LIMPOPO Premier Cassel Mathale and Minister of Public Works Geoff Doidge yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of phase two of the Extended Public Works Programme.
The memorandum was signed at the Mowaneng House of the premier's office in Polokwane.
The second phase of the EPWP will be launched soon after the tabling of the budget by the national Parliament.
Once the budget is available more than 26000 people will get jobs through the programme in the province.
About 3649 jobs will be created by the province while local municipalities in the five districts of the province are poised to create 23497 jobs for local people.
Speaking during a media briefing, Doidge said phase 2 of the EPWP would look at addressing issues around unemployment, job losses, poverty and skills development.
He said people in the rural areas, which were hardest hit by poverty and unemployment, would benefit the most from the second phase of the programme.
Doidge said women, youths and disabled people were likely to be given preference depending on their skills.
He said the programme would help create jobs, provide clean water and electricity among other things.
He said a total of R4,1billion had been budgeted for the entire project as an incentive to accelerate labour-intensive methodology in infrastructural delivery.
He said the programme aimed at creating 4, 5million jobs country-wide over five years. Doidge also said the government would create 1,6million job opportunities with one year still to go.
In response, Mathale said he was confident that the 28percent unemployment rate in the province would be addressed as soon as Parliament released the budget to start the programme.
Mathale said the province, which is mostly rural and one of the poorest in the country, would work closely with local municipalities in the five districts of the province to achieve the objective of creating jobs and eradicating poverty.
The EPWP is a government initiative launched in 2004 under the then President Thabo Mbeki with the primary aim of fighting poverty and unemployment.