Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Policy and Budget Speech Presented by MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mr JL Mahlangu, Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, Nelspruit 

21 August 2009

Honourable Speaker, Mr JM Mthembu
Honourable Premier, Mr DD Mabuza
Honourable Deputy Speaker, Ms VS Siwela
Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Mr MSA Masango
Colleagues in the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Chairperson and members of the House of Traditional Leaders
Acting Director General of the Province, Mr JS Mgidi
Chairpersons of the Boards of our Public Entities
The Head of the Department of Economic Development
Environment and Tourism, Mr M. Mazibuko
CEOs of our public entities
Other Heads of Departments present
Representatives from the business community
Educators and learners from my adopted school, Tikhuni Secondary School
Members of the media
Distinguished guests
Comrades and friends
Ladies and gentlemen

Good Morning!

I am humbled and honoured to be given this opportunity, to address this august house and map out our road ahead,  as we strive in our quest to fulfil our mandate regarding economic development, environment and tourism.

Honourable Speaker, as the month of August, a month dedicated to celebrating the women of our country draws to a close, I deem it befitting for me to also pay homage to them. We all owe our existence to them; be it by birth or by courage and determination. I say by courage and determination because they were the first women in the history of humankind, who left their children and families, to go and face the barrel of the enemy in 1956. We will therefore eternally owe our freedom and emancipation to them. Women of Africa; women of Mpumalanga; women of South Africa, you are a solid rock and uzohlala unjalo!  

I would also like to dedicate this speech to my mother, uNo-Jabulani, for always being there for me; and for her guidance during those dark days of oppression. You may not be one of those courageous women who descended on the door step of the enemy in big numbers in 1956, but I know that you indirectly contributed towards our liberation struggle; and I am testimony to that.  

To all sung and unsung women of our province, thank you for dedicating your entire life to making sure that we exist as a free and united nation today. To borrow the words of one of our liberation struggle stalwarts, Mahatma Gandhi, and I quote:

“If by strength is meant moral power, then w(e)man (are) immeasurably m(e)n's superior.”
Economic Outlook

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, we present our policy and budget speech at the time when we are experiencing the reality of recession. A great number of companies have closed their doors, resulting in a large number of our people loosing their jobs. As at the end of June 2009, the total number of job loses in our province was recorded at 39 000, according to Statistics South Africa.

This has thus increased our unemployment rate from 24.7 to 26.5 per cent. Among the nine provinces, our province had the second biggest increase of 1.8 per cent as a result. This has unfortunately led to families being affected; it has led to an increase to the number of those vulnerable members in our communities, who go to bed on an empty stomach. It is therefore our responsibility, collectively, to work together to ensure that we redress the effect of recession on our people; and we dare not fail them. 

It is however encouraging, to see that inflation is on the downward trend after recording 6.9 per cent in June 2009, signalling prospects of a decrease in the price of especially basic food commodities. We can only implore on food producers and distributors to pass the saving on to the consumer. Despite all these negatives, indications are that we will weather the economic storm as early as from next year. It is forecast that our provincial economy will grow by at least 1.6 per cent next year, mainly due to our intervention on increasing investment in infrastructure spending, especially for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and other socio-economic infrastructure.

Review of the 2008/09 Financial Year 

Honourable Speaker, before outlining our plans for the 2009/10 financial year, it is rather significant that we must continue to build on a foundation laid by my predecessor, former MEC for Economic Development and Planning, Mr Craig Padayachee. Allow me therefore to give a progress report on commitments he made to the house during the last financial year:

1. Integrated Economic Development Services

As part of our mandate to create a platform for entrepreneurs to engage government on the challenges they face on daily basis, we have successfully hosted the National Small Business Advisory Council for the first time in the province since its inauguration in 2005.

We continued to provide business development support to 16 657 SMMEs; facilitated access to financial support to 284 SMMEs through the now defunct Umsobomvu Youth Fund, New Business Finance, Anglo Zimele Small Business Hubs and South African Micro Apex Funds partner organisations.  

