‘No new RDP houses for Free State this year’

2012-02-16 16:41

City Press Free State correspondent Cathy Dlodlo selects five key points from Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s state of the province address.

1. Housing:
Magashule said no new RDP houses were going to be built this year.
A partnership between the Free State Development Corporation, the Mangaung Metro and the provincial department of human settlements is going to facilitate the building of 3 000 housing units for people who earn above R3 500, but can’t obtain a housing loan from a bank.

2. Job creation:
The target for this year is to create 33 954 job opportunities. This will be done through initiatives which include a dairy project in Vrede.
Provincial secretary of Cosatu Sam Mashinini said he was very positive about the commitments Magashule had made towards job creation in his address. “All we are waiting for now is for these commitments to start paying off in terms of real jobs.”
Roy Jankielsohn, provincial DA leader, pointed out that the expanded public works programme created only temporary jobs.

3. Health:
Magashule said community health centres would be established at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, in Zastron, Sasolburg and QwaQwa.
Mashini said he was satisfied with the planned facilities because of the number of people who are visiting clinics daily and poor service delivery.

4. Youth development:
The provincial government, said Magashule, had drawn up a database of unemployed graduates for placement in internships.
He will host a Youth Indaba within the next three months to create an opportunity to interact on youth matters.
DA Youth leader in the province, William Clayton, said according to official statistics 45.4% of youth in the province were unemployed.

5. Infrastructure:

Magashule said “major projects announced during previous years have begun to materialise”.
No new major infrastructural projects were announced.
He said that the Harrismith Logistics Hub, now part of the Durban-Free State-Gauteng corridor as announced by President Jacob Zuma, will unlock and stimulate economic growth in the Free State.
Opposition parties in the province said it was disappointing that Magashule did not address the “single most important issue” in the province – the major backlog in the road maintenance and the intervention of national government into the department of police, roads and transport.

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