MPUMALANGA AND KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCES DEVELOP PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR PARTNERSHIP
25 March 2015
Both the provincial governments of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal have developed the programme of action to be implemented in the partnership, which will be established to pursue seamless integrated development and sustainable livelihoods in order to benefit the citizens of both provinces.
The programme of action was finalised in Mbombela at a two-day interprovincial forum, which ended yesterday [Tuesday, 24 March 2015] and the premiers of both provinces are expected to sign the memorandum of understanding towards the end of April.
The partnership will integrate the people of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga to ensure that sustained development in its totality is founded on the African Agenda, which promotes unity of people in all walks of life. The partnerships emanates from both premiers who have expressed an intention of establishing closer working relations in a form of an Interprovincial Forum,which will be a consultative structure to facilitate information sharing, co-operation and planning on matters of mutual interest.
As a consultative intergovernmental structure, the Interprovincial Forum will however have no power or authority to take binding decisions, but may propose and submit recommendations to the respective provincial executive councils for consideration and resolution.
Again the intergovernmental structure’s focus will be to foster cooperation and facilities alignment, co-ordination and integration of planning and service delivery initiatives between the two participating provinces.
The initial focus of the Interprovincial Forum will be on but not restricted to matters related to enhancing co-operation on the promotion of trade and production of commodities, in an endeavour to maximise economies of scale in the development of product and produce, and securing export markets, as well as alignment of strategic development corridors.
There will be a specific focus on collaboration with agricultural production and agri-processing opportunities, conservation and tourism aimed at promoting cross boundary and sub-regional conservation and tourism opportunities and creating opportunities for marketing and promotion of local tourism ventures and events, as well as promoting cross boundary tourism routes.
The partnership will further deal with passenger, freight transport logistics and infrastructure in an endeavour to enhance the movement of people, goods and services between the two provinces and to align long term infrastructure planning and intermodal facilities.
Speaking during the workshop, Mpumalanga Director-General Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize said they were happy that as officials they had been able to prioritize key programmes for implementation between the two provinces
Dr Mkhize said they however still needed to strengthen areas around research especially that Mpumalanga now had a new university.
“This was not just a talk show. There is a practical programme of action ahead of us to implement. We will not let it gather dust while we continue in our normal and routine work in our respective provinces.
“Indeed this is a journey. Our destination is clear before us, we know where we are going as the two provinces. Our programme of action is not cast in stone but it will should respond to the discoveries we make as we advance a better life for the people of Mpumalanga and KZN,” said Dr Mkhize.
On the other hand, KwaZulu-Natal Director-General Nhlanhla Ngidi said the success of the partnership between the two provinces depended on implementation by government officials as the two premiers were simply the champions.
“We want the people of this country to continue to have confidence in this government which brought freedom. As we assist our premiers, we should ensure that the partnership between the two provinces becomes a living legacy, that during our time this government considered issues of service delivery regardless of the boundaries,” said Mr Ngidi.
The two provinces are expected to share the best practices on many streams ranging from issues related to cross boundary communities, demarcation issues, HIV and AIDS, issues of clean audit for municipalities, matters relevant to taxi associations, stock and vehicle theft amongst others once the memorandum of understanding has been signed by the two premiers.
In April last year  both provinces led by their respective premiers held a community Imbizo in Mkhondo Municipality and announced the formal working relations in order to allow people from both side to have access to medical services, old age grants and schools irrespective of the provincial boundaries.
Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Office of the Premier
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163
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