Economic growth, job creation, preservation of the natural environment, and revitalisation of the tourism sector in the Free State are key priorities.
OFM News reports that this is according to the MEC Makalo Mohale. Delivering the 2021/22 financial year budget for the Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Mohale said it is highly concerning that youth unemployment in the province stands at 48.2%.
He told Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) and the community of Zastron, where he delivered the speech, that accelerating economic growth is his top priority. Whilst he confirmed the Covid-19 pandemic had devastating effects on many businesses, he highlighted that the majority of Small, Medium, Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs) were hard-hit.
Mohale announced that the bulk of his department’s R604 million budget will go towards economic revitalisation programmes, whilst R227 million is allocated specifically to support (SMMEs), and R10 million will go for the tourism industry.