Infrastructure development to assist job creation

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pretoria - The Gauteng provincial government has identified infrastructure development, in the form of intensive labour projects, as key to the province's job creation strategy.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Monday said her government will be launching a massive Community Works Programme that will provide poor households in the 50 poorest regions of the province with jobs for at least 100 days.

Most of the jobs will be generated by the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) in the province.

Delivering her State of the Province Address, the premier said the programme is one of the interventions her government will continue to pursue since it has proven to be effective in alleviating the pressures of unemployment and poverty.

She hinted that the strategy was a product of several meetings held last year with key role players in the economy and agreed on the necessary interventions.

"We generally agreed that investment in public infrastructure development should remain one of the key interventions. We will continue to utilise and promote labour intensive methods in all our infrastructure development projects to maximise job creation," she said.

The current phase of the EPWP in Gauteng focuses on skills development. There will be 56 new projects implemented during the 2010-2011 financial year.
Mokonyane said the projects will include work on new roads, schools, hospitals, clinics and community centres, waste management and craft hubs.

"Through the EPWP, we have already created 120 000 job opportunities of which 66 000 beneficiaries were women, 960 people with disability and the remaining 48 000 (men). These direct interventions to create job opportunities will be complemented by actions to place our province on a new growth path, "she said.

The focus will be on industrial policy, strategic economic infrastructure and the green economy. These interventions were also believed to have a potential to create more long-term and sustainable jobs.

The provincial government will continue to support economic sectors that have the greatest potential of creating decent work and opportunities.

Mokonyane said working with labour and other spheres of government, they would begin to revitalise the manufacturing sector in Gauteng. Among the sectors she identified were automotive, clothing, textile, leather and footwear, transport and construction.