Mpuma Premier announces his new cabinet

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nelspruit - Mpumalanga's new Premier David "DD" Mabuza announced his provincial cabinet on Tuesday.

"The new team of members of the executive will have to work hard over the next five years to realise the key objectives we have set ourselves as the governing party," the new Premier said.

He announced that former speaker Pinky Phosa would be the new Finance MEC, replacing Jabu Mahlangu who is now the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.

Newcomer Clifford Mukasi has been appointed MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, which used to be two separate departments.

Mpumalanga's R10 billion Education Department will be headed by Regina Mhaule while Health and Social Development will be run by Dikeledi Mahlangu.

The Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration Department has been allocated to Meshack Malinga while the new Human Settlement Portfolio went to Madala Masuku, former Public Works MEC.

Community Safety, Security and Liaison was allocated to Sibongile Manana, while the Culture, Sport and Recreation was given to Vusi Shongwe.

Former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) provincial secretary Norman Mokoena has been allocated the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

"As a result, and after thorough consultations with various stakeholders, I am confident this team will be capable of prosecuting this mandate because their various experiences, track record and potential has empowered them for any task they are called to execute," said Premier Mabuza.

During his official inauguration on Monday, Mr Mabuza said "a well-oiled state machinery" was needed to improve service delivery.

"Our analysis has shown that the slow pace of service delivery to our people, particularly to the poor people, is not due to lack of policies but rather the absence of urgency to implement those policies," he said.

He said previously there was a duplication of functions, waste of government resources, poor accountability and poor implementation of the Batho Pele (people first) principles.

"To improve service delivery, my administration will focus on strengthening performance management systems within provincial departments and municipalities.

"This should ensure that individuals in government are accountable for their actions. We will implement effective monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure government officials perform on key service delivery and development targets," he said.

Mr Mabuza encouraged the general public to participate in governance and service delivery matters through their local municipalities.

"Our people should, at least, participate as ward committee members, community development workers, members of hospital boards, in school governing bodies and community policing," he said.

He further said it was important to strengthen partnerships between government officials and traditional leaders to focus on rural development and fight poverty.

Mr Mabuza is the fourth premier of Mpumalanga since 1994, following in the footsteps of Mathews Phosa, Ndaweni Mahlangu and, most recently, Thabang Makwetla.

Premier Mabuza thanked his predecessors for laying a strong foundation. "Fortunately, I had the pleasure of working with all the previous premiers and one has learnt a lot from them," he said.