_: Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza says his provincial government welcomes the arrest of suspects linked to the alleged Mbombela Stadium tender corruption.
Speaking in Nyongane near Hazyview yesterday (Saturday, 18 August 2012) where he handed over four sponsored houses to impoverished beneficiaries, Premier Mabuza described the arrests as “a good step” in the right direction.
“We welcome the move by the Hawks, this is taking us into closing this chapter since this matter has been there for a very long time. We are not saying those who are arrested are guilty, but at least this will help all of us to know if there were irregularities or not.
“There have been serious speculations around it and the people out there have a right to know if really there was corruption or not. Therefore we believe that with this move, at least the truth will prevail, and that there will be closure to this matter,” said Mabuza.
He urged the citizens to allow the law to take its due processes. Speaking about the sponsored houses, the Premier acknowledged the efforts by local community structures that donated and built the houses adding that they displayed “personal care” for each other.
Mabuza thanked the structures saying he understood they also had problems, but it was encouraging that they left their problems and helped others. He conceded that although the provincial government had done well in delivering houses, there was still a huge backlog.
“We have done well in housing the people in the former townships, our focus now is in the peri-urban areas, hence the introduction of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme projects.
“We have many people on waiting lists because the processes we use to compile these lists are very complex and full of flaws. We need to come closer and assist the department of human settlement to ensure that people who are on the waiting lists are guaranteed houses,” said the Premier.
He said there should be one genuine, valid list and that there should be no favouritism.
He said it was disturbing that some councillors prioritised the youth in allocating the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses instead of the elderly people who were living on collapsing old rusty shacks and mud houses.
The Premier also urged the people in the province to be patient and not invade land as it has been the case in Barberton and Nelspruit recently.
“It is wrong to invade land, it makes our work as government very cumbersome because once that has been done, there will be a need to urgently put infrastructure in those areas.
“While government would be working on servicing that land, people would on the other hand going to the streets to demand services when such had not been planned for the invaded land,” he said.
He requested the people to work closely with municipalities in ensuring that they were settled in serviced lands in order to avoid un-necessary hostility between them and municipalities.
After identifying five other beneficiaries for sponsored houses in Clau-Clau, Zwelisha and Ngodini, the Premier told the community not to destroy the councillors’ houses whenever they were frustrated.
He said it was high time that communities understood that leaders should be “groomed” and be prepared for leadership positions.
“We must understand that leaders do not fall from the sky, it is our responsibility as communities to mentor the people we want to lead us, and when we are dissatisfied with their leadership styles, we should unanimously remove them and put other people instead of burning their houses.
“We must be united as a community and guide our leaders on how they should lead us,” concluded Mabuza.