27 January 2011
South Africa’s Department of Public Works has set aside R210-million to hire and train unemployed people to fix potholes, build low bridges and maintain public garden spaces following the recent floods across the country.
Addressing journalists following a meeting with all nine provincial MECs in Pretoria on Tuesday, Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said the three projects, which would create more than 600 000 job opportunities, would commence in February.
The minister said that projects had been necessitated after the floods left roads impassable and washed away bridges in various parts of the country.
A high-tech process would be used to ensure that potholes were permanently fixed.
“There are some areas in South Africa that are not accessible because of the bad state of the roads,” Mahlangu-Nkabinde said, adding that they would also make sure that children were able to go to school.
R150-million had been allocated to fixing potholes, while R30-million would go towards building 10 bridges each in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and North West provinces. The rest would go towards public garden maintenance.
According to the minister, the money allocated for the projects could increase depending on the contributions the provinces made.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde said contractors would be encouraged to employ local people, especially unemployed youngsters, who would earn about R60 a day while acquiring skills and experience.