The government has currently invested billions in infrastructure delivery. This speaks volumes in terms of opportunities in the construction and property sectors. The Department of Public Works has initiated various programmes, which are aimed at contributing to economic development, while pushing back the frontiers of poverty in KwaZulu-Natal. All of these programmes demonstrate the commitment of the Department to respond to the empowerment of priority groups namely youth, women and people living with disabilities, while delivering its mandate.
The priority areas of the Department are listed as -
Eradication of poverty and inequality;
Managing the impact of HIV/AIDS and reducing its spread;
Re-engineering and enhancing integrated service delivery in government;
Investing in infrastructure;
Strengthening of governance; and
Human capability development.
The Extended Public Works Programme
The Department of Public Works has infused the guidelines of Expanded Public Works Programme's (EPWP's) into all of its projects to increase labour absorption. The Department will continue the massification of the EPWP through construction related projects of varying sizes, from building and maintenance to renovations and rehabilitation of unused government buildings and other properties. To date, the EPWP has been surpassing all employment creation targets; the Department has exceeded its target of creating jobs mainly for people living below poverty line. This programme can also reduce the backlog in terms of service delivery while creating job opportunities.
Through this programme many people have obtained new skills that have enabled them to start their own sustainable business. The strides that the Department has made in implementing the EPWP are testimony to its resolve to broaden participation in the economy and to develop skills.
National Youth Service (NYS)
The National Youth Service is a sub- programme of the infrastructure sector of the Expanded Public Works Programme. The project focuses on the maintenance of government facilities. The targeted groups are engaged in formal and accredited skills programme learning consisting of 4 months of theory and 8 months of practical active participation on a construction site. At the end of their involvement on the construction site they will be capacitated on business entrepreneurial skills.
Masakhe Emerging Contractor Development Programme
One of the top priorities of the Department is the Masakhe Emerging Contractor Development Programme. The Programme (ECDP) is aimed specifically at developing contractors through entrepreneurial skills. In this programme the Department works very closely with contractors until they are able to cope on their own. The programme aims at creating a protected environment for emerging contractors and facilitating skills development. A database has been set up to record contractors’ details. It has been interfaced with other user training undertaken and is ready for implementation.
The target market includes:
Unemployed women and youth with formal qualifications;
Experienced women and youth with no formal qualifications; and
Interested women and youth who have the proof to indicate interest.
Training, which will be carried out in partnership with the private sector, will not only consist of property management-related matters but will also encompass life skills, business management and entrepreneurial skills.
Bursary and Internship Programmes
The Department has bursary and internship programmes for youth which pays for tuition and accommodation. The Department has awarded bursaries to 153 students of which 73 (47%) are female students who specialize in Engineering, Construction project management, Architecture, Quantity Surveying and Property valuation. The bursary is awarded to students who have passed their first years at a tertiary institution. Learners who obtain excellent matric results in science and mathematics also benefit. Youth from previously disadvantaged communities are the main beneficiaries of these programmes. The bursary is advertised through radio talk shows, newspapers, Departmental website and career exhibitions.
Provincial and District Contractor Forums
Provincial and District Contractor Forums have been established for the purpose of strengthening consultative processes and dissemination of information on business opportunities. This is a very effective platform for contractors to discuss issues affecting day to day business activities and challenges.
The Department has initiated a programme called Izandla Ziyagezana. This programme focuses on clearance of vacant, provincially owned sites. The programme will also benefit the unemployed youth, as they will be selected through community structures to participate in this programme. The government is trying by all means to use labour absorbing methods in its projects with the purpose of creating as many jobs as possible for the people.
Property Incubator Programme
Lastly, the programme called Property Incubator Programme has been initiated. This exciting programme seeks to identify and develop youth and women in property business and give mentorship support to them. The project has the following key objectives:
To facilitate the process of skills transfer from the emerged to the emerging markets in the property sector;
To provide a platform for the development of a holistic approach to the property industry; and
To contribute to the generation of skills within the property sector.
The process involves the capacity building of selected individuals in various aspects of property management, including facilities management, property inspection and assessment and the acquisition and disposal of land.
All of these endeavours are in keeping with the spirit of the Property Transformation Charter, which embodies the property sector's commitment to achieving substantial change in the racial and gender composition of ownership, control and management in the sector.
Fixed Asset Register
The KwaZulu-Natal Land Administration Act, 2003 mandates the MEC for Public Works in KwaZulu-Natal to keep a register of all fixed assets in the Province. The Department has therefore acquired a fixed asset register for professional Real Estate Management Information System (PREMIS).
The first phase was the population of PREMIS with available information and the system is continually updated. PREMIS now has the functionally to be used for payment of property rates, to deal with hiring, lettings, acquisitions and disposals.
Human Settlement & Public Works MEC Mr RaviPillay
Public Works HOD Dr. A Govender
Nature of Business: The Department of Human Settlement and Works enforces the infrastructure development in KwaZulu-Natal.
"We will lead in infrastructure development and property management in KwaZulu-Natal."
"Sithuthukisa imiphakathi ngokwakha"
"Building communities through construction"
"a thriving economy through infrastructure development and property management."
MEC: Mr Ravigasen Ranganathan Pillay
Head of Department: Mr. A Govender
Chief Financial Officer: Mr J. Redfearn
Office of the MEC
Postal Address: Private Bag X54336, Durban, 4001 Tel: +27 031 261 8997 Fax: +27 031 261 8157 E-mail: Jurie.Thaver@kznworks.gov.za
Office of the HOD
Physical Address: 3rd Floor, 191 Prince Alfred Street, Pietermaritzburg. Postal Address: Private Bag X9041, Pietermaritzburg, 3200. Tel: +27 033 355 5562 Fax: +27 033 355 5683 E-mail: Head.Works@kznworks.gov.za
Office of the Head of Ministry
Postal Address: Private Bag X54336, Durban, 4001 Tel: +27 031 261 8997 Fax: +27 031 261 8157 E-mail: Thabani.firstname.lastname@example.org