Mkhize breathes life into NHI

22 February 2012 - 02:34 By Canaan Mdletshe

KwaZulu-Natal would roll out the National Health Insurance in two districts this year, premier Zweli Mkhize announced during his state of the province address.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize
Image: Reinhardt Hartzenberg
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize
Image: Reinhardt Hartzenberg

However, he also said the provincial government would spend the biggest chunk of its R15-billion capital budget on infrastructure development.

Mkhize said the approach South Africa was taking had been adopted by other developmental states to lift their countries out of deep depression. He said these states had poured massive investments into infrastructural projects to stimulate development.

He said all government departments had spent more than 70% of their expanded public works budgets by the end of the third quarter.

"[The department of] public works has been given three years to boost its capacity by employing a full complement of engineers, quantity surveyors, architects and technicians," he said.

Though he conceded that his province had been slow in providing housing - it built only 21500 units last year - it had set a target of building 43000 houses in the coming year.

Mkhize said Eskom was completing the building of the R22-billion Ingula pump station, which is expected to come into operation by 2014.

"Eskom will spend R24-billion to boost distribution and improve access for social and economic needs of the province to eliminate the backlog," he said.

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