WCape govt to spend millions to create jobs

By Drum Digital
07 March 2013

The Western Cape government will spend almost R140 million over the next three years on creating jobs in the province, finance MEC Alan Winde said on Thursday.

"This year, in collaboration with the national government and municipalities in our province, we will progressively upscale work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)," Winde said in a copy of his speech prepared for delivery.

"Out of provincial resources, we have very nearly doubled the national incentive grant for EPWP, raising the total contribution from own resources to almost R140 million over the next three years."

He said in the 2013 mid-term expenditure framework (MEFT), more than a quarter of a million EPWP jobs in infrastructure, social, economic and environmental sectors would be sustained.

Winde was delivering his Western Cape Budget in the provincial legislature.

Over the next three years the province would spend R112.201 million -- of which R65.138 million was awarded by the Jobs Fund -- on three skills interventions for unemployed youth, said Winde.

These included a Work and Skills Programme, an artisan programme and the CAPACITI 1000 programme.

Winde said the Western Cape would this year fund the creation of a further 678 Premier's Advancement of Youth (PAY) project interns.

Winde said the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) and other projects, including the development and implementation of a Regional Economic Performance Index, would receive R8.696 million in 2013/14.

Over the 2013 medium term the Western Cape will invest R49.028 billion -- over a third of its budget -- on improving education outcomes and access to quality education.

In the 2013 MTEF the education department's early childhood development programme would receive R1.577 billion, which included an additional R79.602 million in the outer year for extra teachers to support the development of the province's 65,000 enrolled Grade R pupils, said Winde.

An extra R100.645 million in the outer year of the MTEF was provided for extra teachers across all grades in the poorest schools.

The Western Cape increased investment in new schools, replacement structures, infrastructure maintenance and extra mobile and fixed classrooms. This programme, which would run for three years, would receive R3.170 billion.

Over R50 billion had been set aside for people who did not have private healthcare.

An amount of R33.327 million over the next three years had been dedicated toward the roll-out of an improved diagnostic test for Tuberculosis, he said.

The department of social development would receives an allocation of R5.1 billion over the 2013 MTEF.

Funding of R9.460 million has been ring-fenced to provide for additional caregivers at centres for disabled people for the next three years.

Through the education department R5 million had been allocated for employment of multi-disciplinary teams for 44 centres.

A total of R1.234 billion had been allocated to the department of community safety, said Winde.

The department of cultural affairs and sport had been given R445.309 million in 2013/14.

To promote a reading culture and improve literacy rates, the Western Cape would invest R188 million in 2013/14, R255 million in 2014/15 and R299 million in 2015/16 toward enhancing the 348 library service points.

Wesgro, the province's trade, investment and destination marketing agency, would receive R18.864 million to promote competitive sectors.

Over the 2013 MTEF, the department of agriculture would receive R1.917 billion to target 10 percent growth in this sector by 2020, said Winde.

Winde said the province would increase its infrastructure budget from R3.3 billion to R5.5 billion.

The department of the premier would receive R853.843 million in 2013/14. Through this the province would build a solid foundation for cost-effective service delivery.

Provincial Treasury would receive R1.672 billion and the department of local government would get R551.951 million, he said.

Winde said over 80 per cent of the province's budget would be utilised to deliver social services and a safety net for the poor.

-by Sapa

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