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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the department has set aside R554 million to create jobs through municipal infrastructure projects.

Dlamini-Zuma said this when she outlined the department’s budget and spending priorities during a virtual mini-plenary of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“…R554million has been allocated to the Department of Cooperative Governance as part of the government-wide R19.6 billion of the Presidential Economic Stimulus and job creation programme.

“We will use these resources to create 25 000 jobs through building and maintaining infrastructure using labour intensive methods.”

Addressing members of Parliament, Dlamini-Zuma said for communities and ordinary citizens to be able to participate in the opportunities and in their own development, government must urgently implement the skills revolution.

She said there was a need for targeted skills development in agriculture, construction, infrastructure, artisans and many other skills in order to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, whilst building the resilience of communities.

“To complement this, we are also remodeling the Community Works Programme. We intend to use the programme to promote active citizenry through the employ of cooperatives and community based organisations.”

COVID-19 an opportunity to reset the country’s outlook

Dlamini-Zuma said in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic, government has relied on the District Development Model, which has been rolled out with urgency since it is a central feature in the response to COVID-19.

The recently-launched district-based coordination model, dubbed ‘Khawuleza’ (hurry up), was introduced with an aim of addressing service delivery and economic development challenges through the synchronisation of planning across all spheres of government.

“We need not fear the pandemic, because it also offers us an opportunity to reset our outlook. Through our responses, we can [see the] possibility of a more equal, sustainable and just society, where leaders are active facilitators in development.”

The Minister said that to this end, the President has deployed Ministers and Deputy Ministers as district champions.

“We have profiled all 52 District and Metro spaces, so that we can facilitate for the participation of our people in a decentralised economic system, as envisaged by the Reconstruction and Development Programme.

“The champions will contribute to vertical and horizontal integration of government planning and implementation.”

Dlamini-Zuma also said that the deployment of champions will be complemented by a shared services model at a district level, which will avail Local Economic Development, planning, engineering, planners, ICT, financial and other capacities and capabilities to our municipalities.

“Through the transparent One Plan and One Budget, every citizen will know of the status of plans, budgets and implementation, thus lessening the potential of corruption and maladministration.”

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