The only way to restore lost confidence in the ruling party is to takeinvestment to the people and empower them economically while theybuild their own communities, the Premier of Mpumalanga has said.
Premier David Mabuza was speaking to journalists on Saturday morning after he addressed the provincial executive committee lekgotla in Hazyview, that in person, he was concerned that tenders were awarded to contractors to build RDP homes for the poor and schools but community members were not going to eat the school or the house that has been built by the contractor.
He said the only way to make this a people’s project is to include them in the process of constructing their own communities by making them manufacturers of goods required during the process of building their own homes.
“When we were doing door-to-door campaign,” Mabuza said to the reporters, “it was very difficult to sleep and when youre coming to a family, a poor family, it was very difficult to say, ‘salani kahle (goodbye) when you leave, because when you look at them you don’t know where they are going to get their next meal, they are even shy to come and greet you, they think you see their poverty and most of these are young people and women and from all those families that we went to visit if you asked them ‘who is working here’, they would say, ‘no one is working,’ and you asked, ‘now, how do you survive?’, they would say, ‘eish no, we are receiving a grant for this child’ and this grant is R200.
“So, if you look at the margins and the amount given as a grant to build a house, an RDP house, Im thinking that if we can get our people to produce bricks. This is a government initiative, some to produce window frames, some to produce tiles, roofing and some to build, and all those people that are producing bricks we will pay them as government and buy the bricks from them and those that are producing door frames we buy door frames from them but these are initiatives of government, that we say, ‘go and produce bricks there’, because we are building 100 houses here, ‘go and produce frames there’, we are building here, et cetera and produce paving bricks because we want to pave this road and et cetera, and to involve our people. Our people must participate, so that we get more of our people economically active, when we are building a school there, we should source bricks from our community, it should be. There’s a bank, we guaranteed we are going to buy bricks from you because we are building a school.
“And that’s how really you can give work opportunities to community members. Not just to use them as labourers, they must also supply, Mabuza said.
He said in this way people can be helped “to deal with hunger” because people will be benefiting economically while they build their own communities.
But he said a proper way of achieving this would have to be found given that “it’s going to be a challenge to get government to focus on this because you have got a very big machinery that can go that way and that way but you need to push them from behind to do it and I think if we are really to restore the confidence that our people have on the ruling party we must do just that”.
“Quite enough I think we have created some businesspeople, SMEs we supported them but I think that we must include more of our people, said Mabuza.
Mabuza also said the he was looking at using the a similar approach on school feeding schemes. These programs were not meant for people to derive profit from, we must use them to empower our people he said
(edited by MM)
send tips to [email protected]