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Proper infrastructure needed for sustainable job creation

Here follow excerpts from the speech delivered by FF Plus MPL, Tammy Wessels, in the Free State Legislature earlier today during the budget vote debate of the Free State Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

The Free State Department of Public Works and Infrastructure probably finds itself in the worst financial position of all the departments in the Free State.

It is unacceptable that millions of rands are paid to contractors while poor quality services are rendered. The Philip Sanders provincial resort that was upgraded in 2010 at a cost of R150 million is now in total disrepair.

The Department’s accrued expenses of nearly R506 million and its projected budget deficit of R704 million mean that the crucial infrastructure upkeep in the Free State will have to be meticulously planned and managed.

Tenderpreneurs, incompetence, corruption and poor planning must be urgently addressed.
Tenders must be allocated to competent contractors that can do quality work within a specified timeframe at a reasonable price. The Department must do thorough planning and have proper measures in place to hold officials that deal recklessly with tax payers’ money as well as the service providers that do not keep to their timeframes and contractual stipulations accountable.

Another cause for concern is the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) that is supposed to serve as a job creation mechanism for the Department. This programme, however, does not offer sustainable job opportunities to the community. The state is not supposed to create jobs, it is supposed to create a climate that is conducive to job creation.

The state must prioritise infrastructure development and maintenance so as to create a favourable environment that will enable the private sector to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Contact details: 082 490 6663

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