Xhariep road infrastructure receive multi-million facelift

The executive mayor of Xhariep District Municipality, Mongi Ntwanambi, has appealed to the Free State provincial government to hand over the powers to raise revenue from local income generating assets back to the poverty-stricken district municipality to enable it to improve service delivery to its residents.

Speaking at the Rural Roads Assets Management Systems (PRAMS) launch held in Trompsburg on Friday, Ntwanambi said the leadership of the district municipality has sent its request to the national government.

“It is a lie that Xhariep is a poor district, we are not poor but have been made poor. Xhariep has gold, diamonds, water resources as well as electricity but the province has taken over the management of these resources. Our appeal is that revenue from the mineral resources should benefit the poor people of Xhariep who are unemployed and destitute,” said Mtwanambi.

Ntwanambi said during the apartheid era, Xhariep used to fall under Bloemdustria and thrived economically but had recently lost control of the management of its revenue generating resources to the provincial government.

“We could generate revenue from water and electricity and we had our own licenses to produce and supply those resources. If we get back the powers, we could use these resources to benefit the communities of Xhariep.”

He said the decision by the national department of transport to donate R1.2-million through the company Royal Haskoning DHV to improve the district’s road network was a welcome relief to the unemployed residents of the area.

According to Ntwanambi, the poor state of roads in the district is currently hampering economic growth and the district municipality’s ability to escalate service delivery.

Ntwanambi said the grant from the national department of transport will be used to tar local roads which connect communities and townships. Roads leading to private farms and national roads will be excluded from the project.

Royal Haskonings DHV’s project facilitator, Winas Vuyeka, said the three-year project is going to change the face of various towns and townships in the district.

According to Vuyeka, the company has already earmarked manholes, bridges, channels that are going to be rebuilt in the near future.

“This is the first province and district municipality the grant fund will be allocated to and we expect the grant to benefit 28 district municipalities in the 2014/2015 financial year,” said Vuyeka.

The company has already appointed three civil engineers, who are employed permanently on the project, and will soon be employing more graduates to be given practical experience in the various projects.

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