COSATU Mpumalanga State of the province Expectations

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Mpumalanga has high expectations for the Premier’s State of the Province on Friday 24 February 2023. Workers in the province and society at large are battling to cope with rising levels of debt and an economy struggling to emerge from a deep recession and high unemployment rate.

These are made worse by the energy crisis and just energy transition in Mpumalanga, which is the energy hub of coal power generation in Southern Africa. Considering this status and the province’s reliance on mines to provide employment, we cannot afford to compromise jobs of our workers in our province.  

The government needs to end privatization, save all SOEs and ensure ESKOM has all the resources and authority at hand to reduce load shedding. It also needs to slash ESKOM’s debt burden, plug its fiscal holes, and tackle corruption and criminality crippling the power utility and do away with the concept of unbuilding ESKOM.

The alarming deterioration of the state of local government and municipalities must see concrete action from SALGA partnered with effective law enforcement organs to successfully end corruption in the public and private sectors.   

The provincial government is obligated to announce clear interventions to ramp up the fight against crime and corruption. These include the reversal of the deeply concerning decline in SAPS personnel numbers. Furthermore, it is critical that it is empowered with the authority to undertake lifestyle audits of politicians and senior state managers. Law enforcement organs and judiciary needs to be well resourced to fight corruption and serious crimes. 

The South African government needs to stop attacking collective bargaining and fix the relationship with public servants. A state cannot be productive if nurses, doctors, police officers and countless other hard working public servants feel aggrieved that their employer is outsourcing the bill for state capture and corruption for their selfish gains while pickpocketing their meagre wages to balance the books.

Serious attention must be given to the fight against GBV, Girl Child -drop out numbers, teenage pregnancies and the provision of sanitary towels to a girl child. The Special Relief Dispensation (SRD) Grant has been the source of relief to millions of unemployed persons. The administrative glitches that have bedeviled it must be resolved to ensure that all unemployed persons receive it. It also needs to be raised to the Food Poverty Line and utilized as a foundation for the Basic Income Grant.

The province should build medical schools, its own mental facilities and more health care facilities and ensure that primary, secondary and tertiary health care institutions are well capacitated.   

We demand a people’s budget that will better the lives of our people. We also expect immediate implementation of all our demands. As the workers in Mpumalanga, we will closely monitor government’s progress in this regard.

Issued by COSATU Mpumalanga

Thabo Mokoena (Provincial Secretary)

073 750 2041