Pietermaritzburg - About R40bn will be invested in the Richards Bay and Durban port rail corridors over the next five years as part of the province’s plan to create thousands of jobs, KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize
said on Tuesday.
"R37.12bn will be invested in the Richards Bay and Durban port rail corridors over the next five years, creating 9 000 jobs," Mkhize said in his state of the province address on Tuesday.
The province is expected to create at least 1.1 million of the national target of 5 million new jobs.
Mkhize said a programme to build homes damaged by recent disasters in the area would create 47 000 work opportunities and 15 000 permanent jobs.
"These new projects include repair of houses destroyed by storms and rectification of those with poor workmanship," he said.
The creation of jobs was important, because KwaZulu-Natal had lost thousands of jobs during the economic meltdown.
"The average unemployment rate in the province was recorded to be 19.7% in the third quarter of last year, with an annual total of 125 000 jobs lost in 2010, raising with it the total number of discouraged workers," said Mkhize.
He said 12 000 job business opportunities would be created for the youth by creating nurseries to cultivate various types of indigenous plants which would be planted throughout the province.
Another 800 young graduates would be employed as assistant extension officers to help in the one home, one garden programme.
More jobs would be created during the construction of public infrastructure.
Mkhize said for 2011 KwaZulu-Natal had a budget of R11bn to invest in various projects for public infrastructure delivery such as roads, housing, schools and health facilities. It would spend R30bn over the next three years.
He said KwaZulu-Natal would end the year on a positive note because the threat of over-expenditure was over.
"Compared to the situation in 2009, when the province projected R4bn over-expenditure, working together we have turned our cash positive," he said.
"The resources will be directed to service delivery."