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Date: 10/05/2007
Source: North West Provincial Government
Title: Yawa: North West Public Works Prov Budget Vote 2007/08

Budget Speech 2007/08 for the North West Department of Public Works by MEC H D Yawa, North West Provincial Legislature

Honourable Madame Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier
Honourable Colleagues in the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Parliament
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Honourable Executive Mayors and Mayors
Honourable councillors
Members of the House of Traditional Leaders, Batlotlegi Dikgosi tsa rona
Stakeholders and clients
Members of the mass media
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

We are inspired by the poem titled the Awakening Age, written by the African genius, poet and writer, Ben Okri that reads:
"O ye who travel the meridian line,
May the vision of a new world within you shine.
May eyes that have lived with poverty's rage,
See through to the glory of the awakening age.
For we are all richly linked in hope,
Woven in history, like a mountain rope.
Together we can ascend to a new height;
Guided by our heart's clearest light.
When perceptions are changed there's much to gain,
A flowering of truth instead of pain.
There's more to a people than their poverty;
There's their work, wisdom, and creativity.
Along the line may our lives rhyme,
To make a loving harvest of space and time."

According to the White Paper: "Public Works towards the 21st Century", the mandate of the department is to provide and manage accommodation for line function departments, property development and management, lead the transformation of the construction and property industry, policy development, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of job creation through the community public works programme.

In the last budget speech delivered in this august house, we committed ourselves to make a difference. I am therefore honoured to present an account of the how we made a difference in the past financial year and outline our intention to ascend to new height in the new financial year as we renew our pledge for a national partnership for a better life for all.

Achievements: Corporate support

1. Financial management

Regular internal audits were conducted to strengthen internal controls and ensure compliance with regulatory framework.

On the recommendation of the Auditor-General, the department has established a Dedicated Asset Management Team to look into the existence, rights and obligations, completeness, valuation and allocation, classification and disclosure of immovable assets as recorded in the Professional Real Estate Management Information System (PREMIS). This issue had contributed to the department receiving a qualified audit opinion during the 2005/06 Audit.

Progress to date that is that identified properties have been captured onto the system.

A Risk Management Committee (RMC) to address identified weaknesses that arose from queries by the Auditor-General and the Provincial Internal Audit was also established. A Risk Management policy and strategy are in place for implementation and monitoring of the risk management process. A risk identification and internal control procedures manual is also in place.

Progress performance analysis among others can be listed as follows:

* suspense accounts were cleared on a regular basis
* original and adjustment estimates were done according to the Treasury Regulations
* debts created under the suspense account were recovered within thirty days e.g. science and Technology advances
* revenue was reconciled in terms of section 38(1)© of Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) (Act 1 of 1999)
* improvement on the use of revenue codes by sub-receivers of revenue
* the department conducted investigations with regions to identify rental defaulters
* successful auctions for redundant furnisher and equipment were held in some regions
* recycled paper was identified as a new source of revenue and more than two tons of used and scrap paper was sold.

The departmental Budget Advisory Committee meetings were held on a monthly basis to ensure integrated corporate financial management and good governance. The verification of the payroll by paymasters and certification thereof by the accounting officer was done on a monthly basis throughout the past financial year. This will continue to be done in the ensuing financial year to ensure that there are no ghost employees on our payroll.

2. Information management

We made a difference by completing the cabling and connecting Lehurutshe, Taung, Ganyesa, Vryburg, Madikwe, Mogwase and Rustenburg district offices to the North-West Provincial Government Network. Officials at these district offices are thus able to run with automated processes at their workstations. This will ensure that our services are delivered to our clients at the most convenient times and locations.

Our departmental websites (both intranet and internet) are up and running to serve as sources of information for both external clients and internal clients. Tenders and vacancies within the department are posted on both sites and updated on a regular basis. We wish to encourage our clients to visit the website sites on a regular basis as they will find them informative.

In the past financial year we implemented the Systematic Records Disposal Programme through 31 interns who were appointed for this purpose. They also gained in terms of skills transfer in this area. The File Plan for the department developed in relation to National Archives Act 43 of 1996 has been finalised and submitted to Provincial Archives for approval.

3. Human resource management

As part of development of our Human Resource Plan, we made a difference by completing the loading of the human resource establishment onto the processed on the electronic personnel and salary (PERSAL) system and reconciliation of existing posts and vacant posts as per approved organisational structure.

Corrections was also made to the PERSAL System for link codes to be in line with the financial coding by allocating programs, sub-programs and cost centres to posts and components, which resulted in an effective PERSAL/WALKER systems interface and the extracting of reliable systems reports on statistics for management.

The payroll procedure was also implemented on the PERSAL system by linking officials to their respective pay points and identifying paymasters who are responsible for signing for all payments made to persons under their control. These measures have made it practically impossible for ghost employees to be paid without detection.

3.1. Performance management and development

According to the economist John Maynard Keynes, "the greatest difficulty in the world is not for people to accept new ideas, but to make them forget about old ones"

Success was registered in the management of performance of employees by rewarding best performance and providing training intervention to poor performing employees. The department is however continuously engaged in a conscious pursuit to "do it better today than yesterday" as a culture that must underpin the management of performance of workers and improved service delivery.

