Speeding up LAND REFORM
To help speed up land reform and improve agricultural production, government will start a Land and Agricultural Reform Project which will run together with its existing land reform programme. The project will focus on land acquisition and helping inexperienced farmers in rural areas to get farming skills. It will also give new farmers access to agricultural services and land development programmes, as well as financial aid through finance schemes. Among the farm land targeted for redistribution, are areas along the N2 highway in the Western Cape and in Mpumalanga. The project aims to contribute to government's 2014 objectives of halving poverty, growing the economy and creating six million new jobs.
Hundreds of traditional leaders from all over the world gathered in Durban from 25 to 26 October to discuss their role in democracy. The conference, hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Local Government and Traditional Affairs Department, was the first of its kind in South Africa. It is fitting that it was held in KwaZulu-Natal since the province has the highest number of traditional leaders in the country.
Following the destructive wild fires in the province, the provincial Department of Local Government and Housing is building a disaster management centre. The fires killed 17 people since the end of July. The new centre will include an early-warning system, as well as situation reporting and data collecting systems. To help people deal with disasters in future, a disaster management awareness campaign was also started.
The first intake of young people from across Limpopo started courses in skills training with the Department of Public Works in October. Some 574 young people from Limpopo's poorest areas are trained in skills like welding, brick laying, electrical work, landscaping and painting. They will then get a chance to practice their new skills on public works maintenance projects.
With the holiday season approaching, Cape Town has appointed a task team to tackle crime on its beaches. This is in response to an increase in beach muggings, poaching and illegal off-road driving. The coast belongs to all South Africans and their rights of access to the beaches must be safeguarded. The task team will also look at littering and illegal dumping along coastal routes.
More than 120 local people are to benefit from a multi million rand road construction project in the small town of Alicedale. The Alicedale Road Construction Project will extend from the N10 to Alicedale and will take 32 months to complete. It forms part of the provincial government's efforts to create jobs and fight poverty. Along with the road construction project, the International Rugby Academy will also be built in the area.
Since 2005, the official unemployment rate in the province has been reduced from 28 percent to 27,4 percent, thanks to money being invested in industries like mining, farming, and tourism. Most of these investments are promoting small business, helping to create jobs and fighting poverty.
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