We further facilitated the registration of 22 co-operatives with Cipro and continued to monitor 23 co-operatives for compliance with their registration formalities. In our effort to create an entrepreneurship culture among the targeted groups, we successfully co-ordinated the provincial youth entrepreneurship seminar during June of 2008. In our quest to strengthen co-operatives in the province, we facilitated exposure of six co-operatives from different sectors to bigger markets at the National Co-operative conference held in Pretoria in June 2008.  

We also successfully hosted a BEE seminar in the Gert Sibande District Municipality in June 2008, with the aim of creating awareness and sharing information on BBBEE opportunities. Aspiring entrepreneurs who attended the seminar were able to interact with companies such as Sasol, Anglo-Coal, Harmony Gold and Eskom. This enabled them to get information on buying shares in these companies. We continued to monitor BEE compliance at Komatiland Forest, TSB, Anglo-Coal, Delta Electrolytic Manganese, Sappi in Ngodwana, and Delta in Nelspruit.

We participated in the analysis of 21 Integrated Development Plans and Local Economic Development plans for local municipalities, and further facilitated, in collaboration with GTZ and Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the appointment of a service provider to assist the Dr J.S Moroka Municipality to implement its LED plan. We can further report that at least 24 officials from the province took part in an exchange programme in partnership with GTZ/Mpumalanga Rural Development Programme in Germany in June 2008.

2. Trade and Industry Development

Honourable Speaker, in order to ensure growth in exports and investment in the province, we participated at the international trade KOREX exhibition in South Korea, and FACIM in Mozambique in August 2008, amongst others. We were also part of two trade missions to the Province of Ismalia in Egypt and South Korea in order to attract foreign direct investments to the province. 

Over the past years, we have put great effort and resources towards the development of incubation centres in the province. So far, three such centres are operational, namely, the Jewellery manufacturing Centre at Umjindi, the Furniture Technology Centre in White River and the Mpumalanga Stainless Initiatives in Middelburg. Our focus from now on, will be to ensuring that quality training programmes are conducted at these incubators. 

Regarding a commitment to facilitate the establishment of the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) Industrial Park, we can report that two sites have been identified where the park will be built. The planned wood cluster has been established and is now operational. 

With regards to tourism, we have launched the Mpumalanga Tourism Forum in April 2008. The forum will amongst others, assist the province on issues of transformation, tourism infrastructure development and funding in the tourism industry.  We have also, in conjunction with the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), conducted workshops in the three district municipalities with a view of ensuring that the municipalities align their tourism plans with the Mpumalanga Tourism Growth Strategy.

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency  

In terms of the MTPA fulfilling its mandates, we can report that we were able to achieve the following, amongst others:

  • Our rigorous marketing campaigns to attract tourists to our province have yielded sweet fruits. As a result, we have moved from position 4 to 3 in terms of international arrivals and from position 8 to 6 on domestic trips;
  • Finalised and launched the 2010 Tourism Organising Plan, the Mpumalanga Tourism Investment Promotion and Growth Strategies;
  • Completed the infrastructure audit of all our nature reserves in partnership with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR);
  • Finalised the Conservation Management Plans and the Protected Area Expansion Strategy, including the settlement and co-management agreements guidelines for the 7 prioritised land claims protected areas namely, Songimvelo, Mabusa, Mthethomusha, Manyeleti, Loskop Dam and Blyde Nature Reserves.
3. Business Regulation

In fulfilling our mandate to protect consumers, we can report that we have successfully resolved 1 642 consumer cases. Various educational programmes were held throughout the Province in the form of 88 workshops, 10 road-shows and 48 radio talk-shows focusing on debt counselling and discouraging reckless lending.

As a responsible government, we encourage responsible drinking hence the Mpumalanga Liquor Board only approved 683 liquor licence applications out of the 1 107 applications submitted.

In order to ensure compliance with applicable liquor laws, eight hearings for non-compliance with the Act and 27 community workshops were held in partnership with the South African Police Service. We also conducted 166 liquor inspections on licensed and new premises and inspected 617 retail outlets. 

Mpumalanga Gambling Board

In terms of the mandate delegated to the Mpumalanga Gambling Board, we can report that the process of awarding the fourth casino licence in the province, has been put on hold given the current economic crisis. As a responsible government, we encourage responsible gambling but took this decision because we do not want to increase the temptation of gambling, which will further put more strain on our people who are already squeezed too much by the recession. Nonetheless, we continued to carry-out our mandate of ensuring that all gambling and betting activities in the province are complying with all relevant laws and regulations.