In support of implementing a culture of life long learning, we successfully implemented a Work Place Skills Plan. In response to the Skills Development Act one of the objectives of which is to assist new entrants into the labour market, the department has in the past financial year implemented internships programme comprising of 66 unemployed youth who are diplomats and graduates. From the practical work exposure, which these interns receive, 11 of them have already found permanent jobs even before completion of the internship period after participating competently in interviews.

Another important element of our human resource development is the Basic Education and Training (ABET) programme. The current ABET program comprises 63 employees who are participating in the literacy campaign which is spearheaded by the Department of Education. In response to the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) to address the critical and scares skills as identified by the construction employees Tradesman Aid between salary level one and five have undergone recognition of prior learning so that they can qualify as artisans in different technical fields.

3.2. Special programmes

The department reviewed its policy on HIV and AIDS and has developed guidelines for management to implement the policy on HIV and AIDS as well as the minimum standards. High-risk areas have been identified and program implementation has commenced. One of the key objectives of our approach consistent with the national strategy is to raise the level of awareness of our employees. The importance of condom distribution is upheld for those who cannot abstain or be faithful to a single partner. HIV and AIDS Committees have been appointed and trained as peer educators.

After the launch of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Campaign led by Senior Managers and enthusiasm shown by employees, we have allocated resources for a rollout of VCT programme to all employees in the department. A programme for the rollout is in place and the service is to be provided on a monthly basis.

3.3. Occupational Health and Safety

The safety of employees and clients against accidents and diseases in our work environment is high up on our list of priorities. In compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 33 of 1993, Occupational Health and Safety representatives have been elected throughout the department. Most of the representatives have already received relevant training. During the year under review, the department experienced three accidents that led to fatalities. In this regard the department is working with contractors in order to prevent a reoccurrence.

3.4. Conditions of services

We have cleared the pension payout backlog and are taking stringent measures to ensure that no backlog is accumulated again.

4. Legal support services

The department has reduced cases of evictions against illegal tenants in state owned houses by engaging in alternative methods of dealing with the problem and a result, 20 tenants signed lease agreements and thus their occupancy was regularised. Nine tenants opted for out of court settlement and vacated the premises out of their own volition.

We are also pursuing legal processes against rental defaulters and hope to finalise all these matters in this financial year.

There has been a significant improvement in relations between the department and all recognised trade unions in dealing with matters mutually affecting the department as an employer and trade unions on behalf of employees.

This has been achieved through scheduled quarterly meetings held throughout the year to deal meaningfully with issues.

Forty four misconduct cases were finalised during the past financial year. The majority of these cases 27 being cases of absenteeism.

There are interventions between the departmental Employee Assistance Programme and the affected employees to deal with the various causes of absenteeism, which mainly relate to socio-economic problems encountered by employees of the department.

5. Supply chain management

Out of the total tenders of R481 145 000 awarded in the last financial year, R413 454 000 were awarded to the historically disadvantaged. Tenders awarded to companies owned by women received 23% of the total amount of tenders awarded to the total value of R110 330 000. Tenders awarded to youth is still a challenge and only R646 000 valued of tenders were awarded to youth which make up 0,13% of the awarded tenders.

The progress with regard to empowerment of women can be seen in the 23% of tenders awarded to women against the previous financial year of 15%.

This department commits itself to service delivery with the average turnaround to pay our contractors and suppliers being 14 days. This period includes the verification of the payment certificate up to the payment to the contractor. I should emphasise here that this was achieved for projects belonging to the department of public works.

The department successfully rolled out the new inventory management system to regional and district offices during the previous financial year. The only outstanding offices, Ditsobotla and Ganyesa are due to the lack of Telkom infrastructure. This system is intended to ensure effective and efficient control on the inventories of the department.

6. Property and asset management

The department continues to carry out its mandate to ensure optimal utilisation of state properties as well as to ensure that unused properties are disposed off as per the Land Administration Act of 2001.

For the financial year 2006/07, we sold of a total of 55 houses and netting the province revenue amounting to R5 567 591,40. This brings the total number of houses sold to date to 118 and the total revenue derived since the beginning of this exercise to R13,1 million.

Furthermore, in a strive to ensure that the fixed asset base of the province remains solid the department see to it that as part of optimum utilisation of state owned properties alternative use is sought such as leasing to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or devolution to local authorities.

6.2. The Provincial Immovable Asset Register

We remain conscious of our accountability as far as provincial immovable assets are concerned. It is in light of this obligation that the department has established an Interdepartmental Project Team with a view to update the system through the use of information obtained from municipalities, the Deeds Office and client departments in the case of new infrastructure.

The team embarked on an asset verification exercise and the allocation of facility numbers. The total number of fixed assets captured on Property and Real Estate Management Information System (PREMIS) rose from 4 300 to 5 145 as a result of the exercise.

