PRETORIA: Public Works Minister Thembelani "Thulas" Nxesi has singled out the creation of six million work opportunities for poor and unemployed people as one of his five key priority areas in the next five years.
The minister said this will be done through the labour-intensive delivery of public services and infrastructure.
"Public employment programmes must facilitate community participation, and provide tangible benefits to communities, the society and economy.
"We provide a stipend to unemployed people but the programmes deliver much more to individual participants and to their communities," said the minister, while delivering his Budget Vote Speech, in Parliament on Wednesday, 16 July 2014.
Nxesi said his department will also focus on its anti-corruption efforts, and leading the second phase of the turnaround strategy for improved performance.
"This also means working with Human Resource and Change Management to promote a committed performance driven work culture," he said.
Minister Nxesi said another priority area will be undertaking a policy review process, which will culminate in the department clarify its mandate. This, the minister said, will provide a solid foundation for the third phase of the turnaround strategy.
Changing the built environment
Public Works will also focus on a renewed programme of action to transform the built environment industry.
"This must include support for black and female contractors and property practitioners; as well as the production of black professionals and artisans in the built environment disciplines. We cannot be complacent that only 24% of built environment professionals are black.
"I have now started a process of consultation with stakeholders to accelerate the pace of transformation in the built environment sectors," he said.
Minister Nxesi said the department's R6.121 billion budget consisting of: R1.17 million for programme 1 (Administration)
R2.86 million for programme 2 (Immovable Asset Management)
R1.95 million for programme 3 (Expanded Public Works Programme)
R41 million for programme 4 (Property and Construction Industry Policy Regulation) and
R92 million for programme 5 (Auxiliary and Associated Services).