FLAGSHIP projects that will drive growth and development are the focus for Gauteng this financial year, according to Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

She spoke about her office’s action plan to be implemented in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, when she delivered her budget of R237-million, a slight increase from last year’s R228-million, on 12 June.

These flagship projects were located in different areas of the province and were an essential part of the integrated infrastructure development programme to promote job creation, she pointed out.

The provincial government had forged meaningful partnerships with institutions of higher learning to establish the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), a research facility based at Wits University designed to aid the province in achieving its vision of becoming a major economic conurbation.

“In the year ahead, the GCRO will continue to liberate the best academic expertise to undertake research in support of provincial and local government work. Among its projects is the first Gauteng government barometer, which [will] provide an independent assessment of performance and how we spend money,” she explained.

She tabled her budget at the Gauteng provincial government legislature, in the Johannesburg CBD.

An economic opportunities road show would be undertaken in the year ahead to increase community participation in government programmes and “unlock” economic opportunities for the young and unemployed people. She said the province would also work on achieving effective financial management.

It would yield towards a green economy and focus more on infrastructure development, service delivery and institutional transition. Along with the Presidency, the provincial government would undertake over a 100 visits to education and health care facilities, social grant centres, police stations, municipal service centres and the justice system to assess frontline service delivery.

About the controversial e-tolling issue, Mokonyane said the province was talking to the Office of the Deputy President to find a permanent solution.

In addition, a memorandum of understanding would be signed in the coming months with a Chinese municipality and multilateral links with cities and provinces in developed countries would be explored.

Source: Joburg.org.za