The department also undertook a valuation of residential properties across the province in compliance with requirements of the PFMA as well as to ensure that these properties are captured at the current market value

6. 3. Landscaping

The department invested in landscaping projects to enhance physical and aesthetic environment of government building. The Garona East Landscaping Project is at completion stage and this improvement will change the face of Garona forever.

The next phase of the project will be extended to cover northeast portion where landscaping and extension of the public parking area to the Legislature will be done.

6.4. State house rental defaulters

While the department attempts to fully utilise all housing assets under it is control by leasing them out to government employees and some private tenants, it has emerged over the years however, that despite the reasonable cost of rental and the homely atmosphere we have tried to create in doing so, there is a lot of rental defaulters. To ensure optimum revenue collection from these lease agreements, the department has embarked on a process of handing over these defaulters for debt collection. The department simply cannot sustain any further uneconomic utilization of these assets.

7. Buildings / capital projects

This function is the core function of the department. In the 2006/07, the Departments of Health and Education were our main client departments in the provision of public infrastructure.

7.1 Projects for the Department of Health

7.1.1 Hospital Revitalisation Programme

On the mandate of the Department of Health, the department is engaged in the construction of the R200 million Moses Kotane Hospital and R190 million Vryburg Hospital. Both projects are part of the Department of Health's Hospital Revitalisation Programme.

Progress at the two hospitals is as follows:

7.1.1.1. Moses Kotane

Construction of Staff housing was completed in April this year at the 200 bed Moses Kotane Hospital. The remaining phase, i.e. the construction of the main hospital building is still on going and anticipated for completion by end January 2008.

The construction of the main hospital building was delayed by onsite labour dispute, which has since been resolved after intervention by the department.

7.1.1.2. Vryburg Hospital

The staff housing building phase of the project at the 120-bed district hospital is nearing completion though it is behind schedule due to the change of scope that we have had to effect. According to the revised programme, this phase is targeted for completion by the end of June 2007.

The construction of the main hospital building is on going and anticipated for completion by July 2008.The delay to this phase is as a result of late information from the civil structural engineers to the contractor. This is unfortunate and unacceptable. The department has intervened to ensure commitment from all parties to avoid further unnecessary delays to the project. The situation is being closely monitored.

7.1.2. Health building programme

This programme consists of 52 projects

We have completed Boitekong Health Centre, Disaneng Nursing Home and seven clinics under the clinic building programme namely Setlagole, Vrischgewacht, Colridge, Mothotlung, Swartdam, Austrey and Bona-Bona clinics.

Setlagole Clinic was officially handed over to my colleague, the MEC for Health for official opening on the 12 September 2006. Dates for the handover of six other clinic have been finalised with the Department of Health.

We are currently engaged in the construction of Mmabatho Nursing College, and Itsoseng Health Centre. We expect to complete both projects in this financial year because Itsoseng Health Centre is ahead of schedule.

Extensions to Bloemhof, Christiana, Ganyesa, Potchefstroom and old Swartruggens hospitals are under construction and are to be completed in the 2007/08 financial year.

Due to financial constraints, the client department has directed that we put the following Projects on hold:

* Klerksdorp Nursing College
* Brits and Jubilee Hospital
* Klipgat, Madikwe, Tlapeng, Mmamutla, Derby, Bakubung, Kgakala, Segametsi, Blydeville clinics

7.2. School building programme

The poem "The Harvest" written in 500 BC by an anonymous Chinese poet highlights the importance of educating the people. It asserts:

"If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate the people.
By sowing seed once, you will harvest once.
By planting a tree, you will harvest tenfold.
By educating the people, you will harvest one hundredfold."

During the past financial year, we contributed towards the provision of this important service through our involvement in 19 school building projects on behalf of the Department of Education. Our involvement contributed towards the reduction of inherited classroom backlog, the eradication of the "learner under-trees phenomenon" and the platooning system.

In making a difference, we completed 12 schools of the 13 schools that had a combined contract value of R82,1 million that constituted the 2005/06 School Building projects. Due to non-performance, the contractor for Thea Morafe Primary School was ultimately terminated and a new contractor was appointed. Since the appointment of the new contractor, the Project is on schedule and progressing well. Thus far three blocks of classrooms have been roofed and we expect the project to be completed by end of August this year

The six schools under the 2006/07 School Building Programme are still under construction. The five months delayed payments from the client department has adversely affected performance of contractors engaged in the projects. Despite this challenge, satisfactory progress has been registered at Rrapoo, Mocoseng and Henryville Primary Schools and we expect to deliver these schools in the next two months.

We have strengthened monitoring and supervision to ensure that Kamogelo Primary School, Agisanang and Tswaing Secondary Schools are completed by December 2007.

We are finalising planning and design for five schools. We will be going on tender before the end of May for three schools as mandated by the department of education for execution in the 2007/08.

7.3. Infrastructure projects for other client departments

7.3.1. Secure Care centres for the Department of Social Development

Madame Speaker, allow me to quote from the statement of our astute leader in the liberation struggle, African National Congress (ANC) President Oliver Reginald Tambo at the opening of the Harare Conference in 1987: "We cannot be true liberators unless the liberation we will achieve guarantees all children the right to life, health, happiness, and free development, respecting the individuality, the inclinations and capabilities of each child. Our liberation will be untrue to itself if it did not among its first tasks, attend to the welfare of the millions of children whose lives have been stunted and turned into a terrible misery by the violence of the apartheid system."

