Department of Public Works Hon MEC, Babalo Madikizela, delivered his maiden policy and budget speech as part of the sixth administration for the 2019/20 financial year at the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in Bhisho.
“We acknowledge the challenges encountered in the previous years in the delivery of infrastructure. I have since met with the Hon MEC’s responsible for education and health to engage on finding solutions to ensuring integrated planning on infrastructure delivery,” said the Hon MEC Madikizela.
“2019 marks exactly 25 years since the dawn of our hard-earned democracy. It is a reminder of the sacrifices of our people and that this democratic government is a product of people’s struggles” said Hon MEC Madikizela.
He pointed out that the total budget allocated for the department in the 2019/20 financial year is R2.365 billion and will be used on the implementation of critical policy requirements that informs the departments mandate, as well as the implementation of flagship projects and programmes. The allocation has been structure to accommodate Programme 1: Administration with budget of R579 million, Programme 2: Public Works Infrastructure with R1 666 billion and Programme 3: Expanded Public Works Programme with R121 million.
The Hon MEC went on to affirm commitments made by the department to create 2 940-job opportunities with R27 million allocated in this regard, as well as 136 bursaries that will be awarded to matriculates who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Delivering our mandate as the nerve centre for infrastructure delivery requires a capable and skilled workforce. To empower and contribute to the personal development of our employees, we have awarded 94 bursaries across different disciplines within the department to the tune of R4 million” said the Hon MEC.
The Hon MEC on to state that the department will continue to implement infrastructure projects on behalf of client departments such as Department of Education (DoE) with budget allocation of R434 million, Department of Health (DoH) with budget allocation of R110 million and Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) allocating a budget of R5.6 million.
“The Department of Social Development (DSD) has allocated a budget of R 49 million and Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) has allocated a budget of R 35 million. For COGTA, DSD and DSRAC, the department will use in-house teams to build their projects saving no less than R14 million on professional fees” said Hon MEC Madikizela.
The Hon MEC also indicated that he will adopt the two districts of Sarah Baartman and Alfred Nzo districts which he use to pilot the modern day Mandela-Plan (M-plan) to mobilise all stakeholders to work towards effective development of these districts.
The department is also in the process to finalise plans to implement the establishment of the Buffalo City Metro district office and Nelson Mandela Metro district office to align the department with the service delivery needs of the eight (8) districts in the province.
He concluded that the success of Public Works as a nerve centre for infrastructure delivery would require a collaborative effort from the public sector bodies, partners, and municipalities. “I therefore invite you to join the department as we embark on this journey of growing our province and South Africa” said the Hon MEC Madikizela. The Hon MEC went on to have a stakeholder engagement at the Bhisho massacre Contact centre for a meet and greet session. He highlighted the implementation of the commitments in the policy speech for 2019/20.
“Whatever we pronounce we will do it at the best of our ability, our main objective is to uplift the community of the Eastern Cape. Over the past five years we have not done much to empower the youth especially women, with the assistance of the Khawleza team those intentions can be recognised” said the Hon MEC Babalo Madizela.
He added that if people have the passion to make Bhisho a Capital City, then they should find a strategy to achieve that goal. “Less talk and more action” he said.
Article: Zimkitha Jonas and Pumlisa Royi
Pictures: Luvuyo Kwatsha and Pumlisa Royi