Remarks by Honourable Premier RM Mtshweni-Tsipane on the occasion of the Presidential Imbizo

20 May 2022

Programme Director;
Honourable President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa;
The Minister of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma;
Ministers and Deputy Ministers present;
Members of the National and Provincial Legislatures present;
The Members of the Executive Council;
uBukhosi in our midst led by the Chairperson of the Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi SG Ngomane;
The Executive Mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality, Cllr Walter Mngomezulu;
Our Host, the Executive Mayor of Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality, Cllr Dan Nkosi;
Executive Mayors, Speakers and Whips of Municipalities across the Province;
The Leadership of civic organisations present;
Senior Managers of Mpumalanga Provincial Government, led by Mr. Makhukhu Mampuru;
The community of Carolina and the province at large;
Good Morning;
  1. Programme director, it is with great pleasure that we welcome you all to this DDM Presidential Imbizo in Mpumalanga province.

  2. This Presidential Imbizo is very timeous as it comes during a moment of transition which forced government to confront our new reality, of multiple interlocking and interrelated pandemics.

  3. It is a unique period in the life of our nation, where government must, with greater urgency, confront financial, economic and public health crises.

  4. It is a period where all of us must re-examine our lived reality, by making deep introspection about what exactly is the now?

  5. What is the name of this time and how does it pronounce itself?

  6. What exactly is at stake? And what are the driving forces in charge of these levers, that can enable a more thorough going project of accelerated social and economic change.

  7. Mr President, more pressingly is how this moment is articulated and expressed, in order to better enunciate, our policies to improve the lived reality of our people.

  8. This Presidential Imbizo, is convened in line with commitments as outlined in the President’s State of Nation Address 2022, which committed government to work in a more integrated and coordinated manner whilst making government more accountable to the people at whose behest we serve.

  9. This commitment in anchored in the Freedom Charter, which directs that the People shall govern. At this present moment, practical expression to these guiding principles requires a fundamental shift towards a government with a more Humane Face.

  10. This is an activist government committed to the principle of co-governance, based on the will of the people, for the people, by the people and with the people.

  11. This is an activist government conscious of the fact that we exist in the name of the people. A government that transcends the tyranny of cosmetic pronouncements and catchy rhetoric, to a government committed to fundamental change.

  12. It is within this spirit of a People’s Government, that our participation as the Mpumalanga Provincial government is enacted.

  13. Mr. President , we are truly grateful that you have afforded the people of Mpumalanga an opportunity to voice their lived reality in order to ensure an improved quality of life for all.

  14. Mpumalanga demographic profile

  15. Programme Director, Mpumalanga Province is home to approximately 4.61 million residents which translates to roughly 7.6% of the national population. 50.8% of our population is female and 49.2% is male.

  16. The Ehlanzeni District is home to over 1,8 million people followed by the Nkangala District with over 1,6 million people. The Gert Sibande District, where we are gathered is over 1,2 million people.

  17. Mpumalanga service delivery summary

  18. Programme director, the delivery of services is an important indicator of our commitment to deliver a better life to our people. The responsibility of this Administration is to remove the bottlenecks that affect the efficiency within which we deliver services.

  19. To this effect, we continue to consistently reduce the number of households without access to basic services, such as sanitation, water and electricity.

  20. Today, the percentage of households without access to sanitation is about 34%. 12.1% of households in the Province still encounter challenges with the provision of water whereas 8% of households do not have access to electricity.

  21. We have set ourselves an ambitious target to reduce the percentage of households without adequate sanitation to 10% in the 2 years that remain of this current Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).

  22. Similarly, we will ensure that water provision and electricity supply backlogs are reduced significantly in the next 2 years.

  23. Mpumalanga labour profile

  24. Programme Director, one of central challenges remains the unprecedented levels of youth unemployment.

  25. According to the Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) unemployment in terms of the strict definition is 39.7%.

  26. Youth unemployment between ages 15-34 is at 57.7%.

  27. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the problem, as we witnessed more job losses.

  28. Since April 2020, the Province shed around 493 583 jobs in total whilst creating 300 326 jobs in the same period. This translates in net job losses of 193 256.

  29. We have embarked upon number initiatives to create employment opportunities. The Mpumalanga Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is central to our initiatives to recalibrate the economy and create sustainable employment opportunities in the short to medium term.

  30. Mpumalanga economic profile

  31. Programme Director, we are the fifth biggest regional economy in South Africa with a GDP contribution of 455 billion to the national GDP. This translates to 7.3% of the national GDP.

  32. The major contributors to provincial Gross Domestic Product are;
    • mining & quarrying (24.6%);
    • Tourism (14.7%),
    • manufacturing (13%) and finance, real estate & business services (11.4%).
  33. Agriculture is also a significant contributor to the rural economy both as an employer and as a source of food security.

  34. Our Provincial economy has grown by an average of 0.5% which is below the national average of 0.9% over a 10 year period.

  35. As I have alluded to earlier, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on economies across the world, however we are beginning to show promising signs of recovery as our Provincial economy recorded growth of around 3,8% in the 2020-21 period.

  36. We are confident that the MERRP will significantly augment this growth and result in increased economic participation and the creation of sustainable jobs.

  37. Programme director, Twenty-eight years since the advent of democracy this ANC led Government has seen significant achievements in reducing levels of abject poverty and providing a safety net for the majority of our people. We know that more must still be done.

  38. To this end, Mr President, we pledge to work with you, through the District Development Model to accelerate the improvement of the socio-economic reality in the Province.

  39. We have also undertaken to reinvest in a community driven research agenda, that shall inform policy that will develop impact driven programmes that will instill fundamental social and economic change.

  40. To this end, we are enjoined as government at all levels, towards the delivery of quality services to all our people.

  41. Let us remember, that our people see us as one government, regardless of sphere or level.

  42. We owe it to our people and to the heroes of our struggle for liberation to move towards a path that “leaves no one behind”.

  43. Conclusion

  44. As I conclude, Programme Director, I wish to once again welcome you all to the Province of the rising sun. A Province with vast and extensive cultural heritage that is matched only by the beautiful vibrancy of its people.
  45. I thank you.
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