Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Remarks by Premier DD Mabuza at the signing ceremony of a MOU between the Provincial Government and Bhp Billiton Energy Coal SA Pty (Ltd), Emalahleni

24 April 2013

Thank you Programme Director, MEC Mhaule, for the opportunity.

Representatives of both the Provincial and Local Government led by the Premier and Executive Mayors;
Representatives of Bhp Billiton led by the President JH Dreyer;
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

Today is an exciting and historic day for government, BECSA and the people of this Province.

It is a day where we have come to witness the Provincial Government and Bhp Billiton Energy Coal Company commencing a very important journey – a journey aimed at making a contribution to the growth and development of this province.

Of course, we have come to celebrate the achievement of the first milestone of this journey – the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Provincial Government and BECSA.

As government, we cannot overemphasise the importance of this MOU that we will be signing here today.

As you are all aware, the country, Mpumalanga included, is confronted with the challenges of high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

And the most affected groups are young people and women, including people with disabilities.

Therefore, we see this partnership to be extremely important because, jointly with BECSA, we will be working very hard to find better mechanisms to reduce these ills which are thorns in the flesh of our people.

Together, we have isolated few areas of cooperation for now – areas which we believe will make a difference to the lives of our people in the medium to long-term.

Among others, BECSA and ourselves, will be looking at the entire skills development value chain, starting from school level right up to the workplace.

An Academy for Maths, Science and Technology and a Skills Hub will be featuring high on our partnership work.

It is our conviction that if we improve the performance of both educators and learners in the field Mathematics, Science and Technology, we stand a better chance of creating a highly skilled labour force.

We will also be looking at rehabilitation of used mines with a view of creating jobs through agricultural activities, including the reclamation of underground water for both human consumption and economic activities.

Therefore, on behalf of the Provincial Government, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to BECSA for opening its doors for government.

We are aware that individually, we are making some contribution to the lives of the citizenry, however, we believe that, through this partnership, our impact will be bigger and better to the same end.

As government and the people of Mpumalanga, we are looking forward to a healthy and mutual beneficial relationship.

Thank You


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