Public Works unveils projects

Sunday, April 10, 2011
By: 
Kemantha Govender

Durban - A job creation programme that involves fixing potholes which started in Tshwane will be rolled out in the rest of the country.

This programme has thus far employed 400 people and a further 400 will be recruited in the Johannesburg city centre. Other provinces will soon implement this programme.

Minister of Public Works Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and her team took time out from their MINMEC meeting (between a minister and MECs) to highlight some of the Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP), including the fixing of potholes initiative.

Government also intends on employing 400 people for two years to maintain fishing harbours in the Western Province.

The construction of low cost bridges in rural areas is another example of a job creation programme and will require collaboration with the Department of Defence.

Meanwhile, KZN MEC for Public Works Maggie Govender, hailed two EPWP projects in the province.
A new operating theatre is being built at the King George Hospital. Trainees from the EPWP have been drafted, to assist in the upgrade.

In Port Shepstone, one of the hospitals being prepared for the roll out of the National Health Insurance, is being extended and trainees under the EPWP are also being utilised.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde also lauded South Africans for heeding the call to share their expertise in different areas to assist the Public Works Department.

This campaign to recall retired built environment engineers and artisans to provide practical skills was launched in February with the intention of them training the unqualified, engineers and artisans. Over 9000 people have been said to be on board with this initiative.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde was also excited about the first of 10 new schools to be unveiled in the Eastern Cape. 

The Willowvale Senior Secondary School was built using alternative methods of construction in an effort to eradicate mud schools. Nine more schools are being built in this province. This school will have a vegetable garden, soup kitchen, 18 classrooms and a laboratory. 

These new schools will be built to be environmentally friendly and cost effective. The time period that is needed to complete these projects are much shorter. 

Meanwhile, the department is appealing to South Africans to help them finalise the country's asset register.

There will be a six month amnesty period for people who are unlawfully occupying state assets to correct their situation. 

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said other departments including the justice cluster, international relations and land affairs will also assist on the project.

State properties that fall outside South Africa will also be looked in to and assessed before decisions will be taken on their future. -BuaNews