Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Policy and Budget Vote Speech 2009/10 by MEC for the Department of Health and Social Development, Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, Nelspruit

26 August 2009

Honourable Speaker
The Honourable Premier
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the House
Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders Inkosi Mahlangu
Acting Director General Mr JS Mgidi
Leadership of Labour and Business
NGO sector
Management of the department of Social Development and all its employees
All Heads of Departments
Esteemed guests
Members of the media
People of Mpumalanga
Ladies and gentlemen

Honourable Speaker and Honourable members, the President of the Republic of South Africa and the ruling party, the ANC in his January 08 statement declared to the whole nation on behalf of the ANC that “During the course of this year, we need to further enhance our efforts to improve the conditions of children and youth in poverty.” The president further said “This effort, which has as its objective the defeat of poverty, needs to be complemented by immediate measures to respond directly to the situation in which our people find themselves today”

Honourable Speaker and Honourable members, the plight of the organisation that I represent in the legislature, as clearly spelt out by the President is the inspiration, and largely is the line of March to which the present government should follow.

I am therefore of no exception, hence this budget speech will take into consideration the mandate given to the President and the entire leadership of the ruling party, to immediately attend to their plight. The ruling party concludes in the manifesto, that together we can do more.

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members we live in difficult times. We live in times where on a daily basis we are witnesses to many of our people losing their jobs; where houses and cars are repossessed by lending banks due to the inability of many to pay their premiums. We witness on a daily basis the struggle of many of our people to put a plate of food on their table. These are indeed difficult times. 

The economic meltdown is no more a distant reality. It has caught up with us. It has and will continue to bring misery to many of our people who would continue to lose jobs and increasingly rely on the state to provide some form of a buffer against their sufferings.

The intricacy of the situation is the reality that our revenue is declining and over the MTEF period there is no real increase in our budget despite the obvious increase of people who will depend on our services.  We know for a fact that the situation is not of our own making.

Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed through their selfishness and greed. The misery brought by these narrow actions is huge to fathom. 

Honourable Speaker, we present our Budget statement against a harsh background. The mandate of the Social Development Department is very crucial in mitigating the suffering of our people.

We aim to create a humane and caring society founded on sound principles of human solidarity, ubuntu and common prosperity. 

The positive development brought about by the current economic turmoil is that it has provided a space for critical introspection on the decisions that caused this world economic upheaval.  And what seems to be emerging is a consensus that the way of doing business has to change and governments have to be more responsible and visible in the market to prevent further market failures.  

Successful examples of alternative ways of doing things have already emerged and we recently learned valuable lessons from the recent presentation by Professor Mohammed Yunus from Bangladesh at the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture in Johannesburg. 

Professor Yunus was a lecturer in economics and conceived an alternative economic development model which sought to negate the Adam Smith “invisible hand” as the best model for economic development.  He conceived what he called social business, a model first and fore most based on real social development where profits are ploughed in human development initiatives. 

The crucial lesson here is that things can be done differently and better. It is in these trying times that we need to seek new creative ways of doing things within the limited resources available. Morality has a space and must take priority even in business. 

1. Institutional Organization and Capacity

Honourable Speaker, it therefore becomes a very important task to reposition government to ensure that our interventions have a positive and greater impact. We now have a new organisational structure and this presents an opportunity to re-engineer the department and maximise efficiencies. 

In this regard we are in a process of filling key service delivery posts and hope that once appointments have been made; the department will even be on a stronger position to deliver on its key and crucial mandate.

In the previous financial year we highlighted the intention to develop an overarching human resource plan which will include how we identify talent and retain it for a considerable period of time.   This is in response to the general shortage of professionals in the Social Development sector, and this process will be completed in this financial year. 

The Department of Social Development has concluded an agreement with organised labour, which gives a directive to implement the Occupation Specific Dispensation for social service professionals with effect from 01 April 2008.  The Department of Social Development, in conjunction with all provinces, has developed Rural Allowance for Social Workers as a strategy to retain Social Workers in rural areas. This process is at an advanced stage and will see a huge improvement in the scope of services the Department is able to render.

Last year we successfully launched the Masupatsela Youth Pioneer programme, which has enrolled 320 young people in the Province. They complement the work of community development practitioners and are given R1 500.00 as a stipend.  

