She thanked all those who have entrusted her with state machines.
Newly elected Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni on Wednesday promised she would work hard in changing the lives of the people of the province for the better.
She said the battle to take on the challenges of poverty and unemployment has already begun.
Mtshweni was elected by the legislature on 22 May 2019 as the 5th Premier of the Mpumalanga province.
In her acceptance speech, the province’s first woman premier said she will work “tirelessly” to do what government is expected to do and “commit myself to be your servant, to serve you with honesty, dignity, diligence and integrity”.
“Leadership, by its very definition, carries great responsibility that I commit myself to bear,” she said at the Mpumalanga legislature on Wednesday afternoon.
Opposition parties congratulated Mtshweni and said they want to see actions.
EFF leader Collen Sedibe said she will have to “walk the talk” and “prove to the people of Mpumalanga that she is not a stooge of DD Mabuza as many people are contemplating”.
“She must fix the provincial departments and state-owned enterprises and root out corruption. We congratulated her already at the legislature,” Sedibe said.
DA leader Jane Sithole said they want Mtshweni to focus on issues of service delivery, the unemployment and the apparent reluctance by the provincial state to investigate politicians accused of corruption.
“As President Cyril Ramaphosa has already said that those who put their hands where they don’t belong should go to jail. We expect her to run an efficient government, professionally so, so that the government services all people of this province equally,” she said.
“We know that the majority of our healthcare workers are people driven by compassion and love for their work.
“We therefore call upon that tiny minority that has a tendency of not caring for our people to think of the oath that they took the day they became healthcare workers,” she said.
The Goromane clinic in Bushbuckridge has 7 consultation rooms and will operate 8 hours a day and 5 days a week. It also has a dispensary room and a pharmaceutical store room
“We encourage our people to report any act of ill-treatment that they may be subjected to when they visit this clinic or any other health facility,” Mtshweni said.
She said the people of Goromane previously had only a mobile clinic that operated for 2 days a week. The new clinic will do 5 days week and will employ 3 community service professional nurses as well as other professional nurses.
The Goromane clinic is also the result of the promise that the government made to the people to “access consistent, effective and dignified healthcare facilities”, said Mtshweni.
“We urge the healthcare professionals who are already appointed to serve at this institution as well as those that are yet to be appointed to conduct their work in line with the Batho Pele principles”.
The Mpumalanga government is also in the process of finalising the construction of 3 other clinics in Oakley, Vukuzakhe and Nhlazatshe, Mtshweni said, adding this is in addition to the work currently underway in Mapulaneng, Middelburg, Mmametlhake and Bethal where they are building new hospitals.
“Your government has been very active in this region for the past ten years. We have invested more than a billion rand in social and economic infrastructure in this area, including bulk and internal water services, roads, state of the art early childhood centres and lately we have completed building an agri-hub. We will continue to build more infrastructure projects to unlock the economic potential of our people,” she said.
The man has been accused of not meeting “the requirements” by Mashilo.
The DA in the Victor Khanye local municipality in Delmas has raised the alarm on the appointment of Vusi Magaza as acting municipal manager despite co-operative governance MEC Speedy Mashilo’s recommendation that he should not be appointed.
Mashilo had said that Magaza does not meet the minimum qualifications to be the manager of the municipality.
Mashilo had said that a person appointed as municipal manager or acting “must at least have the skills, expertise, competencies and qualifications as prescribed” and that the council should “consider appointing the second candidate who was recommended in the previous recruitment process,” according to a letter Mashilo sent to mayor Eva Makhabane.
DA councillor in Victor Khanye Diane Bath said despite this Mashilo letter, the municipality went ahead to appoint Magaza.
Mashilo’s reason for not recommending Magaza was based on his police degree. He said the rules said anybody appointed as municipal manager should have a degree in public governance.
Bath said the appointment of Magaza showed the municipality “has no regard for transparent labour practices and ensuring that those at the head of this municipality are suitably qualified for the task”.
“The failing ANC has similarly hired 6 former councillors who also allegedly do not have the necessary skills, qualifications or expertise for their new roles,” Bath said.
She said the “cadre deployment” of the ANC was making it hard for the public to access jobs fairly.
She said the six former councillors are Bheki Shabalala, who got appointed in the Assets Department, Betty Mokwena who was appointed IDP assistant manager, Max Nhlapho and Zonki Zulu as new Control Room Operators at the Fire Department and E. Shabangu and L.N Mlambo as clerks in the housing unit.
Victor Khanye municipality has extensive service delivery issues, Bath said.
“[These issues] can only be solved by ensuring that the municipality is led by suitably skilled and qualified individuals who are committed to serving the people and not their own agendas,” she added.
The municipality was yet to respond to the decision that hired Magaza.
Issues of financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure are part of the department’s daily operations.
The DA in Mpumalanga has said that the rot at the province’s health department continues despite Sasekani Manzini being the new MEC.
Manzini, who was public works MEC, replaced Gillion Mashego in July 2018 when Premier Refilwe Mtshweni swopped them, making Mashego the new public works MEC.
DA leader Jane Sithole said the state of the province’s health continued to deteriorate and this has been revealed recently in the department’s quarterly report.
In just three months, 29 cases of hospital negligence were reported and the department is being sued by the victims for millions and millions of rands.
In their report to the portfolio committee on health, the Mpumalanga department said they are faced with issues of collapsing infrastructure, staff shortages, shortage of specialists and unserviceable hospital and clinic machines.
The department also stated how expired medicine to the value of R1.1 million were stored at their depot. This is basically 53% more expired medicine than what the hospitals and the clinics together previously reported, Sithole said.
“By failing to safeguard the people’s right to healthcare as enshrined in Section 27 of the Constitution, MEC Manzini and her failing ANC are truly killing the millions of Mpumalanga residents who depend on the state for healthcare,” she said in a statement.
The department is also sitting on R1 billion debt.
While the department believes the budget cut by R88 million is making it hard for them to run a proper healthcare system, Sithole said that now is being used as an excuse by the MEC for the “systematic failures”.
She called for the department to be placed under administration “to address the gross financial mismanagement”.
“A capable DA-led government would then put systems in place to deal with the understaffed and under resources healthcare facilities so that the people can finally access adequate healthcare.
“Only a DA-led government can bring real change to this department by fighting the corruption and maladministration that has crippled it. We will also speed up the delivery of services to ensure that healthcare can be accessed by all who need it,” said Sithole.
Two NGOs are heading to the Tshwane High Court to force government to respect the constitutional rights of people with regard to the air pollution being caused by Mpumalanga’s Sasol and Eskom power plants.