4. Economic Planning

In carrying-out our mandate of driving provincial integrated economic planning, we have finalised the Economic Development Strategy for the province, which is currently in a draft format. The strategy will focus on simultaneously achieving high and sustainable economic growth rates and equity. We have also developed a geographic information system, with the objective of providing information services to stakeholders by processing information requests pertaining to our provincial economy. It should be noted that we will on a continuous basis analyse and monitor the impact the economic development strategies have on the economy of the province.  

Our additional mandates

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, when the Honourable Premier announced the new Executive Council on 12 May 2009, he delegated the mandate of environmental management to us as the re-configured Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. He further announced that three provincial public entities will be merged and also that institutional arrangements for flagships will be reviewed with a view of enhancing economic growth, enterprise development and delivery of massive infrastructure in the province.  

This directive to merge the Mpumalanga Agricultural Development Corporation (MADC) and the Mpumalanga Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC) with the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), has therefore resulted in us taking over the mandate of MADC from the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration, including that of environmental management from the current financial year. It has also resulted in us taking over the mandate of the MHFC from the Department of Human Settlement. Furthermore, when tabling the Policy and Budget Speech of the Office of the Premier on 18 August 2009, the Premier also announced that the Maputo Development Corridor Flagship and the Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism part of the Heritage, Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism Flagship will henceforth form part of our mandate.

In terms of the Division of Revenue Act, the PFMA and treasury regulations, transferred mandates should come with their own budgets. The function of environmental management will therefore be transferred with a total budget of  R59 million, 625 thousand; the MADC with R56 million, 810 thousand; and MHFC with R17 million, 850 thousand. 

Our plans for the 2009/10 financial year 

Honourable Speaker, we commit to continue to carry-out our mandates as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996; the PFMA, Act 1 of 1999 (as amended); the Treasury Regulations and as directed by the Honourable Premier. Allow me then to table our plans for the 2009/10 financial-year.

1. Integrated economic development 

When delivering his maiden State of the Province Address in June this year, Premier Mabuza instructed us to “accelerate economic growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods. He clearly spelled out our marching orders for this financial year, which amongst others mandate us:

  • To convene a Provincial Economic Summit to craft better mechanisms to respond to the recession;
  • To merge the Mpumalanga Agricultural Development Corporation (MADC) and the Mpumalanga Housing Finance Company (MHFC) with the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) before the end of the current financial year; and
  • To advance the objectives of the broad-based black economic empowerment.

We therefore commit to convene the Provincial Economic Summit before the end this quarter, in order to craft better mechanisms to respond to the crippling recession. We can also report that we are on course regarding the merger of the three public entities, and quite optimistic that the new “super” entity will be operational before the end of the financial year.  

This follows the approval of the Bill for public comments by the Executive Council recently, for the creation of the new entity to be known as the Mpumalanga Economic Development Agency (MEDA). The merger will enable us to utilise the asset base of the new “super” entity to mobilise financial resources to fund the accelerated delivery of massive economic and social infrastructure.

With regard to enterprise development, we will during the current financial year focus on implementing both the Provincial SMME and Co-operative strategies and further endeavour to mobilise support from stakeholders on the establishment of the Provincial SMME and Co-operative Support Agency, with the aim of ensuring that SMMEs have access to financial support from the financial institutions. We will also facilitate the establishment of 30 new co-operatives and support 25 existing ones.

Despite the impending merger, MEGA plans to fund up to 91 SMMEs in order to enhance BEE and women empowerment.  With the launch of the SMME Survival Toolkit, a further 140 SMMEs will be further developed with the necessary business skills to run a sustainable business.  

Through MADC’s Enterprise Acquisition Scheme, we plan to capacitate and fund 15 farming units acquired through the Land Reform for Agricultural Development (LRAD) in order to increase productivity of those farms. We will also dispose Tekwane Citrus, Loopspruit Winery and Moloto Roses to deserving and qualifying Agri-BEE beneficiaries within this financial year. As our quest is to stimulate robust and sustainable economic growth that would lead to the reduction of poverty, unemployment and inequalities by 2014, we will continue to support and ensure that all municipalities have credible LED plans in place by the end of this financial year.

