Mpumalanga invests in construction of new schools

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Mpumalanga provincial government will this year invest more than R350 million for the construction of the Thaba Chweu boarding school, says Premier David Mabuza.

Delivering his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Friday, he said the state-of-the-art facility is expected to opens its doors for learning in the 2019 academic year.

“Alongside this, we will conclude all the preparation and planning work for the construction of an additional boarding school in Gert Sibande. Our plan is to ensure that this school opens in the 2020 academic year,” Premier Mabuza said.

He said the provincial government was building the schools because its assessment has shown that doing away with dysfunctional farm schools provides an opportunity to respond comprehensively to poverty challenges facing children living in rural areas.

“These boarding schools provide a new, safe and secure environment for these children, with all basic necessities that every child needs in a learning environment.

“With equal opportunities for every child, we are levelling the playing field. No child must be denied quality education because he or she is poor and living on a farm,” he said.

Health 

A number of flagship projects have commenced in the province to improve health infrastructure.

“The upgrading of Bethal Hospital, which is at 45% [completion], and the construction of the new Mammetlhake Hospital, which is at 86%, are on course to be completed as planned. Our plan is to complete and hand over both Bethal and Mmametlake hospitals by the end of the 2018/19 financial year,” Premier Mabuza said.

The province will continue with the construction of Middelburg and Mapulaneng hospitals to respond to the demand of quality health care.

Premier Mabuza said these facilities will improve accessibility to health care services, thereby improving life expectancy in the province.

Additionally, the construction of two rehabilitation centres for young people who are struggling with substance abuse has been completed.

“We have ensured that our young people affected by the scourge of substance abuse are also prioritised so that they can lead a drug-free life.

“To this end, we have completed the construction of two state-of-the-art government-run inpatient treatment centres in Victor Khanye and Mbombela local municipalities. These cater for both girls and boys…” he said.

The province has also introduced the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution system.

“This will ensure that patients do not have to stand in queues in clinics and hospitals for treatment. These patients can now fetch their medication at the contracted pharmacies close to their homes.

“The aim is to increase the number of stable chronic patients registered on this system from 135 179 to 220 000,” Premier Mabuza said.

Small business 

Last year, the province launched the Mpumalanga Enterprise Development Fund in partnership with Standard Bank.

The development fund is aimed at providing support to the growth and competitiveness of small businesses.

“An amount of R300 million, over the next three years, has been set aside for the financing of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) that have off-take agreements with the provincial government.

“Each house that is built within our communities must be built with materials we have manufactured within our localities. This will lead to more job opportunities for our people and improvement of their well-being,” he said.

Road infrastructure projects 

Since 2009, the province has completed 22 strategic transport infrastructure projects and also given particular attention to preserving and maintaining its roads.

“The investment of R7.1 billion on transport infrastructure has ensured that Mpumalanga has a strong economy, which creates new jobs and enhances support for social change,” Premier Mabuza said.

The province has also made efforts to improve mobility and access for people who, in the past, were placed very far from their areas of work and Central Business Districts as a result of apartheid spatial planning.

“To address this, we implemented the Municipal Support programme and the Integrated Rural Mobility and Access programme. Through these programmes, we delivered 12 Integrated Rural Mobility and Access projects and re-gravelled 1 861kilometres of gravel roads.

“In areas where these projects were implemented, school children and nursing mothers are now able to access schools and health facilities without risking their lives by crossing dangerous rivers and streams,” Premier Mabuza said. – SAnews.gov.za

Most Read

SA News on Facebook