Zithabiseni Resort and Conference Centre
- The Executive Council has approved the disposal of Zithabiseni Resort and Conference Centre, a Government facility situated in the highveld between Groblersdal and Bronkhorspruit on the R25 road. It was transferred to the Provincial Government from the former KwaNdebele Government after the 1994 democratic elections.
- The resort was developed in the late 1960’s, and due to its location on the picturesque ridge it was known as Die Bron. In 1986 the Transvaal Provincial Administration handed it over to the then KwaNdebele Government, which renamed the facility, Zithabiseni – meaning a place for pleasure and tranquility.
- The resort has since been under the management and control of the Mpumalanga Parks Board, provincial Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and it finally rested with the Department for Economic Development.
- The Executive Council has approved its disposal following a land claim. This evidence the Provincial Government’s commitment to restoring land ownership and restoring the dignity of the citizenry.
State of readiness for the government nutrition programme
- The Executive Council stated in April this year that in order to bring meaning to radical economic transformation, the nutritional needs of Government Departments and entities should be served through a new model that will support the development of agriculture in the Province.
- The Provincial Government nutrition programme will use the massive procurement spending power of Governmental Departments and entities to revitalise agriculture and the agro-processing value chain, unlock the potential of SMMEs, co-operatives, township and rural enterprises, support the development of emerging farmers and increase local farmer production capacity in preparation for the commissioning of the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market.
- The Executive Council was briefed that farmers in the province are excited about the Provincial Government’s initiative, and that they have asked for surety regarding the sustainability of the market.
- Farmers who are not in the farmer register have expressed interest to participate in the nutrition programme which will produce and distribute food for government schools. A number of commercial farmers have already been identified to provide fresh produce required at schools such as vegetables, fruits and meat.
- The government’s nutrition programme is ready for implementation and members of the Executive Council are expected to monitor the state of readiness at a dry-run scheduled for 25 May 2017.
- The dry-run will test the state of the routes, the lead times and examine the food distribution centres.
Report on the Russia and Belarus Outbound Mission
- The Executive Council was briefed on the official
working visit to the Russian Federation and Belarus,
by the Honourable Premier of Mpumalanga Province,
undertaken from the 5th-10th December 2016 to
promote trade, investment and technical cooperation in
Yekateringburg and Moscow in the Russian Federation,
with the second leg in Mogilev, Gorki and Minsk regions
in the Republic of Belarus.
- The Executive Council was briefed that there
is significant interest in Russia to work with the
Mpumalanga Government in promoting areas of
cooperation and developing investment opportunities
in the province.
- The main objective of the working visit was to foster
bilateral relations with the Sverdlovsk Region in Russia
and Mogilev Region in Belarus, mobilise the Russian
investment and partnerships, leverage on the national
government’s BRICS platform to develop and strengthen
new partnerships for long-term development as well
as tapping into the Russian technological know-how
to develop local skills and turn Mpumalanga into a
manufacturing hub for South Africa and the rest of Africa.
- The mission interacted with senior government
officials and key Russian economic operators in the
sectors of agriculture, healthcare, agro-processing,
education and energy. Following very successful
meetings with various interested parties in Russia and
Belarus, several MOUs were signed between Russian (and
Belarusian) companies and the Provincial Government
- The Premier held bilateral meetings with, amongst
others, the Governor of Sverdlovsk Region, Mr Alexey
Orlov to discuss areas of mutual interest and possible
cooperation on trade in agricultural produce, especially
citrus fruits and meat products, promotion of tourism,
technical cooperation and exchange of technologies
in health, recycling of industrial waste, mineral
beneficiation and wood processing.
- The Executive Council was informed of a growing
interest by the Russians to visit the Kruger National
Park and other areas of interest in promoting tourism
between the two regions, which include hosting
delegations of tour operators on both sides to expose
each other’s tourism potential.
- In April this year, Finance and Economic Development
MEC Skhumbuzo Kholwane led a delegation of tour
operators to Russia, a similar delegation from Sverdlovsk
Region is expected to visit Mpumalanga this month [May
2017] to document tourism sites for promotion in their
region, which would result in joint ventures between
Russian and Mpumalanga tour operators.
- Further, the Mpumalanga Provincial Government would enter into agreements for students to study general medicine in the IM Sechenov First Medical University and the Belarusian State Medical University. The Mpumalanga Provincial Government would also identify students and areas of study in agro-industry to send to the Belarusian State Agricultural Academy.
Africa Month Celebration
- The Executive Council has approved the hosting of Africa Month Celebration to be held at Manzana Cultural Centre in Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality on 25 May 2017 under the theme “Building a better Africa and a better world”.
Approval of annual performance plans of the departments
- All annual performance plans of the departments were approved by the Executive Council and would now be presented to the Provincial Legislature for oversight and monitoring purposes.
20.1 Ms Khumbuzile Anna Prudence Madonsela, appointed Chief Executive Officer: Witbank Hospital [Department of Health]
20.2 Ms Nono Thabea Maribe, appointed Chief Director: Physical Resources Management [Department of Health]
20.3 Mr Mapholoba Andries Letswalo, appointed Chief Financial Officer [Department of Agriculture Rural Development Land and Environmental Affairs]
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163