Nearly a billion rand to be spent on Gauteng social infrastructure

Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, MEC for Social Development in Gauteng. Photo: Simone Kley

Over the next three years, the Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) will spend R874 million on social infrastructure investment.

Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said this is part of Gauteng Provincial Government’s (GPG) overall budget of R42 billion on social and economic infrastructure. She was addressing more than 100 delegates from different municipalities, the South African Local Government Association, property developers, non-governmental organisations and other government department including Gauteng Treasury and Infrastructure Development Department. The event, the GDSD Social Infrastructure Summit, was hosted at the Lakes Hotel and Conference Centre in Ekurhuleni.

Mayathula-Khoza said GPG was to ensure that this infrastructure investment translates to creating decent employment through labour-intensive construction methods to support household incomes and generate additional economic activities. She said GPG’s social infrastructure investment is an ideal way to advance economic productivity, and promote and support landscape transformation in the province. It serves as a way to help eradicate poverty and create employment.

“We know that social infrastructure development will enable universal access to social service delivery in response to the pressing needs of vulnerable groups of Gauteng citizens in particular. This includes access to Early Childhood Development Programmes by Gauteng’s children under five years of age, access to alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment programmes, access to residential and day-care programmes for our older persons and people with disabilities, access to victim empowerment programmes by women and children who have experienced abuse, access to child and youth care centres to ensure the safety and development of our children, and diversion of youth who have been in conflict with the law. Equally important is access to proper office accommodation with a conducive work environment for our employees,” explained Mayathula-Khoza.

She also announced that GDSD has managed to spend 99 per cent of its social infrastructure budget during the 2016/ 17 financial year, despite challenges of delays in procurement processes and lack of land identification for projects.

“We are looking forward to sustainable solutions to these challenges,” she concluded.

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