At the exit of this programme, most of these young people would have gained the necessary experience and the plan is to prioritise them when further training and employment opportunities through the department arise.  In addition, 200 young people drawn from the breath and width of our province will be completing their year-long training as Social Auxiliary Workers. They will be absorbed into the structure and their presence will undoubtedly enhance service delivery. 

Honourable Speaker, we are putting more efforts in improving our finance systems by building capacity particularly in supply chain and asset management.  In this regard, we will be filling strategic positions and training existing staff with the view to build credibility and integrity in our financial management.  We have been able to initiate the compilation of asset registers and we are in the process of strengthening internal audit and risk management. We however require more capacity to meet the statutory reporting requirements.  We will continue to strengthen these sections in the 2009/10 financial year.  

I am happy to announce that this year for the first time the Department Of Social Development will have a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit.  For a Department of our nature this has been sorely lacking and to some extent limited the department in performing at its optimal.  Performance and information management and evaluation is very important in ensuring that the right services are being rendered to the people at the right time and cost.

In order to make an impact on the social issues that pervade our communities and to create a compassionate and cohesive society we will be drawing and implementing a five-year communication plan aimed at comprehensive communication of our programmes, which would empower our people to be agents of change in every sphere of life. 

2. Programme 2: Social Welfare Services 

Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members, I now come to the programmes in the Department that articulate how we get to the end of the rainbow.  One of our core mandates is to build social cohesion. Social cohesion is based on sound principles of human solidarity, respect, love and compassion 

In a cohesive society, moral consciousness is the supreme guide of our actions. This means that children are a treasure of society and their protection is a societal matter. Women are accorded the necessary respect and any harm to their integrity is despised by all.

In a cohesive society, emphasis is on human solidarity rather than crass materialism that seem to be engulfing our human spirit. These are very important dreams Honourable Members that we have to work towards.  If we do not, we are in danger of one day arriving at a point where our people have all their material needs and yet are not happy.   

These are what people call the “soft issues,” and these are what give quality and value to the human existence.  Therefore the importance of this portfolio cannot be undervalued, and in the next five years leading to 2014, the Department of Social Development will ensure that condition of every human in Mpumalanga is improved materially and spiritually. 

I would like to stress the point that the programmes of the Department in the main target vulnerable groups in our society, which are women, children, youth, the people with disabilities and the elderly.  This is done consciously so as to bring balance in our society and ensure that we all enjoy this hard earned freedom.

Honourable Speaker, whereas in Programme two we deal with Social Welfare Services whereby we assist mainly these groups in their time of need, in Programme 3, which is Community Development, we deal specifically with empowering these groups. This is very deliberate

2.1 Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse 

Honourable Speaker, we are yet to win the war against substance abuse in our society. Research has shown that substance abuse is a major cause of crime, and the increased use of drugs of all types is eroding our potential as a society. We only need to look at the social determinants of health in South Africa and we can see that these are negative.  

The structural inequity in the South African political economy means that the majority of our people are born into a huge disadvantage.  The fact that a high number of people are willingly consuming cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine adds tremendous pressures on society and limits our ability to progress.  The effect of the use of these drugs goes way beyond the individual consuming them but affects everybody.   

The war on drugs in Mpumalanga goes beyond the increase in usage by individuals; Mpumalanga is increasingly used as a transit route by drug smugglers and makes it easier for these drugs to find their way into our communities.  We require a concerted effort by all of us to fight the scourge of drug abuse in our communities.  We are all affected.  We cannot have a future when more and more of our youth toil in prisons as a result of drug abuse.

In a hardened effort to combat the use of drugs and abuse of substances like alcohol, a Draft Provincial Mini Drug Master Plan has been developed and is in the process of being finalised for implementation.  This plan is a multi-sectoral effort involving stakeholders from communities, the South African Police services, the NGO sector and government.

The cornerstone of the plan is preventive education to limit the number of people even thinking of trying substances that may be addictive and destructive.

 An added element of the Plan will be the broad target group at which it will be aimed at.  In the past, efforts to curb substance abuse have mainly been geared towards the youth; however it is important to educate adults and bring them into the fold of responsibility by giving them the ability to identify youth who are involved in substance abuse and give some form of counselling and support.

2.2 Care and Service to Older Persons 

Honourable Speaker, we are all familiar with the saying that you can judge how a man will treat his wife by the way he treats his mother; well the same can be said about how you can judge a society by the way it treats its older persons.  Older persons are our backbone from which we are building this nation.  They are the source of strength, identity, wisdom and history from which we are able to stand proud amongst all nations, we therefore cannot neglect them at the time when they should be enjoying their lives and taking pride in their accomplishments and long lives.   

