From land reform to Eskom — five responses from David Mabuza's Q&A session

04 September 2020 - 11:27 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Deputy president David Mabuza responded to questions about land reform, farm killings, corruption, Eskom and the Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday.
Deputy president David Mabuza responded to questions about land reform, farm killings, corruption, Eskom and the Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday.
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Deputy president David Mabuza responded to questions from members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday.

Mabuza appeared for the first time in months due to ill health.

Here are six responses from the deputy president:

Land question 

Mabuza said some farms transferred through the land reform programme are not yet productive. He said technical teams will be deployed to ensure post-settlement policy implementation, which will help speed up productivity.

“The land reform programme has yielded good results. Of course, when we assessed the progress made we found some challenges in terms of the speed at which land is transferred to its rightful owners. The willing buyer-willing seller approach was found to be very limiting. We are proposing that land is given to rightful owners as quickly as possible.”

Farm killings 

Mabuza said the killings of farm owners and workers undermines the economy and the government is working hard to curb them.

“Let me condemn the killings of farmers and farm workers and indicate that farmers are an important resource for our country and the nation. We continue to ensure our criminal justice system responds decisively to such criminal acts that undermine this sector and the economy as a whole.”

Eskom 

The deputy president said the power utility has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Government has programmes in place to strengthen the state-owned entity and its leadership. He said municipalities must ensure they settle debts owed to Eskom.

“Our support to Eskom focuses on ensuring it strengthens its leadership, governance and accountability, addresses the debt and liquidity challenges, including the payment of debt owed to Eskom by government entities and municipalities, and the implementation of an effective plan and plant maintenance programme to minimise energy disruptions.”

Corruption 

Mabuza said government and society must fight corruption. He was responding to questions about the millions allegedly stolen from the Covid-19 relief packages. Mabuza said the government dispersed the funds to help communities. He called on corrupt elements to be held accountable.

“When we took the decision to redirect resources to strengthen our fight against Covid-19, we did that in a way to try to protect our people and get the health system ready to deal with any eventuality. We must uproot these elements within society and government that are corrupt because corruption can destroy what is good for the country.”

Response to Covid-19, TB and HIV

Mabuza said HIV and TB testing are still a priority. Community health-care workers will now include Covid-19 screening and testing in their door-to-door HIV and TB testing and screening programmes.

“Community health workers across the country are screening for the coronavirus while conducting their usual door-to-door HIV monitoring work, such as ensuring patients are taking their medicines.”


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