Mpuma residents living better lives since 2009

Friday, February 28, 2014

By Sydney Masinga

Mbombela - Millions of Mpumalanga residents have access to basic services like water, sanitation, electricity, healthcare and housing since 2009, says Premier David Mabuza.

During his State of the Province Address in Mbombela on Friday, Mabuza reiterated President Jacob Zuma's statement that South Africa has a better story to tell than it did 20 years ago.

“Our detractors and opposition are denying the fact that South Africa is better today than it was yesterday. We have a good story to tell," said Premier Mabuza.

The Premier said recent municipal annual reports indicate that in the past five years Mpumalanga has increased water provision from 77.1% to 94.9% (1 021 076) households, access to sanitation services from 53.9% to 95.6% (1 028 606) households and an increase of access to electricity from 81.7% to 89.8% households.

He said access to refuse removal services went up from 41.5% to 54% (544 069) households.

Access to water, infrastructure projects

“In the last few years we experienced service delivery disruptions mainly due to the ageing infrastructure, illegal connections, shortage of bulk infrastructure and poor operations and maintenance. Of the many service delivery challenges experienced by our municipalities, access to water tops the list,” he said.

Premier Mabuza said the province is committed to attend to the persistent problem of bulk water and sanitation infrastructure by assigning the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) to eight selected municipalities.

“Whilst this process has taken longer than anticipated due to the lack of cooperation by some municipalities, we have started to record progress and contractors have been appointed.

"During this period we undertook a number of initiatives working with the Minister of Water Affairs Edna Molewa to deal with the acute bulk water infrastructure challenges in selected areas,” Premier Mabuza said.

He said he was pleased to report that some of the major highlights on water infrastructure investments over the last five years include Victor Khanye- Delmas Bulk Water Treatment Works (worth R96 million) and the Bloemendal to Delmas Bulk water pipeline (worth R171 million). The other is the Bushbuckridge-Acornhoek Bulk Pipeline Inyaka Water Treatment Works of 100M/L worth (R1.075 billion).

“We are now concluding the Hoxane water treatment plant worth R78 million. More than R221 million is being invested to roll-out a reticulation programme in the surrounding villages. In the next few days the Minister of Water Affairs and I will open the plant and hand over the projects that are completed,” he said.

Premier Mabuza said they are also in the process of upgrading and maintaining water infrastructure at the following local municipalities: Emalahleni, Nkomazi, Mbombela, Dr. JS Moroka, Thembisile Hani, Bushbuckridge and Mkhondo at an estimated value of R171 million.

Service delivery protests

“Over the last five years, the province has experienced violent protests. In the main the issues raised range from the inconsistent or lack of water supply, poor state of our roads, housing delivery, corruption and levels of unemployment.

"As government we condemn the use of violence, intimidation, wanton destruction of property, loss of lives and attacks on state authority wherein protesters contemplate burning or attacking state institutions,” said Premier Mabuza.

He said all the citizens of the province must know that there are no grievances that can justify violence, intimidation, loss of life and the destruction of property.

“All citizens who are patriotic, value peace and democracy must join hands and defend our hard fought gains,” said Premier Mabuza. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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