It is very important that we revert to the ubuntu ways of natural respect for our elders.  As a Department, we respond to the needs of older persons by providing Home Based Care programmes; poverty relief and economic empowerment of older persons; care to those who are frail; and train them in parenting skills as a number of them are bringing up their grandchildren.  The Older Persons Act recognises the home based care programme as a need for frail older persons living in the community. The home based care programme is to embrace our culture of caring for our older persons within families and communities.

In the last financial year, fourteen organisations were funded specifically for home based care and we reached 728 beneficiaries; 23 capacity building sessions were provided to 914 persons on the Older Persons Act. 

In total, 128 Not for Profit Organizations (NPO) were funded reaching 4 803 beneficiaries.  Protection of older persons is a priority and the plan is therefore to continue to keep the abuse register and encourage NGOs, older persons, families and communities to report abuse.  In the 2009/10 financial year we will spend R25 million to fund a total of 149 NPO’s targeting 5 960 beneficiaries.

2.3 Crime Prevention and Support

Honourable Members, at long last the Child Justice Act was promulgated into law in July 2009.  This Act strengthens the area of child justice considerably as it provides the right resources and remedies to deal with children more effectively.  When it comes to crime prevention the Department has a role especially regarding children and youth in conflict with the law.

 The main thrust is to discourage crime and find the root-cause that leads young people to commit crime.  There are many reasons why children and youth turn to crime ranging from child abuse and neglect to substance abuse and addiction.  In the 2008/2009 financial year our diversion programme for children in conflict with the law reached 120 children.

A total of 149 young persons were admitted into our Secure Care Centres. In this financial year 3,924 children are targeted as participants in the diversion programme and 1,800 children will be reached through home based care supervision.   This sub-programme has seven NPOs that are funded to the tune of R2, 3 million. 

2. 4 Services to Persons with Disabilities 

Honourable Speaker, it is sad that government is still finding it difficult to render services to people with disabilities. Access remains the biggest obstacle in this regard. We cannot claim to be a free nation for as long as many of our people with disability suffer from stigma, abuse and neglect in the hands of those that are supposed to provide care and support. 

We need therefore to mainstream services to people with disabilities to transcend all aspects of our lives.  The Department will ensure strict adherence to the integrated disability strategy, which indicates the roles all departments should play.  The plight of people with disabilities is our collective responsibility.  

We need no longer pay lip service towards issues that affect them.  People with disability have rights like all of us do. These rights are enshrined in the Constitution of the land. We owe them no favour; it is their Constitutional right to access government services. We therefore need to promote the well being; independent living and protection of socio economic rights. 

To this end, we will intensify services and care to people with disabilities in the current financial year.  We will conduct capacity building programmes and aim to reach 750 persons with disabilities.  The Provincial and District Forums for People with Disabilities will be supported to carry out their mandates. Furthermore, we will spend R23, 4 million to fund 122 NPOs reaching 2 859 adults and children with disabilities. 

We are also prioritising services to children with disabilities and we have increased the subsidy for stimulation centres from R264 per child per month to R396 with effect from April 2009. 

2. 5. Family And Victim Empowerment Programme

The renowned poet and artist, Mzwakhe Mbuli reminds us about familyhood in his poem, and I quote; “ukulimala komuntu ukulimala komndeni; ukulimala komndeni ukulimala komphakathi; ukulimala komphakathi ukulimala kweSizwe” close quote. 

To build a caring and humane society requires a concerted effort that begins with us re-engineering and repositioning families as the basic unit of society.  If families uphold sound values of respect, human solidarity and common prosperity, we will have a firm foundation to build a prosperous nation.  

The burden of disease in our society has led to a new phenomenon that sees children increasingly assuming parenting responsibilities at early age. This became evident on the 9th of August when as part of Women’s Day celebrations we visited Masoyi and met an 11-year old girl taking care of her siblings.  We definitely have similar cases throughout the Province and this is neither normal nor conducive to building the kind of nation we dream of.   

To ensure that children grow up as normal kids with a full potential to be better citizens of our country in their later lives, they require maximum support, not only from the Department of Social Development but government and society as a whole.  When we offer any kind of opportunities these children must be prioritised and Honourable Members can play a crucial role in their respective constituencies.  

