#FSbudget: MEC to deliver maiden speech

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The recently appointed MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, Motshidisi Koloi, is expected to deliver her maiden budget speech in Bloemfontein with a primary focus on accelerating housing and infrastructure projects across the province.

Koloi will deliver the budget vote on Friday at the Fourth Raadsaal with a quest to improve service delivery in the province. This will be the department’s first budget vote after Premier Sisi Ntombela earlier this year decided to re-assign the responsibility for Human Settlements to the MEC for Public Works and Infrastructure.

The Free State Human Settlements department had previously acknowledged that it faces an enormous housing backlog amidst complaints by residents of informal settlements around the province.

The budget vote comes against the backdrop of the provincial government battling to keep up with the continuing demand for housing.

Koloi’s speech is also expected to touch on a number of buildings across the province that have been left incomplete. It includes the Silver City housing project in Bloemfontein.

The pace of education infrastructure delivery is one of the projects that is expected to be tackled vigorously by the department.

Ntombela, during her State of the Province Address last week, said a number of schools will be completed this financial year after some of the schools have gone beyond their construction period and Koloi is expected to reiterate that stance in her speech.

Ntombela also mentioned that new hostels would be built and contractors have been appointed to build Leboneng Hostel in Welkom, Boitumelong Hostel in Thaba Nchu, and Breda Hostel in Fouriesburg.

Koloi is also expected to outline some of the key elements and components of her departments that will seek to clarify her department’s mandates and positions on driving some of these key issues within the current economic climate.

The budget vote is scheduled to start at 9am.

OFM News/Michael Tlhakudi