State of the Province Address – The devil lies in its implementation

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the ban, announced by Premier David Mabuza during his State of the Province Address (SOPA) today, that civil servants may no longer do business with government, with immediate effect.

This step is long overdue and has been a long standing position of the DA, and we call on premier Mabuza to extend this ban to politicians at all spheres of government.

The DA identified six key focus areas for priority delivery and the premier addressed four of them.

We welcome the announcement of infrastructure improvements in the health and education sectors, taking the first step to restore the dignity of learners, healthcare workers and patients alike.

The intended public private partnerships to train, capacitate and employ the youth of Mpumalanga is a welcome development. Despite extensive acknowledgment of the unemployment crisis facing Mpumalanga youth, premier Mabuza disappointed by failing to announce the immediate implementation of the Youth Wage Subsidy, obviously due to political pressure from within the tripartite alliance.

As far as rural development is concerned, we welcome the expansion of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme and that small scale farmers will receive improved access to markets. It is regrettable, however, that the premier did not address the matter of communal land rights and the transfer of title rights to individuals.

While the premier did announce a reduction in contact crimes and crime in general, we regret that he has still not mustered the political courage to establish rural security units, thereby increasing visible policing.

Premier Mabuza has set the bar high by committing his government to a range of delivery promises. However, the real test for today’s SOPA will lie in its implementation, and the capability of our provincial administration to deliver on the promises made.

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