Honourable Speaker, the Victim Empowerment Programme aims to lessen the long-term impact of crime by proactively attending to the needs of all victims.  This programme is designed to deal mainly with people who have suffered emotional, physical and economical loss due to criminal acts. 

We reached eleven 1124 in need of Victim Empowerment Programme services. These services include counselling services and temporary accommodation in shelters.  

2. 6 Child Care and Protection Services 

Honourable Speaker, children are the future of any nation. Their protection and nurturing requires a concerted effort from all of us. Our children require a space to grow as children and not to be made to perform duties that limit their potential to grow as children.

Of concern to us as a Department is the increasing number of children living in our streets, the increasing number of children in conflict with the law and many children who require foster care. If children are not given a chance to grow as children, they later in their lives become hardened criminals and become a thorn for society. 

We are keeping a Provincial Child Protection Register, which is aimed at registering all cases of child abuse so that we are able to monitor cases of abuse and provide constant support. The register has been of assistance in determining the number of children abused in the Province as well as the services provided to them.

In the 2008/09 financial year, 16 522 children and youth were reached through foster care, adoption, and custody and child abuse services.  A further 37 000, 240 children and youth were reached through non-statutory services; these are children that were provided with services in Social Development offices. These services include services provided to children who needed assistance with documentation, counselling and provision of life-skills to improve their quality of life.   

Honourable Speaker, the most important intervention of investing in our children is to ensure that that they attend Early Childhood Development centres (ECD). These centres provide children with an early educational foundation which enhances success in formal schooling up to tertiary training. In the 2008/09 financial year, 50 378 children were reached through Early Childhood Development services in both registered and unregistered facilities focusing on children from birth until four years.  

In this financial year, we will continue to maintain a Provincial Child Protection Register; we will address the foster care backlog of 70 000 by placing half of these children in foster care.  We will register 200 new ECD sites and strengthen 350 ECD sites in line with Expanded Public Works Programme. We will subsidise 565 registered ECD centres and this will benefit 30 088 children. Our subsidy is R11 per child per day.  In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we will establish a 24 hour service for children in Ehlanzeni District.

2. 7 HIV and AIDS

Honourable Speaker, the effect and impact of HIV and AIDS continues to be a negative burden for all in our society.  Although the Department of Social Development’s mandate in this regard is confined to providing support services to people affected and infected by HIV and AIDS, we realize that this is not enough and we indeed have to play a bigger role in the prevention of HIV transmission.   

As per the mandate, in the 2008/09 financial year we funded 125 NPO’s, 2 182 people who are caregivers to people infected with HIV and AIDS were provided with psychosocial support.  3 000 families were provided with food parcels and 100 children provided with school uniform. 

In this financial year with a budget of R59, 3 million, we will fund 135 Not-for-Profit Organisations creating 2 230 jobs in line with Expanded Public Works Programme funded. These care givers are provided with stipend which has been increased from R500 to R1000 a month   

Programme 3 - Community Development

Honourable Speaker, we have highlighted earlier on, that Programme three is aimed at empowering vulnerable groups in our society so that they too, can participate equally in every sphere of life. Importantly that they are lifted from poverty and the cycle of poverty is broken completely. 

3.1 Youth Development 

The former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan had this to say about young people:

"Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies."  

This is precisely our view as the Department of Social Development; empowering youth is an imperative if we are to overcome poverty and injustice in our society. 

To this end the Department is focusing on empowering youth through giving valuable skills, employment opportunities and educating them on the value of being oriented by giving back to their communities and being agents of change. 

To achieve this we implemented the following programmes in the 2008/2009 financial year; 222 young people participated in the National Youth Services Programme, funded 24 youth co-operatives, funded 23 Not-for-Profit Organizations projects run by youth. 

In the 2009/10 financial year we will empower 36 youth projects that will reach 3 000 young people; 222 young people will be trained in entrepreneurial skills; life skills and accredited career oriented programmes through the National Youth Service Programme.   

3.2 Sustainable Livelihood Programme 

Honourable Speaker, as a government we are committed to the Millennium Development Goals that must be met by the year 2014.  We are committed because we understand that they provide a global effort to make a dent on poverty.

Any attempt to build a cohesive, caring and humane society will remain a pipe dream if efforts are not made to eradicate poverty. There are many reasons why so many of our communities find themselves trapped in poverty, however there are very few ways through which people and communities can lift themselves out of poverty permanently.  