In pursuit of government's programme to provide residential care facilities for youth in conflict with the law; the department has in executing the mandate of the Department of Social Development completed the construction of "integrated one stop centres" in Matlosana and Mafikeng. Jobs were created during the construction of both centres.

The R20,9 million Matlosana Secure Centre was handed over for official opening on the 26 April 2007 .We are engaged in consultation with my colleague, the MEC for Department of Social Development to finalise the date for the handover of Mafikeng Secure Centre.

We have appointed the contractor for the construction of the third secure care centre in Rustenburg. I am happy to report that work on site commenced as from 12 September 2006 and progress to date is impressive. We expect the 12 months project to be completed on time as brickwork on the project is already at roof level.

7.3.2 Traditional Council offices for the Office of the Premier

Madame Speaker, as Ben Okri asserted in the poem quoted earlier, we are all richly linked in hope, woven in history, like a mountain rope. Traditional leadership occupied the foremost trenches in the struggle against colonial invasion, which sought to subjugate the African way of life and destroy our culture, customs and traditions.

Historically, the values and characters of the institutions of traditional leadership were informed by the courage, humility and dignity of Cetswayo, Sekhukhuni, Moiloa, Montshioa, Mankuroane, Manotshe, Galeshewe and may other heroic leaders of our people who fought long and bitter wars in defence of the land of their birth.

The support that government continues to give to traditional leaders and their institutions, reaffirm our belief that they have an important role to play in the context of our developmental state. That like a mountain rope, the history of our people is woven and that together we can ascend to a new height. Through the provision of infrastructure to traditional councils, the ANC government is renewing the pledge to traditional leaders for a national partnership for a better life for all.

We were mandated by the Office of the Premier to construct traditional council offices for Batlhako Ba Matutu in Mabeeskraal and Bataung Ba Ga Hlalele in Maboloka in the 2005/06 financial year.

The Offices for Batlhako Ba Matutu was completed in February 2006, i.e. two months ahead of schedule. The handover of Bataung Ba Ga Hlalele offices is delayed by payment dispute between the main contractor and Community Based small medium micro enterprises (SMME's) and outstanding finishing touches.

In the 2006/07 financial year, we were further mandated to construct traditional offices for Baphiring Ba Mabalane in Mabaalstad, Bakwena Ba Ramokoka in Ramokokastad, Batlhaping Ba Mankuroane in Taung and Baphuthing Ba Nawa in Lebotloane. We have appointed contractors and work at all four offices has commenced in earnest.

The expected dates for completion of traditional offices building projects are as follows:
* Baphiring Ba Mabaalstad and Baphuting Ba Nawa Traditional offices end October 2007.
* Bakwena Ba Ramokoka and Batlhaping Ba Mankuroane end January 2008

7.3.3. Department of Sport, Arts and Culture

As mandated by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, we have appointed a contractor for the construction of the R62,6 million Mmabatho Library, Archives and Museum Project near the entrance of the University of North West University Mmabatho Campus. Construction commenced in July 2006.

7.4. Capital expenditure (Capex) projects for Department of Public Works

The R70,6 million creation of workspace Project at the Garona Provincial Office Building is progressing well though the movement of personnel in order to open up workspace for the contractor to work on is still a challenge.

To alleviate inconvenience to staff at the Garona Building, the department has provided movable offices as temporary alternative offices to maintain excellent service delivery. The expected date of completion for the project is end July 2007.

The Project for the construction of R124,6 million Bophirima Regional Government Offices in Vryburg is progressing well. The type of soil on site delayed progress as the foundation required ± 22 million deep piles. The expected date of completion for the project is end July 2008.

The construction of the R54,3 million New Public Works Head Office Building is at its finishing stages.

7.4.1. Major Renovation projects

We executed 27 Major Renovation projects to the value of R38,5 million in the 2006/07 financial year. Under this programme, we completed the following projects:

* Ga-Rona Office Building
* Lowe Waterproofing
* Mmabatho Convention Centre Waterproofing
* Revamping of Ga-Rona Air conditioners
* Geo-Science Building
* Old Parliament Building, Phase One
* Mafikeng Airport Sprinkler System
* Mafikeng Airport Fire Detection System
* Mafikeng Airport Foam Flooding System

7.4.2. Minor renovations

We made a difference by renovating 40 schools to the contract value of R30 million for the Department of Education. All projects were delivered on time, on budget and to an impressive quality standard.

We received recognition for our effort in the 2006 Premier's Public Sector Excellence Award when the programme was awarded the Silver Award for the Best Managed Programme. We are encouraged by this recognition to ascend to new height in the delivery of services to our client departments.

8. Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)

The 1999 White Paper titled "Creating an enabling environment for reconstruction, growth and development in the South African Construction Industry". Led to the promulgation of the Construction Industry Development Board Act of 2000 .The regulations of the Act provides for regulation of, strategic leadership to, and promotion of efficiencies within the construction industry.

