Premiers Outreach

premier_out_reachIN an effort to curb the service delivery protests which are escalating in all the provinces, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has decided to meet the communities to find out first-hand what their needs are.

From June 13 to 14, Mabuza and his Cabinet camped at Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality where he met the council, the community and other relevant stakeholders.

He was in the municipality with his Cabinet in a community outreach programme.

On June 13, the Executive Mayor Phalaborwa Vincent Malatsi and his council and other officials from the municipality met with the Premier as well.

The council presented Mabuza and his Cabinet with the State of the Municipality Report. He then realised that there is high level of unemployment among the youth and the Grade 12 results which are not improving in the municipality.

Mabuza then told the council that they must no longer tell the community that they will deliver services if they know they cannot. He also told the council to find solutions to these problems because most service delivery protests were caused by councillors who are not honest to the constituencies that they serve.

“You must address these problems and talk to the communities. Let them know when you are unable to deliver for them at a certain time, you give them a date of when you will deliver on those promises,” said Mabuza.

He visited the Agricultural High School in Perdekop where he taught Algebra to excited learners. A former school teacher, Mabuza showed his teaching skills in class and told the learners to take education seriously.

At a packed marquee at Daggakraal on June 14, the community vented their anger at Mabuza and his Cabinet. They told him that they want  basic services. They said they do not have tarred roads and they need help, some pensioners complained about not getting their pension grants because they have problems with their ID documents or they do not have them at all.

But then the issue of ID documents was addressed earlier. Many government departments were at the venue before Premier Mabuza addressed them. Those who do not have ID documents were helped by a Home Affairs mobile unit at the scene and there was a long queue of residents who were assisted.

Other departments that were present and helpful included Mpumalanga Provincial Government, Department of Social Services, USAid, Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, SA Police Service, Gert Sibande District Municipality which used the mobile truck to communicate with the masses and many others that exhibited.

Before making his last stop at Daggakraal, Premier Mabuza and his Cabinet visited schools, police stations, clinics and made door to door visits. These visits were made at places like  Volksrust, Perdekop and Wakerstroom.

The community Imbizo in Daggakraal was also significant since the semi-rural area is home to Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, the founder and President of the African National Congress. He was the President of the ANC from 1930 to 1936.

In March, his statue was unveiled in Daggakraal and the ceremony coincided with the ANC’s centenary celebrations. Born in Daggakraal in 1881, Seme was respected for his selflessness as a leader.

The concerns that were raised by the community, will be reported back to them in due time. This year’s programme had a new approach allowed government departments and MEC to adequately respond to issues raised with their respective departments.

By: Zakhele Shiba, Picture Sbonelo Ndhlela

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