The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach is aimed at ensuring that we deal with varying forms of poverty outputs at the same time.  Essentially the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach seeks to find the solutions to poverty from communities affected and then injecting the right support to assist the community to lift themselves out of poverty and breaking the cycle of poverty permanently. 

In this regard, we funded 30 projects focused on benefiting rural communities, especially women and youth.  We now have in place a Sustainable Livelihoods Framework which will be very important in harnessing resources and energies in the fight against poverty. 

3.3 War Room on Poverty

In 2008 the National Cabinet declared war on poverty and instituted the creation of war rooms around the country to deal with poverty in a coordinated and sustainable manner. The use of the military word “war” signifies the urgency and seriousness with which this important work must be carried forward. 

The effectiveness of a war room is based on the fact that coordination is done centrally therefore removing the gaps that emanate when responses come from various points.  So the war room on poverty is a central response centre where all information will be collected so we have the best understanding of poverty in every community in the Mpumalanga Province.  The aim is to profile all community households in the province, and in profiling them we will be able to assess their needs. 

The work of the War Room in the Province has commenced in earnest since it’s launching in Skhwahlane in January this year.  Seven (7) municipalities were identified for the piloting of the war room strategy.

These are Bushbuckridge wards 30, 33 and 34; Nkomazi wards 16 and 17; Mkhondo wards 2, 6, 8; Albert Luthuli wards 11 and 18; Pixley Ka-Seme wards 6 and 10; Thembisile Hani wards 8, 9, 24 and Dr. JS Moroka wards 21 and 24.  These were selected on the basis of having the highest multiple deprivation indices. 

The war room will ensure that the needs of the most deprived, needy, vulnerable and indigent of our communities are attended to as a matter of urgency.  Importantly, these communities and the anti-poverty initiatives are streamlined into all government departmental planning and budgeting processes. 

3. 4 Institutional Building and Support to NPO’s

Honourable speaker, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) has a crucial role to play in ensuring that services do reach our people close to where they live.  If we are to realise many developmental goals including Millennium Development Goals, NGO’s are required as development partners.   

This also pertains to legislation that determines the working relationship with the NGO sector.  For instance in December 2001, Government signed a Statement of Government Intentions for an Improved Community-Government Relationship.  This Statement envisages “strong and respectful relationships between Government and community, voluntary organisations”.  It articulates clear objectives for Government agencies for an improved relationship with the community sector.   

Furthermore, government has simplified the process of establishing an NGO.  The government has also ensured that there are safeguards in place to ensure that funds given to NGO’s are used in the manner agreed upon.  Therefore all NGO’s are required to produce audited financial statements to ensure that good governance takes place.

Honourable Speaker, the main task of this sub-programme is to develop policies and programmes to create an enabling environment within which non profit organisations can be empowered to contribute and participate fully towards the development of communities.   

In the financial year 2008/09 a total of 897 NPO’s was funded.  We also saw the successful implementation of the Community Builder of the Year, and the National Overall Winner Ms Mary Mhlanga is from Nkomazi   municipality. We are honoured to have her with us today and I want to take this opportunity to request her to stand up.  Malibongwe!

In the 2009/10 financial year, we will fund 921 NPO’s.  The sub-programme will continue to engage relevant institutions or development agencies and intensify capacity building programmes to ensure sustainability of development initiatives.  In this financial year we will enhance the capacity of the Community Development Practitioners to enable them to support the success of the Provincial War Room Campaign and Sustainable Livelihoods approach rollout process.

We will once again hold a NPO Provincial Consultative Summit  on the 16 September 2009 aimed amongst other things on  the following:
  • Strengthening of partnerships with NPOs, Community Based Organizations and Faith Based Organizations
  • Equitable redistribution of resources in the light of what is available and the demand
  • Address needs, priorities and  historical imbalances
  • Reach the poor and vulnerable
  • Assist emerging organisations to understand the needs and challenges of their communities
  • Ensure an improvement in the provision of effective and  efficient services

The main challenge faced by NGO’s is that they have limited funding, as mentioned, most rely on government funding.  This has prompted government to embark on capacity building of NGO’s through providing training in various areas such as financial management and project management. 

