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Premier Mabuza promises radical shift in the provincial government

19 June 2014

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has promised a radical shift in the operations of the provincial government saying the ruling party needed to speedily respond to the needs of the people.

Speaking at a three-day executive council Lekgotla in Skukuza at the Kruger National Park today [Thursday, 19 June 2014], Premier Mabuza said this was going to be a difficult five-year term for the provincial government.

Premier Mabuza explained that although the ruling party won the elections, they were not easy, as there was a lot of criticism by the opposition parties pointing at the weaknesses of the provincial government.

Mabuza added that, nevertheless people voted for the ruling party to lead government again because they believed in it and in its policies, however they still expected a lot from it. He said during the campaigns people said a lot of things, indicating what worked, and what did not work for government.

“The voices of the people are still loud and clear on our ears. They are calling on us to do things a bit differently and a bit faster, and we are going to do just that, we are not going to fail them. “It is not going to be an easy five-year term for some of us. We will have to do some radical thinking in a sense that things cannot be just normal. There is going to be a belt-tightening process in a number of areas. At the end of the day, we must be able to respond to the call from the people to do things better,” said Mabuza.

The Premier said the provincial government would “cut to the bone” the unnecessary spending by the government departments.

“As the public administration, we have been given a responsibility to manage the funds of the public, therefore we have no choice but to be responsible. We are going to rearrange our plans, take money from where we think it is not well placed and place it where we think it is mostly needed. “There will be no more luxury for the government officials. Why should the officials have free coffee in their offices when the people out there cannot afford to buy one? If they want coffee, they must buy their own, we are going to trim the fat until there is no fat. “The public service must change, they call us people who are on a gravy train, which means life is merely good for us only. It cannot therefore be the business usual. “I want to call for discipline and focus because, if we are all able to stand and face in one direction, we are going to emerge victorious as this government of the people,” said Mabuza.

He explained the plans already tabled by the departments were going to be re-arranged during the Lekgotla in order to shift the focus.

The Premier further emphasized that the provincial government would continue to prioritize education as a major focus. He said people needed to be skilled and employed in order to participate and contribute in the country’s economy.

He said the provincial government would double its efforts in terms of skills development, as creation of decent work opportunities remained more than a priority. It was an urgent matter for the provincial government to attend. He said economic growth needed to translate into jobs and poverty alleviation.

“There is no time to waste, all those young men and women who are loitering the streets must be skilled with the skills that would respond to our environment and our economy. We cannot continue in the same pace as we did over the past five years where we were inward looking in an effort to get things right. “It is quite clear that in order for us to try and improve the economic situation, we must get our country working by getting the necessary external investments. We are therefore going to firm up our cooperation agreements and possible start the new ones,” said Mabuza.

The Premier added that the ruling party was receiving a message from the people to re-open the land claim process, as they wanted their land back. He said those who had received the land were also complaining about the lack of capacity to be productive. He said the provincial government needed to participate and capacitate those who already who successfully claimed the land.

Meanwhile the Premier welcomed and congratulated the new members of the executive saying a lot was also expected from them. He said he hoped they would speedily acquaint themselves with the work of the provincial government.

Issued by Mr Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Office of the Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163
E-mail: zmncwango@mpg.gov.za OR

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