IN QUOTES | David Mabuza on Eskom, youth unemployment & land redistribution
Deputy president David Mabuza responded to questions on government strategies to revitalise provincial economies at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday.
The question-and-answer session in parliament focused on youth unemployment and fast-tracking land reform, among other things.
Here are five quotes from Mabuza:
The deputy president said the government was looking into redistributing land to emerging farmers and drafting qualifying criteria for beneficiaries.
“We are looking at land in the hands of government that we are going to redistribute to people to grow, to plant. Very soon, we are going to make announcements on how we are going to redistribute, with the necessary support.”
Job creation and economic opportunities
He said to address unemployment, poverty and inequality, there needed to be a growing economy that created opportunities for new investments that resulted in jobs, especially in key sectors of the economy.
This included targeted infrastructure investment in townships and rural areas to stimulate growth and job creation.
“We are currently working with provinces to align their provincial economic development plans with the broader goals of the national development plan, and to ensure that we develop a clear pipeline of high-impact investment projects that will drive growth in each of the nine provinces, based on individual comparative advantage.”
Mabuza said the capacity of the economy to absorb new entrants into the labour market remained a challenge, resulting in high levels of youth unemployment.
“As part of government’s response to deal with unemployment and poverty challenges, youth development has been prioritised to ensure that government implements targeted programmes to empower young people and deepen their economic participation and inclusion.”
Eskom's financial woes
Mabuza said according to Eskom’s 2019 integrated report, the total municipal arrear debt had continued to escalate to high levels, amounting to R19.9bn.
“We, therefore, call on all South Africans, particularly those with income, to play their part in ensuring that we lessen the burden of debt faced by our municipalities.
“We must engender a culture of paying for services that have been rendered and consumed, especially from public entities like Eskom, just as we do with any other form of services rendered for private consumption.”
Service delivery to improve municipalities
According to Mabuza, President Cyril Ramaphosa had appointed an interministerial committee on service delivery at district level, primarily to accelerate service delivery and support municipalities that were struggling, including those under administration.
“Some of the interventions that we are implementing focus on improving governance matters in these municipalities through, for example, recruitment and selection of competent managers in critical senior positions and enforcement of compliance with the Municipal Systems Act and its regulations.”