The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council has approved the extension of contracts for staff appointed at COVID-19 sites for a further six months to help fight the third wave and potential fourth wave.

The Executive Council took the decision to retain more than 15 000 staff members, including nurses, administrative clerks, data capturers and general orderlies, to lead the provincial efforts against COVID-19 and achieve population immunity.

The Executive Council said the advent of COVID-19 has placed additional pressure on service delivery, and has resolved to intensify the implementation of the vaccination rollout programme to achieve population immunity.

“To this end, the Executive Council will add impetus in the acceleration of the vaccination drive across the province,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said.

SANRAL collaboration

The Executive Council also approved the finalisation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the KwaZulu-Natal government, represented by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL).

The MoU is intended to ensure that the two parties cooperate and collaborate at strategic and operational levels to:

Create transparent opportunities for the participation of SMMEs and cooperatives in SANRAL infrastructure projects;

Ensure the involvement of local communities;

Ensure the seamless execution of road projects, and

Ensure the transfer of skills through incubation and road maintenance projects.

The Executive Council noted that there are projects worth over R70 billion that are to be implemented by SANRAL over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework of three years.

“The scale and magnitude of these projects present opportunities for development and job opportunities,” Zikalala said.

Rebuilding moral core

The Council called on the provincial population to use Heritage Month to contribute to the rebuilding of the province’s moral core, and to help grow a society that is united in its diversity.

Zikalala said the Executive Council has resolved to host a #WeAreOneFestival, which will be used to unite and promote cohesion across the different cultures.

“Government hereby invites the people of KwaZulu-Natal to also use Heritage Month to engage in dialogues and programmes to focus on youth and women empowerment, teenage pregnancy and HIV, drug and substance abuse, and gender-based violence,” Zikalala said.

Government garage building renamed after Charlotte Maxeke

In line with this year’s Women’s Month, which is centred on the values and lessons of 150 years of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, the Executive Council has approved the renaming the government garage building after Maxeke.

“This building, which is under the care of the Department of Social Development based in Durban, has been renovated and its renaming occasion will take place on 21 September 2021,” Zikalala announced.

Source: South African Government News Agency

News Reporter