DA expectations for premier’s SOPA

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

In anticipation of Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza’s 2013 State of the Province Address (SOPA) tomorrow, the DA has identified 6 key areas which we believe the premier must focus on, if we are to see a visible improvement in service delivery and the quality of life of our province’s citizens.

In the days ahead, we will expand on each of these areas, both as reaction to his address, but also in the spirit of presenting alternative policy focus areas for our province.

Economic growth and job creation

Poverty in Mpumalanga cannot be eliminated with economic growth and job creation. To date the province has failed dismally to achieve the 54 000 annual jobs target, and are far of attaining the 720 000 job target by 2020. The premier must announce clear strategies to address this failure.

Implement the Youth Wage Subsidy

With looming job losses in several sectors, most notably agriculture, the premier must now put action to his words and announce definitive steps to implement a youth wage subsidy in the province – a policy programme he already agrees with.

Education

It is our belief that the learning environment has a direct impact on the quality of education a learner receives. This year must be government’s year of delivering education infrastructure, and by doing so restore pride and dignity to learners and teachers by making our schools safe havens for learning.

Health

Health care services remain a cause for concern. The premier must provide a clear and authentic strategy to deal with deteriorating health facility infrastructure, while at the same time addressing the low morale of health care workers and announce workable attraction and retention strategies.

Rural Development

Premier Mabuza must take the bold step in rural development and address the current communal land system. Millions of hectares of valuable land are currently locked in tribal authorities with residents unable to attain title deeds for the land on which they live. A review of this system could stimulate widespread economic growth.

Crime and corruption

Crime and corruption levels in Mpumalanga remain unacceptably high, with a growing public perception that government is losing the fight against crime. Premier Mabuza must announce clear strategies to ensure increased visible policing in all communities, the reintroduction of specialised policing units and the establishment of rural safety units to stem the tide of continued farm attacks in our province.

By addressing the above premier Mabuza will do well in bringing Mpumalanga’s people one step closer to a better life. The DA eagerly awaits the premier’s SOPA tomorrow.

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