013NEWS, 24 Feb 2017 – SOPA 2017 Mpumalanga Province
The Premier delivered this year’s State of the Province Address and said his province was now in the process of ‘writing a new story’ – a story of inspiring new hope to the people of Mpumalanga.
Premier David Mabuza said the people of Mpumalanga were still faced with poverty, inequality and unemployment and now was the time to begin to write a new a story following elections of new councillors and mayors in last year’s local government elections.
Mabuza said in writing this new story they should do so “in a manner that brings hope, restores faith and demonstrates government’s commitment” in fighting to end unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“In this story every Mpumalanga citizen is concerned about the wellbeing of all other citizens and the development of our beautiful citizens,” Mabuza told members of legislature, government officials and guests on Friday morning (24 Feb).
“This is the story of unity and we must continue to build on the social solidarity that helped us to survive the horrors of the Apartheid era,” the Premier said
He said the province now needs to move beyond the legacy of Apartheid “ethnicity, and divisive party political ideologies to imagine a new future for our children and generations to come”.
“A future full of equal opportunities for all our citizens.
“Our future must be founded on unity and social solidarity so that we forge ahead to deal with our challenges and no child, black or white, must feel excluded from the future that we are building for this province,” Mabuza said.
“No child must drop out of school because his or her parents cannot afford school fees,
“No person must die because of poor care in our health facilities. No child must sleep hungry because of poverty and deprivation.
“No farm worker must suffer the indignity of abuse and torture.
“No farmer, black or white, must relinquish farming for fear of being killed and deprived of production land and no woman must be subjected to abuse and violence,” said Mabuza.
He said as leaders they are faced with the task of making the dream of every young person blossom by nurturing and nourishing it.
“United by our common vision and purpose, let us put our shoulders to the wheel, break the barriers to progress and build a prosperous province,” he said.
“None of us can deny that there is growing cynicism from certain quarters of our population who hold a view that the status quo is skewed in favour of the few who have economic power.
“We must also accept that such cynicism at times is toward those in elected positions and for these people, their lived reality is one of joblessness, poverty and glaring inequalities,” adding that some criticism levelled at them as leaders “is of our own making”.
“Make no mistake, our people are not mere passengers on this collective journey, they are our drivers, and when we take a wrong turn they are surely entitled to point it out,” Mabuza said.
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