Millions intended to be spent on the health needs of Eastern Cape residents have gone missing from d.
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has rejected reports that he failed to meet the target of creating 500000 jobs during the last six months of 2009.
Zuma said his government had achieved 97percent of its target by creating 480000 public works job opportunities by the end of last year.
"The jobs are in areas like construction, home and community-based care and environmental projects."
Delivering his second State of the Nation address in Parliament yesterday, the president said the jobs created by the government's Expanded Public Works Programme were not full-time in the mainstream economy but job opportunities designed to ease unemployment and create incomes for the unemployed.
"These are job opportunities created to provide unemployed people with income, work experience and training opportunities."
The introduction of community workers over the past six months also created more than 300000 jobs for unemployed youth.
Zuma said with each community entitled to get at least two community workers who work twice a week, the government was confident that more work opportunities for the youth would be created over the next four years .
The Expanded Public Works Programme is expected to have created more than four million jobs by then. Zuma said government would create more jobs by creating more labour intensive projects for mass employment opportunities.
This week Statistics SA's latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey said the economy shed 870000 jobs last year and increased the unemployment rate from 21,9percent in 2008 to 24,3percent.
But the report also indicated that the economy had the potential to create more jobs in 2010 as it recovers from the global financial crisis.