2. Trade and industry development

With regard to trade and industry development, we plan to facilitate the establishment of four Business Process Outsourcing Centres in four municipalities, namely, at Dr JS Moroka, Govan Mbeki, Emalahleni and Mbombela local municipalities. We will continue to facilitate exposure to markets and open new markets through trade missions and exhibitions.  

In agro-processing, we are optimistic that the investment prospectus for the Food Technology Centre will attract the required investment for the centre, which is a state of the art facility that will provide a processing facility, incubation of small emerging processors, training and resource centre and laboratory for both commercial and emerging processors. We are also in discussions with the National Tooling Initiative to strengthen the tooling and die making industries in the province. The aim of this initiative is to support the existing industry to compete globally as well as rapidly commence a programme to significantly improve skills and tool making training.

We plan to organise the provincial stakeholders’ forums for the craft sector in all districts and local municipalities. These fora will culminate in a provincial forum that will provide institutional and operational framework to ensure a multi-dimensional and enabling environment, through which local and regional economic development can be supported by means of access to local, national and international markets. The idea is to end up with a Provincial Craft Hub that will serve to bridge the gap between under-resourced and rural producers and markets, as well as to ensure that the right products reach the right markets.

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, since mining is the second largest contributor to Mpumalanga’s economy and the fifth largest employer, we have deemed it significant to commission a scan of the provincial mineral deposits.

The scan, which is currently underway, seeks to highlight under-utilised opportunities. A detailed map of these will be made available to the public for scrutiny once completed. Proper measures will then be developed for small scale mining to take place in order to encourage Black Economic Empowerment investment proposals. We also plan to facilitate for the development of the mining supplier park, which seeks to house commercial entities that supply goods and services to the mines, while offering opportunities for local partnerships and transformation. This will also reduce the procurement spend outside the province. 

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) 

With regard to tourism growth and development, we will during this financial year, activate the Tourism Airlift Strategy by launching the tourism airlift contract which will see the introduction of low cost carriers into Kruger KMIA. The airlift contract represents an investment of R 2.4 million over a two year period, which is aimed at increasing leisure tourism airlift capacity to and from KMIA. It is anticipated that this deal will increase airlift capacity at the airport to include Boeing 737-200 aircrafts, which will fly at least five times per week, and deliver a total of 44 000 passengers to Mpumalanga over the contract period.

Our plan is to also maximise tourist spend in the province, including attracting a huge number of visitors to the province during the forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup event. This includes amongst others, convincing visitors to extend their length of stay in the province by offering them affordable and comprehensive travel packages. It is further our intention, to conduct full feasibility studies for the possible development of a world class theme and amusement park; the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve cable car and the bio-park development in Barberton.

We anticipate to finalise post-settlement and co-management agreements with the land claimants of the seven nature reserves namely, Songimvelo, Blyde River Canyon, Loskop Dam, Mthethomusha, Manyeleti, Mdala and Mabusa by the end of October 2009.  

3. Business regulation 

With regard to business regulation, we envisage that approximately 1 000 liquor licenses will be approved and issued in the current year. This is based on the average yearly figures received and evaluated. We will also educate and provide awareness to small to medium Liquor License Industries regarding their sustainability; and enforce compliance to license conditions and legislation in partnership with the South African Police Service. It is also our intention to conduct workshops and seminars throughout the province, so as to ensure that the role of the Liquor Authority and that the implementation of the Mpumalanga Liquor Licensing Act is understood and acknowledged by all who are involved in the industry.

Like we indicated earlier on, we encourage responsible gambling and will continue to enforce responsible gambling initiatives through awareness campaigns. In order to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing on especially basic goods, we will ensure that members of the Consumer Court are appointed. We will continue to reach out to consumers through focused consumer education and awareness programmes to ensure that consumers in distress are assisted through debt counselling and debt relief programmes. 

