Premier announces action plan

Sakhile Mokoena

Sakhile Mokoena

Mpumalanga premier Thabang Makwetla has announced plans to fight fraud and corruption in the provincial government.

The premier said fraud and corruption were a threat to the integrity of government and they undermined service delivery.

He was delivering his State of the Province Speech during the opening of the provincial legislature on Friday.

Makwetla promised enhanced forensic investigations, transparency and accountability for performance and computer auditing, "so that potential threats to the integrity of governance systems are discovered before they cause havoc to service delivery".

Makwetla said in the next financial year his office would establish three audit units - forensic, performance and computer - to fight fraud and corruption.

Departments mostly affected by corruption were education and health, where hundreds of civil servants were hauled before the courts for social grant fraud.

Makwetla recently announced the reshuffling of his provincial cabinet and axed two MECs, but the premier refused to give reasons for the reshuffle.

In response to a question on the reshuffle, the premier said: "That question does not belong here," he said, despite the occasion.

Makwetla also announced major economic plans on the Maputo Corridor, that would see all towns situated along the N4 benefiting from the initiative as part of five flagship projects.

The other projects are the Moloto Development Corridor, which will link Mpumalanga with mining areas of Limpopo and Gauteng, revitalisation of tourism by sponsoring the restoration of heritage, greening of the province and the provision of sustainable water.

"The department of economic development and planning and its parastatals will go back to the master plan of the Maputo Development Corridor to detail the projects to be embarked upon in different municipalities along the corridor," said the premier.

More money would go into the Maibuyel 'emasimini, an initiative for uplifting emerging rural farmers.

More than 2000 such farmers had received farming equipment in the last financial year and R30million had been budgeted for the expansion programme this year.

The province's 175 home-based care centres will receive about R40million amid public concerns that the centres were mushrooming since government started funding them.