Premier Mabuza’s ambitious plans need more than just lip service

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The DA notes premier David Mabuza’s state of the province address delivered today, this address is his most ambitious yet and has set the bar for government delivery for the next five years.

We welcome premier Mabuza’s inclination to adopt DA policy proposals as workable government strategies, in particular the following;

  • The decentralisation of the department of health’s decision making powers to hospital CEO’s, allowing them to have control over what takes place in their respective hospitals and to be held accountable for it,
  • The acknowledgement that school principals are the managers of their schools and should be held accountable for what happens under their watch,
  • The establishment and revitalisation of industrial parks in former homeland areas which will allow for potential growth in the industrial sector,
  • Setting up internships so that young people can benefit from artisan development programmes rolled out and supported by public-private partnerships,

The DA welcomes the premier’s commitment to infrastructure development especially in the health, education, local government, roads and water sectors. When implemented well, infrastructure development and government spending are key to stimulating provincial economies.

We are however concerned that while premier Mabuza has set an ambitious target of 390 000 work opportunities over the next 5 years and to grow the economy by 5% annually, this is not attainable given the pace at which Mpumalanga’s government implements its strategies. The premier has also not given any specifications as to how these jobs will be created.

We are further concerned that the premier made no mention of the disbanding of the boards of provincial parastatals, MEGA and MPTA and the processes that are to follow. This is particularly concerning as MEGA was mandated to roll out massive water infrastructure projects in the province and is a major roll player in the establishment of the Fresh Produce Market.

In order for the premier’s ambitious targets to even be remotely achievable, he needs to ensure that public officials are capacitated with the necessary skills and knowledge to implement and monitor his radical strategies.

Further, premier Mabuza needs to fully commit himself and his administration to rooting out corruption in both the local and provincial government sectors.