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Mpumalanga’s key focus areas tabled

Written by Noluthando Motswai
Infrastructure development,  strengthening the economy and the revitalisation of agriculture are priorities for the province.

Infrastructure development was one of the key things highlighted by Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza during his recent State of the Province Address.

“During this period of our electoral mandate, we have finished the reconstruction of 16 road projects, totalling 284 km, including the coal haulage grid.

We have upgraded 74 km of gravel roads in highly populated rural areas and completed the blading of 10 644 km of municipal roads,” he said.

On health infrastructure, the province has constructed eight new community healthcare centres; the revitalisation of five hospitals; the rehabilitation, renovation, refurbishment and maintenance of 61 health facilities; and the replacement of life support equipment across the province.

On education infrastructure, five boarding schools were constructed, 28 unsafe schools were replaced and 222 were part of the basic sanitation project.

The provincial government also constructed 24 Grade R facilities, six new secondary schools and nine libraries.

“As part of our infrastructure portfolio, we are pleased to report that the construction of the state-of-the-art Mpumalanga Traffic College has been completed,” the Premier said.

 Over the past two-and-a-half years there has been progress in the roll out of key municipal infrastructure to improve the quality of service delivery. This includes

  •  327 water infrastructure projects, benefiting 350 259 households
  • 165 sanitation projects, benefitting 285 065 households
  • 85 electrification projects, benefiting 48 140 households
  • 17 solid waste disposal and treatment projects, benefiting 146 835 households
  • 250 km of road and storm water constructed in various municipalities
  • 582 boreholes drilled in various municipalities

Strengthening the economy

“Over the past year, we allocated R80 million to ensure the success of this programme. This amount was intended to stimulate economic activity through financial and technical support to a range of small and medium enterprises.”

Amongst the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency’s (MEGA) interventions was the rehabilitation of industrial premises in former homelands and the establishment of partnerships with financial institutions for further funding initiatives.

“Progress in the establishment of the SME Fund has been slower than anticipated but the process is close to finalisation. Once finalised, this will be capitalised at R500 million in joint funding supported by MEGA and Standard Bank.”

Through this partnership, the province will enhance its capacity to fund the development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises and cooperatives in townships and rural areas.

Revitalisation of agriculture and agro-processing

Premier Mabuza said the province will continue to focus on agriculture as one the key sectors to drive industrial development and job creation.

“The establishment of the International Fresh Produce Market remains our critical lever to stimulate increased agricultural production to supply domestic and international markets.”

The province is moving with speed to implement Agri-parks in all three districts. Two farmer production support units have been developed by the Department of Rural Development, in Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi.

The Feedlot in Mzinti is complete and the pack house in Bushbuckridge is 90 percent complete.

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