Premier aces his jobs’ vision

2011-03-05 17:41

The Free State has followed in the footsteps of President Jacob ­Zuma by declaring 2011 a year of job creation.

Premier Ace Magashule, clad in a T-shirt emblazoned with “100% behind Proteas”, said his provincial government would seek to create as many jobs as possible in all economic sectors.

He said during his state of the province address on Friday: “We are totally in line with the president’s call for job creation.”

Free State was the last province to outline its plans for this fiscal year. Its programme of action to create “decent work” includes:

»Filling the identified and prioritised 2?408 funded vacancies across provincial departments with competent people:
»Establishing a job creation task team;
»Exploring opportunities in the green economy:
»Promoting tourism in the ­province:
»Setting up a tyre recycling plant in Sasolburg which will process 1.2 million tyres a year, thereby creating 120
permanent jobs:
»Establishing a paper manufacturing facility, which will create 500 jobs; and
»Employing youth in public works programmes to repair potholes, build low bridges and undertake cemetery management.

Last year the province created 38?467 job opportunities through its 1?384 community-based ­programmes.

“While our strategy aims to improve and enhance job creation in the private sector, we will continue to consciously maximise the job creation potential of the public sector,” said Magashule.

He also admitted that the ­human settlements department was not up to scratch as the provincial department had been forced to return R263?million in housing grants to the National Treasury because it had failed to spend its budget. He said: “We commit ourselves to spending every cent in this ­financial year.”

Free State is a province renowned for its agricultural ­production and the premier said his government would ­focus more on assisting emerging and established farmers.

“We’ll give them (farmers) all the necessary support,” he said.

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