4. Economic planning 

Honourable Speaker, in order to continue to carry-out the function of provincial economic planning, we plan to produce a report on the impact of the recession on our provincial economy. Following on the Economic Development Strategy finalised last year, we also plan to develop the Industrial Development Strategy which will focus sector strategies for Information Communication Technology (ICT), Bio-fuels as well a strategy on tourism safety and a plan for tourism SMME support. We will also conduct research on labour market demands in the sectors of the economy and on export route map. The former seeks to determine priority sectors and interventions in order to achieve Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) targets on growth and unemployment, taking into account the economic challenges.

As a continuation from the Moloto Corridor economic scoping exercise, a detailed research will be conducted on identified key industries along the corridor to identify priority sector interventions. We will further roll out our economic information resource services to district municipalities and update the Geographic Information System (GIS). It is also our plan to adequately analyse the impact of tourism development and skills development on the economy and livelihoods of the people of the Province.  

5. Environmental management

Honourable Speaker, the protection and management of our environment remains a key priority. We are responsible to implement the National Environmental Management Act and the environmental impact assessment regulations. We will therefore during this financial year, implement the short-term recommendations of the Provincial Hazardous Waste Management Plan on hazardous waste disposal.

The plan aims to address the handling of hazardous waste from various sources, and from production to sanitary disposal. We anticipate to conclude the design and issuing of permits for the three Centralised Integrated Waste Management Facilities in the province by November this year. The plans and licenses will be used for the construction of the Centralised Waste Management Sites, commencing in 2010, by the participating municipalities. We will also continue to gather data and maintain the Air Quality Monitoring Network in the Highveld Air Pollution Priority Area. The information will ultimately inform the development of the Highveld Air Pollution Priority Area Quality Management Plan by setting targets to gradually reduce air pollutant levels in the area, which is a national priority area. 

6. Heritage, Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism Flagship

As alluded to above, we have been mandated to implement the Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism part of the flagship programme. As part of greening our province, we plan to plant 150 000 trees. We have further initiated in partnership with the Department of Education, a “School Greening Programme” to ensure alignment of the greening programme at local government and at school and community level. The programme will involve all municipalities in the province to ensure sustainable environmental practices at municipal level.  

7. Maputo Development Corridor Flagship 

Honourable Members, we are optimistic that we would have finalised concession and public partnerships for the construction of four truck-stops by the end of the financial year. We are currently recapitalising the Komatipoort Dryport and the Komatipoort train station ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  

We have also completed phase one of the Komatipoort Information Centre, with phase two anticipated to be completed by October this year. The construction of satellite tourism information centres at Middelburg, Machado and on the R40 Sub-corridor to Barberton is also nearing completion. We will also ensure that the Lebombo-Ressano Garcia Border Post is given the appropriate facelift, and that all officials including customs and police officers at the border posts are trained on customer care before the world cup. In preparing to welcome visitors from the neighbouring Mozambique for next year’s World Cup, we have ensured that 30 youths are trained to speak basic Portuguese.

Feasibility studies on the development of Industrial parks in the Steve Tshwete and Govan Mbeki Municipalities have been completed, and we are currently finalising a financing and investment model for the two proposed parks. 

Allocation per programme:

Honourable Members, I deem it significant that before I table the proposed budget for vote 6, that I should explain to the house that due to the fact that the additional mandates of environment; taking over of the MADC and MHFC; the Maputo Development Corridor Flagship and the Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism part of the Heritage, Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism Flagship, have not yet been legally incorporated into the yet to be proclaimed Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, we will thus not request the house to appropriate their proposed budgets under vote 6. 

Their budgets will be appropriated in the votes of their former departments, and will form part of our budget structure only after the proclamation of the new name has been assented to, by the President.

We will therefore only include their budgets to our vote structure in the Adjustment Appropriation later in November this year. This we do Honourable Members, in compliance with the Division of Revenue Act of 2009, the Public Finance Management Act and treasury regulations. 

Honourable Speaker, allow me then to present the proposed budget for Vote 6: Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, per programme, for the financial year ending 31 March 2010:

Programme 1: Administration

In order to amongst others continue to provide political policy directives; administrative and general management function; human resource and financial management function to the department, a total amount of R86 million, 653 thousand has been allocated for Programme 1, Administration).

