David Mabuza’s speech ignores service delivery, circumcision deaths

2014-06-27 15:16

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s state of the province speech notably left out some of the province’s most pressing issues like the collapsing state of municipalities and the plan to reduce traditional circumcision deaths.

Mabuza, speaking in the provincial legislature today, did not speak about the collapsing state of municipalities that triggers service delivery protests, corruption, or his ambitious plan last year to have 500 000 men circumcised through the Medical Male Circumcision programme.

The premier pledged to prioritise six strategic infrastructure projects that will support key economic sectors.

They are the establishment of an international convention centre, cultural hub, information and communications technology (ICT) call centre, fresh produce market, high altitude sports training centre and the Moloto Rail Development Corridor.

Here are the province’s five biggest challenges and how Mabuza aims to tackle them:

» Healthcare:

Cabinet has placed the provincial department of health under curatorship, which has been plagued by mismanagement, in order to overhaul the health system.

This intervention will ensure that patients have enough food and linen. Hospital chief executive officers will be given more powers to enable them to run hospitals efficiently.

» Unemployment:

The province will prioritise agriculture and forestry, mining, manufacturing, tourism and ICT. The province will, over the next five years, target economic growth above 5% annually in order to create 390 000 jobs by 2019.

» Education:

Mpumalanga will complete the resourcing of the Mpumalanga Maths, Science and Technology Academy to train teachers who will be expected to increase the grade 12 pass rate in maths and science.

The academy will start operating next year.

» HIV-Aids prevalence:

Mpumalanga has an HIV-Aids prevalence rate of 35.6%, which is higher than the national average of 29.5%. The Gert Sibande district has the second highest prevalence in South Africa at 40.5%.

Mabuza said the government would implement a comprehensive and innovative HIV and Aids programme that will seek to resolve socioeconomic complexities facing vulnerable people.

» Water and sanitation:

Bulk water supply infrastructure and upgrading of sewer treatment plants will be the government’s priority to ensure people have access to water that meets the department of water affairs’ Blue Drop standards.

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