North West sets aside R420 million for job creation

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mafikeng - The North West Provincial Government has budgeted R420 million for job creation through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Delivering her provincial Budget Speech on Thursday, Finance MEC Maureen Modiselle said to help achieve the 2014 vision of halving unemployment, an additional R420 million has been provided to fight the high rate of unemployment in the province.

Nationally, through the EPWP, an Incentive Grant has been introduced to reward those provinces, municipalities and Non Government Organisations that create more jobs.

"You will agree that EPWP will to a large extent assist those that will be affected by the job cuts as a result of the economic crisis.

"It is therefore crucial that the province takes charge of this opportunity and create more jobs above target to qualify for the incentive, which is an increase in budget allocations," Ms Modiselle told the legislature.

The EPWP, she said, like in the previous years will mostly target women, youth and people with disabilities.

Ms Modiselle further highlighted that skills development remains key to the development of human capital in government, in order to strengthen the capacity of the state to deliver quality services to people.

She said through the development of skills the number of unqualified audit opinions has increased and spending on allocated budgets has improved.

The Provincial Administration has allocated R137 million to sustain and improve the performance and delivery of services.

Regarding education, the MEC said this year an amount of R126 million will be allocated for the extension of the no-fee policy to quintile three (Q3) schools.

She further added that R145 million will be allocated for teachers to reduce the teacher/learner ratio in quintile one (Q1) schools.

A quintile is a national ranking method used by the Department of Education to measure how poor a school is, with quintile one being the poorest of all quintiles.

Ranking of schools is based on data from StatsSA, which takes into account the socio-economic circumstances of learners.