As a department, we support the CIDB initiatives and we are constantly taking cognisance of best practices to improve service delivery, not only to our client departments, but also to the construction industry that includes developed, as well as developing Contractors and Professional Consultants in the built environment.

The CIDB developed "toolkit" is one of the services that Infrastructure related departments can benefit from. To promote developing contractors and streamline the total procurement process, the CIDB liaises with all stakeholders of the industry looking for solutions to identified problems. The department in partnership with the CIDB hosted the first provincial stakeholder forum on the 30 April 2007 in Rustenburg.

9. National Construction Week

In partnership with professionals in the construction and built environment sector, the department participated in the National Construction Week 27 July to 3 August 2006.The objective of the nation-wide awareness campaign targeted at Grade 10 Maths and Science learners was to promote the image and profile of the construction sector, so as to give learners the opportunity to experience a wide range of exciting opportunities available in today's built environment and construction sector.

The Provincial Programme for the Awareness Campaign was launched during the hand over of the R9,5 million Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Comprehensive High School at Slovoville in Winterveldt on the 27 July 2006. The campaign targeted learners from Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa Comprehensive High School in Bojanala Region, Seleje Secondary School in Central Region, Arefadimeheng in the Southern Region, Reabetswe and Pule Leeuw in Bophirima Region

The success of the provincial campaign was largely through the support of the Department of Education and participation of Council for the Built Environment, Africon Engineers, EHK Architects, GT Chaane Quantity Surveyors, Barsch Consultants and National Entrepreneurial Partnership Consulting Engineers.

10. Provincial Expanded Public Works Programme achievements

Madame Speaker, EPWP was launched in 2004 with an aim to create employment and provide training by encouraging labour intensive practices in the construction, repair and maintenance of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and buildings.

Since the launch of the programme we have managed to train and create employment for many of our people who in the past lacked skill and were thus excluded from participation in the economy.

At provincial level, 21 000 job opportunities were created through the EPWP since its launch. The province invested R701 million on 417 projects in the social and infrastructure sectors (total budgetary value of R962 million), including R86,2 million in wages paid.

In the last financial 7 791 job opportunities were created through EPWP of which 55% were women, 45% were youth and 1,2% were people with disabilities. The social sector created 4 044 job opportunities, of which 2 694 jobs went to women and 1 255 jobs went to youth. Seventy eight job opportunities went to the people with disabilities.

The infrastructure sector created 3 736 job opportunities, of which 1 294 jobs went to women. This sector created 15 jobs opportunities for people with disabilities.

We call on the economic sector and the environment and culture sector to priorities EPWP.

10.1. Expanded Public Works Programme Business Plan / Framework

We have commissioned a Private Service Provider to compile a Provincial Business Plan for the Expanded Public Works Programme. This Business Plan will serve as an EPWP blue print for the province with regards to EPWP implementation. This was necessitated by the fact that the North West province is not meeting its EPWP commitments as required by the national government.

10.2 Expanded Public Works Programme technical support to municipalities

In support of the Local Government Five Year Strategic Plan and to increase the number of EPWP projects in the province in order to create over 30 000 job opportunities over the next three years, the department in partnership with the National Department of Public Works will participate in a technical team deployed to support municipalities in the planning and implementation of EPWP projects.

The mandate of the technical team is to assist municipalities with identification of suitable EPWP projects, setting of EPWP targets, contract design, documentation and management, procurement processes, extraction of project training needs, creation of enabling conditions; wage rates; ensure where applicable that contractors get trained, reporting, project evaluation, mainstreaming EPWP into municipal policies and procedures and advise on alternative models for large projects and contractors.

The intervention is meant to improve and supplement the capacity of the Merafong Local Municipality, Moses Kotane Local Municipality, The City of Matlosana Local Municipality, Madibeng Local Municipality, Central District Municipality and Bophirima District Municipality.

The selection of these municipalities was based to huge Municipal Infrastructure Grants they have received. It is expected that this support will result in accelerated jobs creation through EPWP so that the province meets its EPWP targets as determined by national government.

10.3. Departmental contributions towards job creation

Through Expanded Public Works Project

As a contribution towards the fight against unemployment and poverty the department created 535 job opportunities through the 19 EPWP projects that we executed during the 2006/07 financial year. Three hundred and fifty eight of these job opportunities, i.e. 66,9% went to youth, while two 222, i.e. 41,5% went to women. Males benefited the most as 313 job opportunities went to them, i.e. 58,5%.

10.4. Training on Expanded Public Works Project

Our contribution towards the skills revolution resulted in the training of 667 EPWP beneficiaries who were involved in the Modimola, Modimong projects and the 19 projects. They received technical skills in bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, plastering, painting, tiling, electrical construction and, landscaping, welding, paving and occupational health and safety.

The training included a Life Skills programme on career guidance, HIV and AIDS Life Skills and Personal Financial Planning and Management. All beneficiaries received accredited certificates at graduation functions that were hosted by the regions.

