Mpumalanga prioritises service delivery
Pretoria – Mpumalanga province will continue to release more money from its salary bill to fund infrastructure and service delivery initiatives.
Speaking during his State of the Province Address on Friday, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza said the province has made progress with streamlining its organisational structures to stop wastage and duplication. A moratorium on filling vacant posts has also been implemented.
“This moratorium will continue through the coming financial year, with the exclusion of scarce and critical posts in the health and education sectors,” he said.
The provincial Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport will also conduct an assessment of the pricing and service models for service providers to ensure that the province is not paying inflated rates in exchange for substandard products.
“We will consider recommendations on a new, cost-effective regional service delivery model that reduces costs and enhances efficiencies, effectiveness and public accountability,” Premier Mabuza said.
The province has set aside R80 million for the 2016/17 financial year to ensure that farms reach their maximum production potential.
“As part of our youth empowerment programme, it is our intention to ensure that our youth become fully active in the mainstream economy.
“In the agriculture sector, we will continue with the Mpumalanga Fortune 40 Young Farmer Incubator Programme, which is poised to make a contribution to increased agricultural production through the commercialisation of 20 farms for the youth throughout the province,” Premier Mabuza said.
He said to date, R14 million has been spent on Phase One’s farm development activities, which are centred primarily on agricultural infrastructure and skills development.
Premier Mabuza said the current drought and forecasts of climate change have reminded the province of the importance of research in the agricultural sector.
The province will be prioritising the renovation and revitalisation of agricultural research institutes such as Nooitgedacht so that it can investigate, predict and plan for changes that could otherwise be devastating for the sector.
“In the meantime, we will continue to support our farmers to deal with the negative impact of the current drought and assist them to proactively plan for future drought conditions as we face unpredictable weather phenomena,” he said.