Almost 1 000 families who lived in informal settlements in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality got their own homes in August. They are beneficiaries of the Zanemvula Housing Project. Through this project, about 15 000 houses will give shelter to more than 90 000 people at a cost of more than R1 billion. It will wipe away almost 20 per cent of the municipality's 100 000 housing backlog.
Construction has started on the Big Hole Conference Centre in Kimberley. It is part of the Big Hole Development Project and will give jobs to about 350 people, mostly youth from the local community. It will also bring more business and tourism to the area. The centre is part of the provincial government's commitment to improve opportunities in Kimberley. The Big Hole is the largest man-made hole in the world and a major tourist attraction in the region.
The province will host this year's Special Olympics for intellectually disabled athletes, in Elandsdoorn near Groblersdal on 24 September. Athletes from across the country will take part in different Olympic sports. These include soccer, netball, table tennis and volleyball. The event is funded by government, individuals, corporations, foundations, and grants.
Upgrading of the Free State Stadium for both the 2009 Confederations Cup, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup is nearly completed. The project created more than 400 construction jobs. A total of R4,5 million has been paid out to construction workers since the work started on 1 September 2007. The completion date was first set for 30 August this year, but has been extended to the end of September.
An Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Processing Centre was opened in Thohoyandou recently. Employers and workers in Limpopo are now able to easily register with the fund and process their claims without having to travel long distances. The Department of Labour is starting similar centres throughout the country. It aims to improve service delivery and educate the public about the services offered by the UIF, as well as encouraging beneficiaries to make use of available services.
The Department of Public Works has set aside R34 million for rebuilding mud schools in KwaZulu-Natal. This is part of R150 million set aside by government to rebuild 8 000 mud schools throughout the country. The main aim of the programme is to improve unsuitable school structures and to fight poverty through job creation, skills development and local economic development.
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