Remarks by Deputy President David Mabuza on the occasion of his visit to the Mpumalanga Show, Mbombela Stadium
Organiser of the Mpumalanga Show,
Members of the Provincial Executive Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to take part at this 2019 version of Mpumalanga Show. This annual event showcases the best we can offer in agriculture, forestry, wildlife, tourism and related sectors.
Mpumalanga is known for its agricultural sector and the contribution that this sector makes to the broader economy of our country. We thank all those involved in agriculture and forestry sector for ensuring that our country remains food secure.
As we embark on the land reform programme, which has gained traction with the resolution of Parliament to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation, we do so to ensure economic growth and continued support to farmers.
Our agriculture continues to be a pivotal part of our economy. Our forestry gives us timber that supports other sectors like mining, rail and road construction, housing construction, furniture manufacturing, paper and pulp, ecotourism and all other opportunities of agricultural nature.
Linked to this, is the role of tourism sector, which apart from the landscape, flora and fauna of our land is complimented by the beauty of our wildlife, hence the globally known Kruger National Park. Because of this landscape, Mpumalanga continues to attract a number of foreign and domestic tourists that come to enjoy the beauty of this province.
That is why the protection of our wildlife and the environment, should always be of primary concern and importance to ensure that sustainable growth of this sector is achieved.
We cannot allow the poaching of our endangered species as it robs the potential growth of tourism and future inheritance of rich heritage by our future generations.
Ours is to always seek to grow the competitiveness of our economy and all the sectors being showcased here. It is in their sustainability that they will produce economic and job opportunities.
This Mpumalanga Show could not then have been held at any opportune time than now as an interactive exhibition that will showcase the people, products, programmes and partnerships required to unlock economic growth and employment potential in the agriculture, forestry, tourism, wildlife and related sectors.
As government, we will continue to drive interventions aimed at the diversification of our economy so that our capabilities are strengthened with a focus on increasing value-addition, skills development, localisation and employment creation.
When I met with the Mpumalanga Show team ahead of our State of the Province Address, it became an attractive proposition to me to have this initiative supported because it is based on sound vision.
In my view, the success of this show especially this year and beyond, lies on how the organisers manage to put together a serious show that attracts key industry players and present to the public a value for money.
If we do this right, we will be able to develop sector networks, partnerships and business opportunities for existing and new enterprises in the entire value chain of all these sectors.
If we are able to present business opportunities and a platform for learning and networking for emerging entrepreneurs in agriculture, wildlife, forestry and tourism related sectors, we will manage to inspire entrepreneurship that contributes in creating new employment opportunities.
Therefore, this platform should help in building forward and backward linkages that would strengthen our economy.
Through this initiative, we want to stimulate further growth of our economy by generating new opportunities and attracting investment.
This Show must build a platform for sustainability of these economic sectors through growth and cohesion amongst our people resulting to a winning nation.
To the project coordinators, we are looking forward to interactive exhibitions that are empowering and inspiring new ideas and opportunities. We have no doubt that this is an idea that will once more, demonstrate that the people of this Province are driven by the pioneering spirit of a place of a rising sun.
Our unity in diversity must be felt during the Show and not just be words or slogans. The people of this province must embrace this Show and make it one of signature events that will continue to draw people from around the country and neighbouring countries.
Let's join hands in building our country and make it a better place to live in.
Let's continue to live together in harmony with other citizens of our region. This province of Mpumalanga, is full of economic potential to benefit all our people.
Together let's continue to build a better future for our children.
Let the sky be your only limit.
With these few remarks, we thank you for this opportunity.