Water and sanitation infrastructure as a vehicle for local economic development : a case study of the Hilton-Mondi Development Project.
The purpose of the research study is to evaluate how the construction of water and sanitation infrastructure at uMngeni Local Municipality acts as a vehicle for job creation and skills development using Hilton-Mondi Development Project as a case study. The study begins by looking at the literature review of different types of infrastructure development and their relationship to economic development. There is a particular attention to water and sanitation infrastructure and its impacts on job creation and skills development. There are gaps identified in terms of the impact the Hilton-Mondi Development Project will have on job creation and skills development that could be investigated in the near future. Qualitative research was used to collect primary data and the approach was influenced by factors such as the nature of the problem, data collection methods, data collection tool, analysis and so forth. Nine interviews were conducted with important role players on the project and information collected was analysed using thematic analysis. A multiple data collection method is identified as an approach that could be utilised in a follow up research. Hilton-Mondi Development Project proposed to create 34 500 construction jobs over 10 to 15 years and 9000 permanent jobs. The analysis reveals that water infrastructure development at uMngeni Local Municipality contributed towards job creation and skills development. However it was not possible to assess the magnitude of job creation in relation to the proposal because there was no breakdown in the proposal and secondly the study was undertaken during the first year of its implementation. The study recommends that target setting for short term, medium term and long term goals is critical for the realization of EPWP projects and that targets must be monitored on a continuous basis. For skills development to be achieved, they must be documented in the contract, be monitored and skills development should be accompanied by budget allocation.The conclusion is that water and sanitation infrastructure development is a catalyst that can be used to create job opportunities and to enhance skills development. However there are contractual issues that need to be structured accordingly to maximise the opportunities provided such as the contract between the employer and the contractor, the time at which training commences, adherence to Expanded Public Works Programme guidelines and the proper monitoring and evaluation of the project objectives.
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