We must also hasten to commend the collaboration with private sector in this important area of work. We would appreciate to see a continued support by private sector to NGO’s providing services in key areas that are in line with their company Corporate Social Investments and beyond. 

3. 5 Population, Research and Demography 

Honourable Speaker, one of the main functions of the Population and Research Directorate is to promote the integration of population and development information into planning at all levels.  We remain committed to address this challenge by conducting research as well as through capacity development and population advocacy initiatives.  

The Population and Research directorate, in co-operation with the National Department of Social Development and Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs conducted advocacy workshops to train all Community Development Workers in the province.  During the current financial year the sub-programme will conduct five (5) working sessions with local municipalities to capacitate them in basic demographic analysis and facilitate the development of demographic profiles to support IDP development.

The directorate, in collaboration with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, will also conduct and co-fund, formal accredited training to officials from local municipalities on the “Integration of Population Issues into Development Policies and Plans".

In the 2009/10 financial year, we will conduct three research projects:
  • Reasons for Failure and Drop-out of Bursary Holders,
  • Impact Assessment of Disability Grants, and
  • Employee Satisfaction Survey amongst Departmental Officials with Disabilities.



Honourable Speaker, in order for us to meet our objectives and render our services to the people of Mpumalanga we need to be more accessible.  A key aspect to increase our accessibility is in infrastructure, which is how we ensure that we are close to the people.  The Social Development offices need to be as close to the people as possible so that they know where to go to seek a social worker, community development practitioner for counselling and guidance. 

In the 2009/10 financial year we will spend R57 million for building offices in the following areas:

Ehlanzeni District
  • KaMaqhekeza
  • Simile
  • Jerusalem
Gert Sibande District
  • Gert Sibande District Office
  • Hendrina
  • Carolina
  • Volksrust
  • Balfour
  • Bethal
Nkangala District
  • Marapyane

Honourable Speaker I present to this august house and request the house to approve the budget of the Department of Social Development Vote 13 which is R792, 343, 000.00

Programme 1: Administration R196, 512, 000. 00 

The programme provides policy direction, overall strategic leadership of the whole department and monitoring and evaluation. 

Programme 2: Social Welfare R450, 405, 000. 00

To provide integrated developmental social welfare services to the poor and vulnerable in partnership with stakeholders and civil society organizations.

Programme 3: Development and Research R145, 426, 000. 00 

This programme provides sustainable development programmes which facilitate empowerment of communities, as well as information towards the implementation of the National Population Policy.


Before I conclude Honourable speaker, allow me to join the millions of our people to congratulate our athletes; Mbulaleni mulaudzi Gold in 800m men’s final, Caster Semenya Gold in 800m women final and Khotso Mokoena Silver in 8.24m jump final. These athletes have made our country proud in the recent IAAF world championships in Berlin, Germany. The saga about the gender of Caster Semenya tells us that there is still a lot of work to be done to destroy gender stereotypes in the world at large. The racial undertones of this saga are also glaring and cannot be ignored. 

In conclusion Honourable Speaker, allow me to pass my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the Acting Head of Department for her stewardship and the entire staff of the component. The work of my predecessors cannot go unnoticed for it is through his steadfastness that we can now hit the road running and for that we are very thankful.

Allow me also to pass my sincere thanks to the Portfolio Committee for their robust oversight role, which is necessary if we are to make real and meaningful changes to the lives of our people.

The support from my colleagues in the Executive and in particular the visionary leadership of the Premier and his guidance is immeasurable.

I also want to pass my appreciation for the support from my family; my children, my mother Merriam and sister Tlaki who are with us here today. 

The work of our agencies; the South African Social Security Agency and the National Development Agency cannot go unnoticed. We are thankful for their sense of urgency and integrity in their work. I also like to equally pay special thanks to the contest support and guidance of the Auditor general, we really value their contributions.

We source our energy out of the knowledge that we are not alone in this journey. Our masses are with us. They have demonstrated in numbers their faith in our glorious movement. They do not want to be spectators. They want to be active participants in this journey, for they know it is a journey of human solidarity, common suffering and collective prosperity.

We live in difficult times, real difficult times. Our desire is not to ponder failure; we seek to be guided by our knowledge that we are a winning nation. We have crossed many rivers and climbed high mountains and traversed on difficult and uneven landscapes to be where we are today; and we shall therefore not fail. 

I thank you. 

Kea leboga




Issued by the Department of Social Development, Mpumalanga Provincial Government

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