Address by Honourable Ghishma Barry, MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison at the opening of Madwaleni Mission Hospital access road
8 Oct 2009
Executive mayor and councillors of Amathole district municipality
Mayor and councillors of Mbhashe municipality
Ladies and gentlemen
It is indeed a great honour for me to finally officiate the opening of the Madwaleni Mission Hospital access road in this important month in the government calendar. During the month of October, government led by the Department of Transport highlights:
* The achievements of the transport sector
* The progress made in infrastructure development based service delivery that enhances economic growth and social development.
The campaign brings the spotlight projects to exhibit the government’s commitment to poverty eradication, skills development, infrastructure development and economic development. This year’s campaign will focus on dealing with promoting partnerships in development especially rural development and showcasing our state of readiness for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Today we are here to open this road, which cost us R90 million, which was the first phase of the upgrading of approximately 33 kilometres stretch between Elliotdale and the Madwaleni Mission Hospital. The existing gravel road from Elliotdale through to the Madwaleni Mission Hospital was in an extremely poor condition with the loss of much of the wearing course, a situation which was aggravated during the wet season when sections of the road became impassable.
In this province, we have a painful experience of losing critical skilled people, who leave our clinics, hospitals, schools and other crucial government service delivery points due to poor infrastructure that leads to those areas.
We have experienced a painful situation when our people lost their lives and women losing their unborn babies, while trying to reach rural hospitals due to the poor state of the roads.
Through the integration of our inaccessible and impassable roads programme into the Alternative Surfacing Technologies and Hospital Roads programme, we have been able to successfully complete the first phase of the Madwaleni Hospital Road in May 2009.
The Hospital Roads programme is one of the key sub-programmes in our infrastructure master plan that is informed by the provincial growth and development plan and is implemented according to the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) principles. This programme focuses on improving the quality of roads leading to hospitals and priority is given to hospitals with more than 200 beds that do not have all weather roads and bad roads without any bridges.
All the identified hospital roads that are or will be upgraded are in the former Transkei region and this programme has already yielded results and certain projects have been completed, including:
* flagstaff to Holy Cross hospital: R142 million
* Bambisani Hospital Road: R33 million
* Sulenkama Hospital Road: R240 million.
The Madwaleni Hospital Road has already created 136 job opportunities. We believe that when we start the second phase more jobs will be created, because it is a high volume road and is currently being designed. As we speak, work is taking place on the Zithulele Hospital Road, which costs R233 million and is expected to create 3 630 jobs. The Greenville Hospital Road, which is costing R102 million will be completed in November 2009 and has already created 198 jobs.
The R1,3 billion Wild Coast Meander, which stretches from Kei Mouth near East London to Port St Johns via this area will present more opportunities for local people, when construction commences next year from Zithulele to Coffee Bay and from Coffee Bay to Hole in the Wall and Isilimela hospital to Mphamba. The project is being designed to unlock the tourism potential of the scenic coastline of the Eastern Cape.
The main purpose of the road is to facilitate tourism and agriculture, while simultaneously creating massive employment opportunities in the area and create opportunities for entrepreneurs to invest in sustainable ventures along our beautiful coastline. The building of this road over six years will be done through labour intensive methods and alternative surfacing technologies. It will create an estimated 4 000 direct job opportunities but over and above this it will create opportunities for sustainable development along the Wild Coast/N2 corridor.
More hospital roads have been prioritised by the department for upgrading, which include:
* The road from the N2 to Siphethu hospital in Ntabankulu, designs have been completed and will be followed by a road from the hospital to the town of Ntabankulu.
* The road to the Canzibe hospital, designs has been completed and the actual construction will commence later this financial year.
We are still looking for funding in order to respond to the request from the community of Mnquma municipality for the upgrading of the 70 kilometre road from the N2 in Butterworth via the Thafalofefe hospital to Mazzepa Bay due to the increasing number of patients, who died while being transported on the route and to enhance the tourism potential of the area.
While we struggle to get funding for some of our roads, the department’s Amathole district office will continue to keep those roads in an acceptable standard as they all meet the requirements for prioritisation in our hospital roads programme.
In conclusion, on behalf of the Department of Transport in this province, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the traditional leaders, councillors and all role players who prepared for this successful event.
I believe that working together we can do more to salvage our people from poverty and underdevelopment.
I thank you.
Tell: 043 604 7584
Issued by: Department of Transport, Eastern Cape Provincial Government
8 October 2009
Issued by: Eastern Cape Provincial Government
8 Oct 2009
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