Sona: What has been done – Housing

2012-02-11 16:52

Rural development plans that President Zuma promised last year have shown progress, with more rural youth receiving skills training.

The National Rural Youth Service Corps programme of the department of rural development and land affairs has created 7 000 jobs. With the help of the SA National Defence Force, 500 trainees graduated last year after being trained at the De Brug Military Base in Bloemfontein.

Another group of 600 underwent training at Further Education and Training colleges in the Western Cape. The training offered is tailored to the needs of communities from which the youth come, and technical, artisan and social work skills are emphasised. Government pays them a stipend for two years.

Last year, Zuma promised to promote job creation and policy reforms on labour brokers. But on the eve of his address, Cosatu announced a national strike against labour brokers after negotiations at the National Economic Development and Labour Council deadlocked. Labour and business don’t agree on what temporary employment is.

“Government seeks to eliminate all forms of abusive practices inherent in labour broking in order to strengthen the protection of vulnerable workers. We trust that common ground will be found this year on the matter,” is all he would say this year.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is not amused: “We’re going ahead with the strike. This is not working out for us.”

Long-term promises included the provision of security of tenure to 400 000 of the 1.2 million households in South Africa’s 2 700 informal settlements by 2014.

There’s little information on progress made, but one shack dwellers’ group, Abahlali baseMjondolo, says none of its 45 branches have benefited. The City of Johannesburg formalised 66 of its 180 informal settlements last year. Gauteng needs to provide security of tenure to 96 800 households by 2014.

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