Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza on Tuesday said the spread of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and tuberculosis (TB) in the province was a serious health challenge.
“The high new HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women aged between 15 and 24 is cause for concern,” said Mabuza while delivering his 2017/2018 policy and budget vote speech in the provincial legislature in Mbombela.
“We will continue to provide secretariat and technical support to provincial, district and local Aids councils in the implementation of our collective responses to the challenges of HIV and Aids. The private sector will be engaged to support community-based organisations that are implementing programmes on HIV/Aids.
“The province will continue to intensify and prioritise prevention of new HIV, STIs and TB infections. The fight against the scourge requires all of us to work together to defeat this pandemic.”
Mabuza urged his government’s frontline service delivery institutions to be responsive to service delivery concerns of communities. He said his office would continue to partner with the national department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in rolling out a programme that monitored service delivery to ensure that clinics, hospitals, police stations and municipal offices provided good quality services to citizens.
He said his government was also concerned that youth unemployment continued to be a major challenge.
“Our private sector partners are on board as we accelerate skills development programmes targeted at the youth. For instance, our recent engagement with the mining sector industry players has yielded a commitment from the mining companies to fund the establishment of the Skills Hub in Emalahleni.”
Mabuza pointed out that his government’s interdepartmental and intergovernmental system of planning and implementation coordination was showing signs of progress and maturity. He said his government’s improved coordination in the delivery of priority infrastructure had seen the utilisation of its budget shift from consumption to infrastructure investment to build better hospitals, clinics, schools and library facilities.
Engagements with provincial and national departments for an integrated and well-coordinated response to the plight of farm dwellers were already underway, added Mabuza.
He said the government would in the current financial year facilitate the process of establishing the Mpumalanga Planning Commission, which would bring together practical, academic and technical expertise from across the sectors of society to ensure that there was an upward socio-economic trajectory for the province.
– African News Agency (ANA)