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Polokwane to create more jobs for the poor
Polokwane - Limpopo's capital city is on a drive to create more jobs through the government's Expanded Public Works Programme in the 2013/2014 financial year.

Polokwane mayor Freddy Greaver announced that the council is doing their best to ensure that jobs are created in an effort to reduce unemployment.

“I will make sure that I create more job opportunities amongst my municipality to fight poverty as there are various development initiatives that will create jobs for locals,” Greaver said this week.

He said Polokwane achieved a 78% national target of 3 754 jobs set for the municipality by creating 2 939 job opportunities by the end of April 2013.

Greaver said the municipality's routine maintenance programme called “Ema o iphidishe (arise and make a living)” aimed to contribute significantly towards job creation, especially in poor families.

“A total of 500 people have been employed to carry out routine maintenance work in identified areas which include maintenance of gravel roads, cleaning of open spaces and parks, vegetation control, litter picking and other activities,” he said.

He said the municipality has also set aside R504 million for infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, Eskom's proposal to build their provincial headquarters in Polokwane is also expected to create jobs.

“We believe that such development will bring about job creation for local communities and also stimulate economic growth and promote investment in the city,” said Greaver.

The proposed Polokwane Academic Hospital, the Motor City and the expansion of Coca Cola Enterprises will also provide work for locals, he added.

Earlier objections to the construction of Motor City in the city have since been withdrawn and the development should take off "pretty soon", Greaver said.

Moreover, R90 million has been set aside to address water and sanitation in the municipality.

Greaver said Anglo Platinum will invest R80 million to refurbish the overloaded Polokwane waste water treatment works.

The Department of Water Affairs is also providing R10 million to improve water and sanitation in the city.

Greaver added that R112 million has been budgeted through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) for the provision of water infrastructure in rural areas.

“Engineers for all these projects have been appointed and are busy with preliminary designs," he said.

Another R40 million has been budgeted through MIG to build more than 4 000 VIP toilets in rural areas.

Greaver admitted that the municipality is currently experiencing water shortages as a result of the increase in the number of households in both the city and rural areas.

"Plans have been put in place to try and address these challenges," he said. –

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