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In tabling her budget, the premier has placed jobs and skills for youth at the centre of her government’s agenda. She also spoke about toll tariffs, among other things.
GAUTENG will prioritise job creation for unemployed graduates and bursaries for matriculants in the new financial year.

 

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane tables her budget Premier Nomvula Mokonyane tables her budgetTabling her 2011/12 budget on 14 July, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the province had put in place key development strategies to champion youth employability.
 

The recently adopted Gauteng Youth Employment Strategy would create more employment opportunities for the youth in the public and private sector. For qualified youth who had not yet entered the job market, the province would work in conjunction with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to create more job opportunities.

The agency would play an instrumental role in injecting funds into small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

In accelerating SMME growth and development, a new initiative, the Township Enterprise Hubs Project would be launched on 19 July. It was a project of the provincial government, the Gauteng department of economic development and the NYDA.

An older initiative, the Gauteng Employment Growth and Development plan, adopted in the last financial year, was expected to fuel job creation by developing sustainable employment models in the government. It would also ensure ease and cost of doing business with the government, as well as help attract foreign direct investment.

In an attempt to alleviate poverty, Mokonyane announced what she termed a mass employment project to provide one job per household. The idea was that in each family, at least one person had a sustainable job.

 

Con Hill will undergo refurbishmentsCon Hill will undergo refurbishmentsThese families would be identified through Gauteng’s database of people who depended on social grants for survival.
 

Infrastructure
She also spoke about a number of key infrastructural facilities and the construction of new ones in Johannesburg and the province at large. These included the construction of the Johannesburg and eThekwini speed trail; the development of an aerotropolis linked to OR Tambo International Airport; and the link with Lanseria Airport.

Constitution Hill was one of the heritage sites earmarked for development. These were all part of the government’s medium- and long-term programmes going in 2014. “Our programme for 2009 to 2014 represents the building blocks of the future we seek to create,” said Mokonyane.

Her government had shared its vision with the province’s newly elected mayors and that the forum for members of the executive committee (MECs) and members of the mayoral committees should be made responsible for ensuring that developmental projects proceeded according to plan.

The officials would regularly and collectively report to the premier’s co-ordination forum and executive council.

Toll tariffs
Regarding the divisive issue of toll tariffs on Gauteng freeways, Makoyane said the province had submitted a proposal for the reduction of the tariff rates to Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele.

 

Toll tariffs under reviewToll tariffs under reviewShe told members of the provincial legislature that the Gauteng Planning Commission would concentrate on monitoring and evaluating basic service delivery. “The focus will be on practical service delivery such as health, job creation, reduction of crime, rural development, and municipal services.
 

“We will look at waiting times and the availability of medicines in clinics, the availability of textbooks in schools, the turnaround times for licences and social grant applications, police response times, the quality of agricultural extension support, refuse removal and maintenance of municipal infrastructure,” said Mokonyane.

In another endeavour to monitor service delivery, the premier announced a system of institutional performance assessments to ensure effective management and monitoring in each provincial department.

Later in the year, a territorial review of the Gauteng City Region would be realised by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development.

“The review will contribute towards the benchmarking of Gauteng against other global regions.”

Members of the provincial legislature adopted and passed her budget vote.

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