Mpumalanga – A rising

Mpumalanga – A rising

For many South Africans, the province of Mpumalanga (which translates to “place of the rising sun”)

flies under the radar. But there is more to this beautiful province – home to spectacular natural beauty and signifi cant industrial and agricultural economies – than meets the eye.

Mpumalanga is one of only two provinces in South Africa being led by a woman.

Premier Refi lwe Mtsweni took office in March 2018, after previous premier David Mabuza was appointed as South Africa’s Deputy President.

Although the province faces many challenges, there are several areas in which it is excelling.

Premier Mtsweni highlighted some of these in her maiden State of the Province Address earlier this year.

Accelerating agriculture and land reform Agriculture is an important contributor to the province’s economy, accounting for three percent of overall gross domestic product.

Premier Mtsweni has placed a special emphasis on accelerating the emergence of youth farmers,

mainly through the Mpumalanga Young Farmer Incubation Programme.

“We are proud to report that 210 youth have been incubated and have acquired agricultural and business certifi cations.

Twentyfour farms under management of these youth are in full production of vegetables and livestock.

The farms have secured various markets including the Government Nutrition Programme,” said Mtsweni.

The province has also spent approximately R500

million on the development of the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market, to provide an outlet for farmers to gain access to markets.

“We anticipate that the infrastructure will be completed in the second quarter of 2021.

This market will offer our farmers, par ticularly our small-scale farmers, a world-class facility to trade their fresh produce to local and international markets,” Mtsweni said.

 As part of its land reform process in the past financial year, provincial government spent R7

billion acquiring more than 41 000 hectares for land redistribution and 3 000 hectares for settling land claims.

ECD targets reached Since 2014, the province has been steadily increasing access to Early Childhood Development (ECD)

centres, through strong partnerships with the private sector.

“Thus far we have achieved our five-year target of having 55 ECD centres renovated through the conditional grant amounting to approximately R 5.3 million,” said Mtsweni.

The province has established an ECD Institute in Bushbuckridge,

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