Programme 2: Integrated Economic Development

An amount of R95 million, 766 thousand is proposed to be allocated to Programme 2, Integrated Economic Development, to amongst others, continue to promote and develop small enterprises; facilitate local economic development and facilitate the process of implementing the BBBEE Policy.

Included in this proposed budget, is R67 million, 148 thousand to be transferred to the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency to fund its requirements.

Programme 3: Trade and Industry Development

Trade and Industry Development, Programme 3, is proposed to receive a total amount of R235 million, 548 thousand in order to continue to ensure growth in exports and investment in the province; ensure the development of competitive industries in growth sectors; ensure industrial development in the province; and create a platform to enhance sustainable tourism growth.

Included in this proposed budget, is R193 million, 654 thousand to fund the requirements of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency; and R10 million, 300 thousand to fund the requirements of Zithabiseni Resort.

Programme 4: Business Regulation 

In order to amongst others continue to implement consumer protection and awareness strategies that create an environment conducive to fair trade; ensure compliance with applicable liquor laws; gambling and betting, and business regulatory policies and legislation, a total amount of R58 million, 281 thousand is proposed to be allocated to Programme 4, Business Regulation. This proposed budget includes R34 million, 835 thousand to fund the requirements of the Mpumalanga Gambling Board.  

Programme 5: Economic Planning

Economic Planning which is Programme 5, will receive a total amount of R14 million, 195 thousand to continue with the mandate to formulate provincial economic policy priorities for integration into the PGDS; drive provincial integrated economic planning; and to determine the impact and effectiveness of economic policy priorities, strategies and targeted intervention programmes in the province.

Proposed total budget 

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, the total amount proposed to be appropriated to fund the requirements of Vote 6: Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism for the 2009/10 financial year is R490 million, 443 thousand, which includes transfers to public entities totalling R305 million, 937 thousand. 


As I close, may I take this opportunity to thank the leadership of the political movement whose mandate I am carrying-out, the African National Congress, for having once more requested me to represent the party’s interests. This can only mean that you have confidence in one’s ability to ensure that your mandates are fulfilled to continue to improve the lives of our people. The same goes to the Honourable Premier, Comrade DD Mabuza, for also showing confidence in me to continue to be a servant of our people. I commit that I will do whatever it takes Honourable Premier, to ensure that we re-kindle our economy in order to stop the suffering of especially the less fortunate. We dare not falter, in our quest to continue to provide a better life for all. 

To my colleagues in the Executive Council and the legislature, your guidance and continuing support is much appreciated. I would also like to pass my gratitude to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development; Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Honourable Member Refiloe Mahlobogoane, for her support and guidance. Working together, we can do more for our people.  

Appreciation also goes to the Head of Department, Mr Mandla Mazibuko and staff, CEOs of MTPA, MEGA, MGB, MHFC, Maputo Development Corridor Flagship and Heritage, Greening Mpumalanga and Tourism Flagship, for continuing to carry-out the mandate with zoom and zeal as directed by the ruling party.  

To the support staff in my office under the stewardship of Mr Sarel Mtsweni, you make my work easier by always being available to do duty towards our noble course. Thank you very much. It would have committed a huge mistake if I do not pay homage to my wife, Julia and son, Sibusiso, for supporting me in our course to continue to better the lives of our people. I acknowledge that we have not spend much time together as a family, but you continued to allow me to serve the people of Mpumalanga. Thank you very much.

Honourable Members, in the words of Brazilian Writer, Paulo Coelho, and I quote:

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting... Before a dream is realised, the Soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realising our dreams, master the lessons we have learned as we have moved toward that dream. [Unfortunately] that's the point at which most people give up.... [At this point], tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself…..and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams!” 

Honourable Speaker, we will never give up in search of our dream – a dream that one day no child will go to bed on an empty stomach; a dream that one day all people will share in the country’s wealth; that the land would be shared amongst those who work it. Indeed, “no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search for its dreams” – It is our dream that “the doors of learning would one day be opened to all; and that all people should receive quality health-care.  

We strongly believe that the realisation of this dream, is in the horizon, since we are ready and willing to serve our people.

Working together, we can do more! 


Issued by: Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism

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