Bosman Grobler MPL
Note: The following address was made by Bosman Grobler DA MPL, to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature on 1 July 2014, during the debate on the Premier’s 2014 State of the Province Address.
Honourable Speaker, Hon Premier, As my colleague rightfully pointed out, the premier has made several announcements which we support and endorse.
We are excited about the vision of developing infrastructure across all sectors and we are glad to see this planning is not limited to certain areas. Hon Premier, it is however of great concern that the budget for infrastructure development in the 2013 budget has not been spent. The hopes of many citizens rose when they saw funds allocated to the Middelburg/ Belfast road. After years of petitions, protests and complaints, they finally would have a better road. But up to today the work on this road has not started.
There are many other examples of budgeted projects that were not implemented. And I therefor emphasize that projects which are budgeted for, should be implemented and delivered.
The agricultural sector is a major contributor to the economy of Mpumalanga. Stability in this sector is of utmost importance, this will contribute to job creation and food security. We welcome the establishment of formal relationships with commercial farmers for skills development and mentorship. We also welcome the commitment to increase production of food on land reform farms and underutilised state owned land.
The DA also believes that the only way in which government can make a positive contribution towards sustainable food security is to work very closely to commercial farmers. The skills and experience of current producers have been gained through generations. The DA urges government to cherish its relationship with commercial and emerging farmers.
Now is the time for action. If government is committed to help emerging farmers, how much longer must the emerging farmers in Tembisile Hani and DR JS Moroka municipalities wait before the disaster relief that was promised to them, over a year ago, is delivered? These farmers lost thousands of cattle, and they cannot provide a sustainable livelihood, if government does not help them.
It is a known fact that lack of service delivery is felt the hardest at municipal level. Huge housing backlogs, a lack of clean water for residents and poor sanitation, is seen in every municipality across the province. Hon Premier you have again promised to deliver these services to the people. Despite mandating MEGA to deliver these services, 2 years ago, we are yet to see the successful implementation of any of these projects.
Hon premier, the only way in which you can deliver on this promise is by employing competent individuals, committed to the delivery of services in municipalities. These services will not be delivered if the ANC uses local government as a jobs-for-pals scheme and as a cadre redeployment mechanism.
The Democratic Alliance remains committed to the people of Mpumalanga. We are committed to change. We are committed to real change that brings jobs. We will continue our mandate to execute oversight over the executive and hold them accountable for responsible governance.