SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

South Africa: Free State Premier Outlines Successes in Healthcare

A total of 193 869 patients are on Anti-retroviral Treatment in the Free State, says Premier Ace Magashule.

"Over the past 5 years, we have expanded our antiretroviral treatment programme and currently 193 869 patients receive antiretroviral treatment. This is an increase from the 53 152 in 2009," he said on Friday.

Delivering the State of the Province Address, Premier Magashule said that 736 medical practitioners, 111 medical specialists and 2035 nurses have been added over the past five years.

Additionally a total 3 151 947 people were tested for HIV since the launch of the Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV in 2000 and the National HIV Counselling Testing (HCT) Programme in 2010.

Job creation initiatives

On job creation initiatives, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) continued to be a vehicle for creating jobs in the province.

"We have created 233 359 work opportunities over the past five years through programmes such as the Township Revitalisation Programme, Community Work Programmes, National Youth Service Programme, Cemetery Maintenance Programme and Food for Waste Programme and the Door-Knocker programme," said the Premier.

Land reform

Since the inception of the land reform programme in 1994, the province has made progress in the redistribution of land to citizens.

"To date, more than 370 000 ha of land has been transferred. From the 370 000 ha of land transferred, a total of 834 farms were acquired over the 19 year period. Within the same period, over 7900 beneficiaries benefited from the redistribution programme.

A total number of 3081 land claims were lodged in the Free State. A total number of 3066 of these claims have been settled, whilst six claims are currently outstanding and nine claims are subject to further judicial processes," explained the Premier.

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