North West MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng pledges R33 million to kick-start the refurbishment of provincial capital, Mahikeng
18 Jan 2011
North West Public Works, Roads and Transport today (Tuesday) announced a R33 million injection towards an ambitious project to give its capital Mahikeng a face lift that befits a seat of a provincial government.
The project would also include repairs and maintenance of roads in the suburb of Mmabatho, which houses the majority of government buildings including the provincial legislature.
Announcing the R33 million pledge to the project, MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng, said the move was informed by a call made by the Premier of the province, Mme Thandi Modise.
He said Modise challenged that the provincial government " to do something and assist", to improve the current state of the historical town, which is also the seat of the provincial government.
Mahlakeng said Modise’s call was also a reflection of the views expressed by many other people, suggesting that Mahikeng was gradually deteriorating "apparently because of neglect’’.
“We have managed to source R33 million from various programmes in the department as a noble contribution to help kick-start what is indeed a very good cause,’’ he said.
Mahlakeng said the amount sourced from his department would "not compromise’’ any of his programmes before the end of the financial year in March 2011 and called on other provincial departments to put shoulder to the wheel’’.
"The R33 million in the kitty, is just a drop in an ocean if indeed we really want to give Mahikeng the look and a feel of what a capital city of the province should be,’’ he said.
Mahlakeng said he also planned a meeting with the National Department of Public Works with the view to persuade them to contribute towards the refurbishment of Mahikeng.
“As a custodian of all government buildings in the province, my department will also fast-track the renovation and the proper maintenance of all government office buildings in Mahikeng and Mmabatho,’’ he emphasised.
Mahlakeng said he has also scheduled as a matter of urgency’ meetings withthe Executive Mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema, Ms Pinky Mokoto, and the Mayor of the Mahikeng District Municipality, Mr Desmond Jabanyane.
“The challenge I will put to both, is to persuade them to dig very deep into their coffers to match our R33 million pledge and even go beyond. We all know that this is very possible because together we can do more,’’ he said.
Turning to critical vacancies in his department, Mahlakeng confirmed five new appointments - a chief director and four directors who are expected to start work by 1 March 2011.
Regarding the positions of the Head of Department and Chief Financial Officer, he expressed optimism that those would be filled by end of March 2011.
Mahlakeng said the short listing of candidates was completed and interviews were scheduled to begin after administrative processes were completed.
On the flip side, and as the result of the country’s road network, including North West not spared by the torrential rain this season, more than R180 million was set aside for major repairs and maintenance work.
Mahlakeng confirmed that potholes have multiplied on several roads and overgrown grass along our roads was making visibility “extremely poor for motorists”.
“We have 60 contractors on site doing grass-cutting on specific roads in all four districts of the province. At least six roads per district, will be resealed, patched and marked before the end of the month,’’ he said.
Mahlakeng said the appointment of contractors for road maintenance and repairs would also be completed before the end of the week while in a while, plans are also being finalised for a sod-turning ceremony, to kick-start the construction of a tarred road between Ganyesa and Tlakgameng.
With regards to the Koster-Lichtenburg road, he said, “I am informed that work is progressing reasonably well and I will personally monitor, on a regular basis, the progress the contractor is making until this road project is completed.’’
Meanwhile, Mahlakeng confirmed that he expected to receive a final report - which will be made public - from forensic firm Gobodo Incorporated.
This relates to the investigation he commissioned in September 2010 into the R40 million lease agreement purportedly facilitated on behalf of the Department of Health and a private company.
He said, “central to the matter’’ was the new Head Office Building for the provincial Department of Health which is situatednext to the Crossing Shopping Centre in Mafikeng.
Issued by: North West Public Works, Roads and Transport
18 Jan 2011
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