'Chiefs must play their part'
MPUMALANGA MEC for rural development and land administration Candith Mashego-Dlamini has urged traditional leaders to cooperate in improving service delivery in their areas.
"There are 3.6-million people living in Mpumalanga - 70% of whom live in rural areas - many of whom are unemployed and not educated. These homesteads fall under traditional leaders," Mashego-Dlamini told members of the Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders in the provincial legislature in Nelspruit.
She said there would be a census in the rural areas in October and asked the leaders to encourage their subjects to cooperate.
"They (census officials and workers) will capture details of people living there to assess their needs, and we will get information on how many people are sick, and how many qualify for RDP houses."
Mashego-Dlamini assured the leaders: "We will then take the information and come to you and talk to you about giving us land so that we can build houses for those people. As a department, we do not own land, but you do."
She urged municipalities to use 30% of their budgets on the province's comprehensive rural development programme. The MEC also told the house that her department was prioritising job creation. "We should train people to do things for themselves.
"If there is a road that needs to be tarred, we should take the men sitting on the side of the road to help. If they cannot do the job, let us send them to school so that they can learn, come back and do the job."
Traditional leaders raised concerns about lack of consultation from government officials. Chief M.Dlamini said people were angry and burning tyres just for water. "Water is important. It is medication. Today the nation is burning because of water ... we are struggling. There are no tarred roads. People do not have houses. The nation is growing," he said.