Cabinet Media Statement
22 February 2014
The executive council held its quarterly extended cabinet Lekgotla over a three-day period [from Wednesday until Friday] this week to assess the government work done in the past five years as the term of office for the current provincial administration is coming to an end. The Lekgotla is attended by the executive council, mayors, heads of provincial departments, chief executive officers of parastatal and municipal managers.
The Lekgotla expressed satisfaction on massive achievements by the current provincial administration and stressed that indeed government has a good story to tell as Mpumalanga is now a much better place than it was before 1994.
By delivering the services to the public, the provincial government is content that it has restored the dignity of the people. Although some people are yet to get their free government houses, many now have shelter over their heads, and many have access to clean drinking water.
During the Lekgotla all members of the executive gave account of what their departments achieved and the shortcomings which will require the attention of the next administration shortly after the elections.
The Lekgotla also appreciated the government’s comprehensive rural development programme [CRDP], that it had begun to make some headway in touching and changing the lives of the poor for the better.
The Lekgotla was also briefed about the progress made with regards to the support given to three departments that had been placed under curatorship. It was reported that the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison was out of the woods in terms of its financial problems, however they were still challenges in the Department of Health, and in the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Affairs.
The Lekgotla cited significant progress in the area of education in that for the past four years, there has been an upward trend on the matric pass rate. Both the MEC and the head of the department of education were commended for the job well-done. The department’s turnaround system over the last years has been recognized as having been the key achievement of the current administration. The department of education has improved its governance systems, has received better audit outcomes and has been efficiently and effectively managing the matric examination.
The Lekgotla noted that this year alone, the number of learners in pre-grade increased to 75 274 and that there has been a consistent improvement in matric results from 47.9 in 2009 to 77.6 in 2013 through a targeted interventions especially in the underperforming areas within the province.
The Lekgotla noted that the number of no fee school increased from 900 to 1 646 and that the government’s nutrition programme has been extended to all quintile 1 – 3 secondary schools thus benefitting close to 875 learners.
In the department of health, a remarkable progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, although Gert Sibande District Municipality remains a concern as it is number two in the country with high infections. The Lekgotla again expressed excitement that through other government’s interventions in the fight against HIV and AIDS, life expectancy has now improved. Through targeted interventions, maternal mortality has been reduced from 157 to 112 per 100 000 live births. Despite this progress, the Lekgotla conceded that more still needed to be done.
Although most of the achievements and the shortcomings of the current administration will be presented during the State of the Province Address next week [28 February 2014], Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza took an opportunity to thank the citizens of Mpumalanga for entrusting him and his executive council to lead government in the past five years.
He said they [executive council] were humbled for the experience afforded to them in directly changing the lives of the people for the better. He added that in the past five years the current administration has maintained some stability in the province. He subsequently asked the members of the executive to prepare hand-over reports in order to make the transition smooth and help the up-coming administration to be able to continue where they left off.
“Those of us, who are political representatives, are humbled by the opportunity to lead government. It was not an easy journey, we fought along the way, but our intentions were the good ones. We knew that leaders come and go, we are however confident that our people will recognize the difference this democratic government has made in their lives over the last 20 years.
“We trust that the transition will be smooth like a relay. The journey continues, indeed we have a good story to tell, the entire landscape of our beautiful province has changed,” said Mabuza.
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 4910163