10.5. Modimola Expanded Public Works Projects

The eyes of the people of Modimola who have lived with poverty's rage have seen the glory of the awakening age through the Expanded Public Works Programme. The R25 million integrated EPWP Pilot Project was awarded the Best Managed Project in the 2005 Premier's Public Sector Excellence Awards also received national recognition. In February this year, the project was awarded the Star Award Certificate at the 2006/07 Annual National Impumelelo Innovation Awards in recognition of its exceptional contribution to poverty reduction and community development.

The Project has thus far created 600 job opportunities to previously unemployed villagers. Through the project, 17 graduate learner contractors and 30 graduate learner farmers; twenty 22 of who were women were produced.

The second phase of the Project comprised of 17 projects implemented by graduate learnership contractors and involved:

* three route patrol contracts, valued at R350 000 in total covering the 220 kilometer between Mafikeng and Taung
* six road repair and maintenance projects covering a distance of 71 kilometres between Mafikeng and Setlagole valued at R450 000 each
* five projects in Modimola village and Madibe Makgabana for the construction of 11,5 kilometres of roads in the two villages
* various bridge construction projects
* reservoir construction and farming infrastructure projects, the latter covering 15 hectares of land (0,5 hectares per learner farmer)

The implementation phase of the Modimola EPWP pilot project was completed in July 2006.The project's success can be attributed to continuous mentoring and support of the graduate learnership contractors who were operating in an area new to them.

The expansion of the project has afforded opportunity for further development in the area, additional job opportunities for the unemployed, practical experience and empowerment of the graduate learner contractors.

As an exit strategy for the graduate learnership contractors, five of them are currently engaged in the construction of a five kilometre new gravel road between Modimola Village and Masutlhe one village using labour intensive methods. Six others successfully completed the first phase of the Lotlamoreng Dam Development Initiative and the construction of additional farm infrastructure for the successful Modimola Farming Enterprice run by the 30 graduate farmers. Five graduate learnership contractors are engaged in the road construction project in Modimong and the construction of community Halls in Modimong and Cokonyane Villages in Taung.

10.6. Modimong Expanded Public Works Projects

The Modimong EPWP Project launched on the February 2006 is part of the Taung Development Programme, which is one of the North West's Five Special High Impact Programme that contributes towards Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA).

The 6,8 kilometres road upgrading and surfacing project between Khibicwane and Cokonyane village has created 250 job opportunities for previously unemployed villagers.

The rural economy has also received a boost as 12 local tractor owners earn an average of R10 000 per month though their involvement in the Project.

The construction of community halls and kgotlas for the traditional councils in Modimong and Cokonyane in Modimong has also created additional training and job opportunities for the locals.

The household food security project for 100 nominated households is up and running .The beneficiaries have received seedlings, garden tools, fertiliser for their vegetable gardens and each household has received 20 chickens, chicken feed and medicine. Training and support to beneficiaries is provided by Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment.

11. Infrastructure Delivery Improvement Programme (IDIP)

The department has actively participated in the rollout of the "Infrastructure Delivery Improvement Programme" (IDIP) since June 2006 when Provincial Treasury started engaging the department and the Department of Education. We have established the required IDIP Operations and Steering committees and are anxious to have the first interdepartmental meeting of these meetings with the Department of Education. Once this has taken place the required roles and responsibilities, Service Delivery Agreements, infrastructure planning and delivery will take place due to good co-operation and best practice principles provided by the IDIP process.

The Department of Health has recently been included in the IDIP process and over the past two months both our departments were joined as a team for the "Assessment and Design" Workshops over a two week period as well as a very successful Appraisal Workshop that took place over 3 days towards the end of April 2007.

The success of the IDIP initiative relies on the us and our client departments not only working close together as a team for all infrastructure delivery and maintenance, but also on the understanding and implementation of the Construction Industry Development Board's (CIDB) "toolkit". I made the effort to be guided through the content of the toolkit by means of a page through process for a couple of hours. I can assure you that although it may not be an easy task to implement the full content of the toolkit, but once it is mastered and fully operational throughout the Province, we will see the positive effects that it has brought about.

My department has committed itself to support and work closely with the Provincial Treasury, the Office of the Premier and all client departments to ensure the success of the IDIP roll out and the implementation of the CIDB toolkit as best practice within the North West province.

12. Challenges and plans to address them

We will endeavour to continue to improve on revenue management more especially on the reconciliation of property rental income between the Walker Financial System and the Persal System. The maximisation of revenue income will forever be one of our top priorities.

The department will continue to perform a risk assessment, risk identification and internal control procedures to strengthen its control environment. This will assist in the prevention of unauthorised, irregular, fruitless expenditure and losses emanating from criminal conduct. The implementation of the Risk Management Strategy will start during 2007/08 financial year. We are busy looking into the creation of the Risk Management Unit to oversee the implementation of the strategy.

The department has experienced a challenge at two of its Regional Offices (i.e. Southern and Bophirima Regional offices). The challenge was as a result of the two mentioned site connectivity speed to transversal services accessed from Mmabatho.

