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Job opportunities created

Pillay

Pietermaritzburg – The Department of Public Works in 2011/2012 created 214 306 work opportunities, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, Ravigasen Ranganathan Pillay announced today.

Delivering the 2013-2014 Public Works Budget Speech before the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature in Pietermaritzburg, Pillay said 8 855 actual jobs and 2 753 full time equivalents (FTEs) were also created.

He said the total budget for 2013-2014 is R1 261 366 000.

Infrastructure projects

The MEC said a total of 38 infrastructure projects are in planning and set to be delivered this calendar year 2013.  “These include eight new clinics and 20 hospital revitalisation projects for the Department of Health, four new schools, approximately 75 early childhood development centres and 76 storm damage projects for the Department of Education as well as five accommodation camps for the Department of Transport.”

Fraud, corruption

He also spoke strongly against fraud and corruption revealing that in terms of Presidential Proclamation 43 of 2010 the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has been undertaking various investigations within the department.

“Between 1 May 2012 and 31 December 2012, the SIU registered 11 cases with the SAPS involving various alleged offences of fraud and corruption. These cases relate to misrepresentation by contractors to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).  The SIU are in the process of finalising their investigations,” he said.

Thirty eight cases reported by Whistleblowers have been finalised. A further 60 disciplinary cases investigated by Provincial Treasury and the Department have also been finalised.

Increasing departmental capacity

He said to augment capacity within the department as of 31 March 2012; there were 253 vacant funded posts in the department. Of these 198 posts were filled. Of these 56 were of a technical nature.

He decried the high staff turnover rate in the department estimated at approximately 8.3% which, “we consider unacceptably high.”  He said the department has a Staff Retention Policy but due to the salary structure in the public service, “we are unable to retain staff when competing with the private sector especially for built environment technical professional staff.”

“Our internship programme in compliance with the Employment Equity Act currently has 33 interns within the following professions: Architecture; Quantity Surveyors: Mechanical Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Property Valuation; Project Management,” he said.

In addition, Pillay said 27 candidate construction project managers are being mentored within the department and 30 external bursary holders are at the final stages of completing their studies. “After graduation they will serve the department in various fields within the built environment sector for a compulsory minimum period of 2 to 3 years as stipulated in the bursary contract,” he added.

Property Incubator Programme (PIP)

As part of skills department and increasing capacity within the department 63 learnerships have been registered.

He said 43 completed the training programme and qualify for NQF level 4 in the real estate and property management fields.

“Twenty learners have been employed by various organisations including the public sector. The 43 learners who completed the NQF level 4 are currently employed by Public Works and undergoing experiential training until the end of the financial year,” he said.

The MEC mentioned that four of these learners have been awarded bursaries to pursue a career in property valuation which is a scarce skill. The department is also assisting these learners with registration as estate agents and exploring various employment opportunities for them. – SAnews.gov.za

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