Barberton - The government wanted to be closer to the people, Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza told the farming community near his home in Barberton on Wednesday.
Mabuza, who voted at Lincoln Farm on Wednesday morning, said service delivery protests were caused by the distance between government and the people.
"Most service delivery protests in Mpumalanga were caused by the distance created between the leaders and the people and government will strengthen its relations with the people."
He said the situation in Mpumalanga stabilised when government leaders went to communities to explain delays in services.
"Our province later became stable because we had to go to the people and explain why certain things were not happening, and [if] we come back into power again we will ensure that we improve on this."
Mabuza said casting his vote reminded him of where South Africa had come from.
"Before 1994, everything looked impossible...the split that was there on racial lines is settling down and we are tolerating each other very well.
"We're learning to live together without intimidating each other.
"It is encouraging to see the farm owners releasing their employees to come and exercise their democratic right to choose their government.
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