Nelspruit - The Mpumalanga government has committed itself to creating more than 31 000 job opportunities by the end of the year.
On Wednesday Minister of Public Works George Doidge, Premier David Mabuza and Public Works, Roads and Transport MEC Clifford Mkansi signed a memorandum of agreement regarding the creation of jobs in the province.
"The President set us a national target of 500 000 jobs nationally. We are visiting the province today to sign an agreement that binds us all to the commitment to create a better life for our people," said Minister Doidge.
The national Public Works Department will work hand-in-hand with the provincial government through Mr Mkansi's office, who in turn will liaise with local municipalities on how to implement the second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP 2).
Minister Doidge said jobs will be created in different sectors, including road construction, repairs and maintenance, water reticulation and the provision of bulk electricity.
"The aim of this very labour-intensive programme is to create work. Through the programme we believe that the province will reach its target and even exceed it," he said.
Minister Doidge said the national department will also make sure that municipalities present progress reports on a monthly basis to keep the national government aware of its progress.
"We will be able to succeed in implementing EPWP and ensuring that we half poverty by 2014," he said.
Mr Mabuza said in Mpumalanga, the programme would create 19 500 jobs in different provincial departments while also creating 12 200 jobs in the province's 21 municipalities.
"If we perform more than we are expecting as a province, we will receive incentives that will increase our budgets in all the line-function departments implementing the programme," said Mr Mabuza.
He added that the current protests in various Mpumalanga municipalities would not derail government from implementing the EPWP 2.