The department in consultation with Finance Central Information Technology have resolved to put a fibre link that will link Southern Regional Office direct to the backbone in Agriculture building and this will clear all connectivity problems experienced at the site and also this is a future proof investment since it is a once-off permanent solution to our problem. Regarding the Bophirima Region we will apply for a data line upgrade from Telkom through Finance Central Information Technology.

The Ditsobotla District Office could not be cabled in the past financial year due to absence of Telkom infrastructure in the vicinity of its location. The Office together with the new Provincial Head Office building and the new Bophirima Regional Government Office under construction are targeted for cabling and connectivity in this financial year.

Though women and people with disabilities are prioritised through the recruitment process, attracting candidates to meet our Employment Equity targets for representivity still remains a challenge. We have engaged the Provincial Chapter of Disabled People South Africa and the Office on the Status of People with Disabilities in the Office of the Premier for assistance.

Although we solicited the assistance of the Provincial Chapter of Disabled People South Africa, recruitment of people with disabilities still poses a challenge for us as a department as we only managed to recruit two people with disabilities i.e. 0,37%; in the 19 projects that we executed in the last financial year.

We intend strengthening our partnership and with the Office on Disabled Persons in the Office of the Premier, municipalities, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders, Community based organisations and non-government organisations to improve on the participation of people with disabilities.

Inability to recruit and retain built environment professionals due to demand and scarcity of such professionals still remain a challenge for the department.

The department further intends to improve the landscaping at both the Lowe as well as the Embassy Complex. It is expected that both these projects will be completed by the end to the financial year 2007/08.

Arising out of dialogues with youth and women in construction held in June and August 2006, respectively the department is to strengthen its contractor development programme with particular emphasis on youth and women.

13. Projects and interventions for 2007/08

We expect to complete 17 clinics during the 2007/08 financial year.

In addition to these clinics, we are in the planning stages for Bethanie, Reagile, Letsopa, Lesego, Hebron Clinics Ventersdorp Hospital Bulk Pharmacy and Delarayville Hospital Bulk Pharmacy. We will be going on tender, award contracts and commence with construction of these projects during the current financial year.

We will also be implementing three school building projects namely Bray Secondary School, Lykso Secondary School and Tlapeng Primary School in the Bophirima Region for the Department of Education.

We expect to complete the following Major Renovation projects by the end of this month:

* Taung Mechanical Workshop
* Mothibistadt District Office
* Gasegonyana Traffic Office
* Mmabatho Civic Centre
* Lehurutshe Governor's Office
* Regional Offices of the Transport Roads and Community Safety in Southern Region
* Ramosa Riekert Office Building

The R1,5 million Itsoseng Handicraft Centre Renovation Project by the end July 2007.

We also expect the following Major Renovation projects to be completed by the end of this financial year:

* Gaabomotho Office Building in the Central Region
* first phase of Mmabatho Convention Centre in the Central Region
* Barnard Social Security Office in the Southern Region
* Mothibistadt mechanical workshop in the Bophirima Region.

We have awarded tenders for Rustenburg Culture Centre and offices of the Department of Transport, Roads and Community in Brits and expect contractors to be on site by the end of this month.

Next month we will be going on tender for the following projects:

* Bojanala Public Works Regional Office Low tension sub-station
* Water Reticulation and Civil Works at the Bojanala Public Works Regional Office
* Potchefstroom Agriculture Administration Office
* Ramosa Riekert Phase Two Civil Wor.ks

This august house would recall that last year we alluded to the challenge of slow registration of contractors with the CIDB. We are pleased to report that we have seen an improvement in relation to registration by contractors with the CIDB. The increase in the number of contractor registration has largely been at grade one level.

We have noted with concern that at grade eight and nine there are no contractors who are based in the North West.

In order to contribute to the resolution of complaint of slow processing of registration and grading of contractors, the department would be working with CIDB to assist with upgrading of deserving contractors. One of our major responsibilities in this regard would be to ensure that information in relation to projects recently completed by contractors and the value thereof is swiftly made available to the CIDB. To realise this objective, we have offered CIDB accommodation in our regional office in order to make their service accessible.

In partnership with the Department of Education and the Provincial Chapter of the South African Association of Consulting Engineers, we are planning Regional Construction and Built Environment seminars during the National Construction Week. We hope to expand the Construction Awareness Campaign to reach as many Grade 10 Maths and Science learners throughout the province as possible.

A construction summit will be organised during the current financial year. The objective of the summit is to bring together stakeholders involved in construction and built environment to reflect on the challenges the sector faces and on how we take advantage of the upsurge in the infrastructure. Youth, Women and people with disabilities will be the core target groups.

13.1. Implementation of Expanded Public Works Project and National Youth Service (NYS) projects

As we ascend to new height, we have identified 28 EPWPs for implementation in the 2007/08 financial year. These projects will be implemented in compliance to EPWP guidelines for the implementation of infrastructure projects.

In his State of the Nation Address delivered on the 9 February 2007, President Thabo Mbeki announced the National Youth Service Programme. Provincially the programme was launched by the Premier, Mme Edna Molewa on 25 March 2007 in Mothotlung.

