DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Middelburg, Mpumalanga on 22 June 2018. Maimane was joined by DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader, Jane Sithole, Deputy Provincial Leader, Trudie Grove-Morgan, Provincial Chairperson, Bosman Grobler and Deputy Provincial Chairperson, Themba Mlotshwa.
Today we are here in the community of Rockdale, Middelburg, witnessing the harrowing effects of the disastrous decade of David Mabuza’s reign as Premier of Mpumalanga.
In this community a cluster of RDP homes was built using millions of rands of public money. During my walkabout I encountered the real-life experiences of what many poor South Africans face daily. That is, an ANC in government which cares more about patronage and profit than the most vulnerable members of our society.
Here in Rockdale over 200 RDP houses were built, yet the intended legal beneficiaries are left in the lurch as most houses lie bare without any access to basic services. Many are occupants, but do not have title deed over the property they live in. For many, what ought to have become their family home has now become a family headache.
The quality of the infrastructure is substandard, and many of these homes are dilapidated after only months of being erected – and have thus become a target for vandalism and theft. Many occupants are left with no option but to illegally connect to electricity to cook food and provide for their families as electricity has not been connected for many houses.
Like most projects in ANC governments, there is some connected cadre who is profiting off the suffering of poor South Africans. This, sadly, is the legacy of now Deputy President David Mabuza in this province.
During his tenure as Mpumalanga Premier, Mabuza used and abused this province – turning it into his own fiefdom of patronage, power and profits. From allegations of political assassinations to muffling journalists and the media – Mabuza is the poster boy for the modern-day ANC.
This is a man who maintained his patronage network by bloating the provincial government with loyal cadres. In the 2013/14 financial year, the total budgeted expenditure of the province was R34,2 billion, of which almost 60% – or R20 billion – was to pay salaries.
This is also a man who was served with a temporary protection order which ordered him to stop harassing and intimidating businessman and conservationist in the Cradle of Life Reserve in Bayplans, Mpumalanga, Frederick Coenraad Daniel in January this year.
Mabuza’s links to Jacob Zuma and the Guptas are well known. On 26 October 2015, he flew from Johannesburg to Moscow aboard the Gupta owned Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft. He then returned to South Africa on the same aircraft on 14 November 2015. Mabuza claimed that he has accepted a ride with the Guptas to seek medical treatment in Moscow for his alleged August 2015 poisoning.
David Mabuza has left Mpumalanga in tatters, with joblessness, corruption, and lack of basic service delivery rife across the province. With all the allegations against Mabuza, he ought to have been put in jail.
Despite this, David Mabuza now holds the second highest office in the land – as Deputy President. While the people of Mpumalanga can account first-hand the disastrous legacy of Mabuza, the ANC saw fit to promote him to the position of Deputy President.
In fact, Cyril Ramaphosa threw his own Deputy Presidential candidate, Lindiwe Sisulu, under the bus in order to team up with Mabuza at the ANC’s elective conference in December last year. A marriage of compromise in the pursuit of power.
Certainly, there can be no ‘New Dawn” with David Mabuza as second in charge. Mpumalanga – and South Africa – need change, and that change can only come from a DA government that create jobs, eliminates crime and corruption, and ensures basic services are delivered to all South Africans.
South Africa deserves a post-ANC future, and that future lies in a DA-led government.