Uphill for Makwetla

Riot Hlatshwayo and Kingdom Mabuza

Riot Hlatshwayo and Kingdom Mabuza

Mpumalanga Premier Thabang Makwetla will have a torrid time trying to convince people in the province that his government has delivered on its promises.

Makwetla will deliver his state of the province address in the legislature today.

Many people in the province still have no access to clean running water despite Makwetla's promise to make this available in his last state of the province address.

The provision of clean water is among the big five projects he identified. Other projects are the Maputo corridor, Moloto rail development corridor, accelerated capacity building for managers, and greening the province.

Most of the projects are still at the planning stage and no notable progress has been made.

Opposition parties see Makwetla's address as his last chance to imprint his legacy on the province.

Democratic Alliance leader in the province Anthony Benadie said it was difficult to assess how municipalities along the corridor were benefiting.

"The premier must provide recorded facts and figures regarding job creation within the municipalities along the corridor," he said.

Benadie said with South Africa facing an imminent water crisis, Mpumalanga was no different.

"The premier needs to outline the government's plan of action relating to the water problems in towns such as Delmas, White River, Verena, Witbank and Standerton.

"It is unacceptable that any person in Mpumalanga should have unhealthy or unclean water. The premier must commit his government to clamp down hard on any company or individual who pollutes the province's water supply," said Benadie.

The business community, on the other hand, says Makwetla's address should deal with "serious corruption" involving senior government officials.

The business community said it was concerned that the province had given big tenders to contractors from outside the province at the expense of local businesses.