KwaZulu-Natal has allocated R16.3-billion towards building and upgrading infrastructure in the province.

The infrastructure projects range from road construction to the upgrading of clinics and hospitals, school renovations, and housing projects.

Delivering her department’s R133-billion budget, provincial Finance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says despite budget cuts across departments, infrastructure funding remains strong.

“Funds in the amount of R66-million will be used towards the eradication of asbestos roofs in all provincial clinics and community health centres. A further amount of R52.3-million will be used to eradicate asbestos and to undertake waterproofing projects for Grey’s Hospital, Umgeni Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, Northdale Hospital, Vryheid Hospital, and the Mayor’s Walk Central Supply Depot.”

Education

The KwaZulu-Natal Education department will receive the biggest piece of the pie. Dube-Ncube has allocated the local education department R53 billion, followed by R48 billion to health.

She says fire protection and lift upgrades are expected at Durban’s Addington Hospital.

“A budget of R26.6 million will be used to replace 43 lifts in various facilities, which include Addington Hospital, King Edward Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, St Aidan’s Hospital, Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, Edendale Nurses Home and St Mary’s Hospital. Addington Hospital is allocated R34 million to improve the fire protection services and to upgrade the electrical reticulation.”

Premier names new MEC

Meanwhile, Premier Sihle Zikalala has appointed Ntuthuko “Jomo” Sbiya in the provincial cabinet. Sbiya replaces the provincial Public Works and Human Settlement MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni.

Nkonyeni has been moved to the provincial department of Transport, Community Safety and Liason.

The position became vacant following the death of the former MEC Bheki Ntuli who died in January from COVID 19 complications.