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The MMC of finance in the City of Johannesburg‚ Funzela Ngobeni‚ has presented an adjustment operational budget for the 2017/18 financial year for the metro‚ prioritising among others‚ housing and social development.

In the adjustment budget‚ the city’s department of social development received R16.7-million for the advancement of the city’s much needed substance abuse programme.

“We are starting local drug action clinics. We are giving the MMC [Mpho Phalatse] money so that she can be able to open some of these clinics. In fact‚ one of these clinics will be opened early next week. This is aimed at completely eliminating drug substance abuse in our community.

“We believe that the clinics will bring much needed care to our poorest communities and hope for a better life for those who fall victims of substance abuse. In addition‚ another R1.2-million is allocated to the department of social development for it to acquire equipment needed to run the free drug clinics‚” said Ngobeni.

Ngobeni also allocated funds to deal with some of the most burning housing issues facing the city.

“We are also giving housing R33.7-million for the upgrade of Diepkloof‚ Dube and Meadowlands hostels so that they can be able to assist the funding they are getting from Gauteng human settlement department.

“We are giving them this money so that they can be able to maintain those hostels…Over and above‚ the department of housing will receive a further R11.8-million for the relocation and management of some of these informal settlements.

“I am mentioning housing because we have been having challenges with housing with regards to expediting their programmes. MMC [Mzobanzi] Ntuli is putting measures in place together with the city manager to ensure that we get housing in order‚” said Ngobeni.

Economic development was allocated a further R10-million for the purpose of establishing opportunity centres which will provide much needed training for prospective entrepreneurs and job seekers.

“Over and above this‚ R12-million is set aside to provide for on-the-job artisan training for 340 youths within the city. The youths will be provided with opportunities on the job training through the city’s existing service providers.

They will also be provided with work opportunities through the EPWP‚” he said.

Economic development received R5-million to establish a database for work seekers.

The department of transport budget allocation increased by R76.4-million for the security‚ cleaning of public transport facilities and Rea Vaya bus stations.

“We are asking council to support this adjustment budget‚ particularly to affirm that irrespective of where we sit today‚ we want these things to improve the lives or our residents‚” Ngobeni said.

The council session was forced to end abruptly after it was established that it did not have the required quorum after lunch.

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