Address by Premier Mabuza at the Service Excellence and Youth Awards Ceremony, Gert Sibande District, Graceland

13 March 2014

Programme Director,
Members of the Executive Council
Members of the Provincial Legislature present here today
Executive Mayors of Govan Mbeki and Gert Sibande District Municipalities,
Representatives of the House of Traditional Leaders
The Director-General and HODs present
Members of the provincial NYDA structures
Representatives of our partners,
Our esteemed Adjudicators
Nominees and recipients of the Premier's Service Excellence and Youth Awards,
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and gentlemen,

1. This year marks an important milestone in our life as a democratic nation. We are celebrating 20 years of democracy and freedom.

2. We are reflecting on the journey we have traversed and progress we have made in building a democratic and caring government that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of all South Africans.

3. In the State of the Province Address that I delivered more than two weeks ago, I reflected on the strides that we have made in building a people-centred government that embodies the core values of servant leadership, humility and respect for the people it is meant to serve. I said:
“We have made a great deal of progress in establishing people-centred and caring institutions that are responsive to the needs of all the citizens of the Province.
We have established institutions and forged processes and platforms that give a voice to all of Mpumalanga’s people. We have supported the development of a democracy that breathes life into our constitution and paves the way to further empower our citizens and develop the potential of our rich Province.
We believe that good governance is at the heart of a developmental state that has a responsibility to transform society for the better. In order to succeed, we require sound and consistent leadership and a cadre of competent public servants united in their efforts to mobilize, apply and coordinate “ all available resources in the public, private and voluntary sectors in the most effective, efficient and democratic way.”

4. Embodied in our constitutional democracy are the values and principles of Batho Pele which enjoin the public administration that demonstrates the following features:
• A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.
• Efficient, economic and effective use of resources must be promoted.
• Public administration must be development oriented.
• Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.
• People’s needs must be responded to, and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy-making.
• Public administration must be accountable.
• Transparency must be fostered by providing the pubic with timely, accessible and accurate information
5. It is our responsibility to ensure that we create platforms for citizens to interact with public representatives and raise whatever concerns and issues they may have from time to time. Government must be made accessible to the people. Public participation platforms must be enhanced to foster the meaning participation of citizens in development and service delivery initiatives.

6. Regular communication and feedback on issues raised by communities should be provided on an ongoing basis. Leaders must make time to interact frequently with communities to respond to the needs of communities.

7. As public representatives and leaders, we should demonstrate a strong ethos of servant leadership through our humility, respect for people, and our commitment to serve our communities at all times.

Improving efficiencies for quality service delivery

8. As we continue to deepen Batho Pele principles, we need to improve the efficiency of frontline service delivery institutions in order to positively on the quality of services provided to the citizens of Mpumalanga:
• We must address all complaints about the sub-standard quality of patient care in our health facilities, including better management of long queues in our health facilities, especially hospitals
• Emergency medical services must improve
• Our police stations must be responsive to victims of gender-based violence, and ensure better responsiveness whenever crime is reported
• We must continue to improve the efficiencies in Home Affairs and SASSA
• At local government level, our people are expecting that municipalities should provide basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity and refuse removal so that the quality of life improves not only in urban areas, but rural areas as wel

9. Today, we take pride in those instutions that exemplify the true values of Batho Pele. They have gone beyond the call of duty to contribute to the transformation and betterment of society.

Empowering young people through entrepreneurship

10. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are a Youthful Province. According to Stats SA, 70% of those young people are unemployed. The major bottleneck of their un-employability is the lack of the requisite skills demanded by the labour market.

11. If we look at our provincial economy, there are opportunities in the key economic sectors, namely, agriculture and forestry; manufacturing and beneficiation; tourism and cultural industries, and mining and energy, including the green economy.

12. Government also offers support through a number of programmes run by different departments, particularly the departments dealing with agriculture, public works, sustainable and integrated human settlement to mention but a few.

13. Today in this ceremony, we have also come to acknowledge young people who took their own initiatives to grab opportunities presented by the economy.

14. We really commend them for doing us proud and leading the way for other young aspirant entrepreneurs. By the way, the future of this country is in the hands of young people. The more young people come into the fold of the mainstream economy, the better.

15. As government, we remain committed towards supporting young people who aspire to be businessmen of tomorrow. The more entrepreneurs we create the better because we will be opening up more opportunities for job creation.

16. We encourage all young people to empower themselves by acquiring skills demanded by the labour market.

17. As part of contribution to this end, government has prioritised Mathematics and Science as key learning areas for our learners. As we speak, we and our business partners are in the process of establishing a Maths, Science and Technology Academy whose primary purpose is to boost the performance of our learners and teachers in these learning areas.

Recognising excellence in education

18. For those individuals who have gone an extra mile in ensuring that education becomes an important empowerment tool for the young people, we will also be recognising you here today in this function for your excellent work.

19. We really want to thank you for raising the performance bar in education. To all the teachers who worked so hard to improve the matric results in the Province, we wish to say, once more, thank you for your dedication and selfless efforts to empower our young people.

20. Let me also take this opportunity to thank all the young people for standing up to make a contribution to the development of communities where they live.

21. We will ensure that our young people remain focus and become positive agents for sustainable development in our communities.

22. Today is an important event in our yearly calendar where we celebrate efforts to bring a better life to our people by ordinary people you and me, across our province.

23. We have many challenges. Too many of our people are poor, unemployed or suffer the burden of underdevelopment and disease.

24. Together we can win this battle. I wish to call on you to join me and the provincial government as we take forward the National Development Plan – the vision 2013.


^ Back to Top