As a department we have committed to engage 500 youth for participation in the programme and have set aside 10 projects for implementation of the National Youth Service programme through maintenance and renovation of public infrastructure. These projects will be implemented in partnership with Youth Commission, Umsobomvu and the Department of Labour.

We intend launching the NYS in Building Maintenance and infrastructure sector during August 2007. We are confident that our target will be met and that the Implementation of these projects will contribute towards job creation, improved provision and maintenance of public infrastructure.

All these EPWP projects should create over 800 job opportunities, which is an increase of more than 60% from the 2006/07 financial year.

As announced by the Premier in her State of the Province Address, Tosca has been identified as the next village for a massive EPWP intervention. Working with the social development cluster and the economic development cluster, the department will be identifying and scoping various projects that will be implemented in Tosca.

We are working towards establishing a partnership with Bophirima District Municipality and Molopo Local Municipality. Consistent with the Premier's announcement, the 2007/08 financial year will be used as the planning and budgeting year. We therefore would like to call upon all our clusters and relevant municipalities to join us in the pledge for a partnership for better life for the people of Tosca. This should include making the necessary budget allocations during the Medium term expenditure framework bidding for the 2008/09.

14. Capacity building for implementation of IDIP

Through the IDIP programme, National Treasury has availed resources for us to recruit three professionals in the discipline of quantity surveying, civil and structural engineering and architecture for a period of 18 months. This will assist us to ascend to a new height in the delivery of infrastructure projects.

The department will continue with its drive to strengthen its capacity, particularly in relation to recruitment of scarce professionals in the built environment. This will be intended to strategically position the department to be able to fulfil its obligations to client departments as part of IDIP.

15. Budget allocation per programme

This department has been allocated a total overall budget of R473,133 million for this financial year. There is a reduction of R18,355 million due to demarcation.

Amounts to be voted per programme

The following amounts per programme and sub-programme are requested

Programme one: Administration - R74,666 million

This programme is made up of the Office of the MEC, Office of the Head of the Department, Programme Support and Corporate Support. Its primary role is to provide administrative leadership, corporate governance and support to the department. It ensures the implementation of government and departmental policies.

Office of the MEC - R4,412 million
Office of the Head of Department - R2,133 million
Programme Support - R4,64million
Corporate Support - R63,481 million

Programme two: Public Works - R382,048 million

This programme is made up of Programme Support Office, Other Infrastructure and Property Management. The mandate of the Programme is to provide professional and technical services to the department and client departments. It is also responsible for the provision of office and residential accommodation to client departments and senior government officials. This includes the maintenance of existing building infrastructure through day-to-day maintenance, preventative maintenance and major renovations. It should not escape us that while it is important to build new facilities and infrastructure, it is perhaps more important to maintain, preserve and conserve what we already have. It is more expensive to lose and replace something than to retain and maintain it.

Programme Support: R8,453 million
Other infrastructure: R322,049 million
Property Management: R53,409 million

Programme three: Community based programmes - R14,556 million

The programme is about community empowerment, which revolves around job creation, support for SMME development, and human development through skills transfer, redressing uneven development and monitoring and evaluation to ensure at most impact assessment. It also acts as leader and the coordinator of all Provincial EPWP programs it is also responsible for reporting and motoring.

Programme Support Office - R2,802 million
Training programmes - R3,492 million
Empowerment Impact Assessment - R1,180 million
Poverty Eradication/Community Development - R5,902 million
Emerging Contractor Development - R1,180 million

My appreciation goes to the Honourable Premier, colleagues in the Executive Council, honourable members of the Legislature and in particular to the Chairperson and members of the Public Works Portfolio for encouragement and support.

To the Head of Department, Mr Obakeng Mongale, members of the executive management, senior managers and employees of the department and staff on my office, I wish to convey my appreciation for your determination to the implementation of the People's Contract.

I wish to thank my wife Linda Nowethu and my three children for being support, patience and unconditional love.

Pretoria Portland Cement, Africon, Maxima Global, ABSA, Mr T Group of companies, NoordWes Kooperasie (NWK), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC), South African Women in Construction (SAWIC), National Black Contractors and Allied Trades (NABCAT) and construction and built environment professionals mentioned earlier had confidence in us to make a difference and demonstrated this by supporting our programmes. We trust that as we ascend to a new height they would sustain their involvement with us.

EPWP, Contractor Development and NYS offer the business sector and in particular the banking sector opportunity for involvement. We call on the sectors to seize the opportunity and to be part of the partnership for a better life for all.

We count on the continued partnership of our traditional leaders, client departments, municipalities, EPWP Provincial Steering Committee NAFCOC, Members of the North West Construction Liaison Committee, Youth Commission, Taletso College, construction industry and built environment professionals and contractors, to take service delivery to a new height.

The hopes of our people are on all of us to bring the harvest of the People's Contract. We dare not fail them.

As we ascend to a new height, we renew our pledge for a national partnership for a better life for all.

Ke a leboga.

Issued by: Department of Public Works, North West Provincial Government
10 May 2007

 

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
 
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