Address by North West MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng, during the official opening of Moretele office park, Makapanstad
1 Mar 2010
Programme director, Mme Motlapele Ntshabele
Honourable Premier, Mme Maureen Modiselle
All Members of the Executive Council (MECs) present here today
Executive Mayor of Bojanala district, Counicllor Raymond Motsepe
The Mayor of Moretele, Steve Kutumela
Kgosi ya Morafe, Kgosi Makapane
Ladies and gentlemen
Special greetings to all of you on this very special day
It is indeed a very special day for my department and the provincial government under the stewardship of Honourable Premier, Maureen Modiselle. Programme director, as leaders in government we are under constant pressure from those who put us in positions of leadership to deliver on our respective mandates. Not only to deliver, but to deliver quality on time so that we keep up the momentum.
The momentum of bringing closer and closer the much needed services to our communities and improve access to those services. For me what is even more special about today’s event is that we are in the heart land of one of our rural districts in the province. We are here to hand over to rural communities of more than 10 villages a one-stop centre from which they can access services rendered almost all government departments in the province.
I am referring to rural communities of Makapanstad, Tladistad, Mathibestad, Potswane, Lebotlwane, Mmatlhoele, Dikebu, Kgomo-Kgomo, Priska, Bolla-Ntlokwe and several others with a radius of about 100 kilometres. In our quest to bring services to your door steps, you can now walk into this office complex and request the same services you would get at head office in Mafikeng. This office park which is with a walking distance from some of the rural households just across the main road will save more than half the communities the expenses of having to travel to Temba to access government services.
Programme director, this facility used to be a college of education for teachers during the era of Bophuthatswana administration. It became a white elephant and was vandalised in the process. For me, it does not matter when and during whose era this facility was built. The overriding fact is; it was South African tax payers’ money that was used to build this structure and cannot therefore be allowed to decay when it can be utilised optimally.
Indeed we had plans to save this structure from total collapse and neglect and during the years of 2006 and 2007, it gave us good reasons as the department to live up to this challenge.
Honourable Premier, distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen; after the demarcations of the new municipal boundaries were finalised in 2007, with some of our former areas like Temba, Ga Rankuwa and Mabopane included into Gauteng we had other challenges of own. A large number of our staff members all departments who could not be absorbed in the staff complement that was transferred to Gauteng province had to squad for office space in Temba, which is Gauteng province.
That inconvenience to our staff also manifested in an inconvenience for hundreds of thousands our rural communities in the villages I mentioned earlier. That situation could not be allowed to continue forever. It was at that point that my department intervened in 2008.
We decided to covert Moretele College of Education in a government office complex address our staff needs and bring services to almost a walking distance for many of our rural communities in this region. That also translates into a visible rural development initiative. We put aside R60 million to give this facility a face lift from March 2008.
It is now habitable and ready to become a one-stop complex. Already the Department of Education has occupied their space. I also want my entire department of Public Works, Roads and Transport to in this district to move with speed, settle in quickly and render services to communities around here efficiently and effectively.
Programme director, before the end of this month and situations permitting, the following departments will also occupy their office space in the Moretele office park. They are the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Rural Development; Sport, Arts and Culture; Public Safety; Home Affairs; Fire Department of Moretele local municipality and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
Programme director; I have no doubt that the revitalisation of this complex will also general a lot of economic activity in this area, something which I personally will encourage. With a lot of government personnel based here and communities coming to this office park, the immediate beneficiaries will be our local taxi operators.
I drove past a taxi rank as I came here. It is far from these offices and operators must begin to think about how best to ferry people to and from this office park without having to walk a long dice to that taxi rank. I would propose that when all is in place that we seriously consider the main gate as one of the pick-up points and drop zones especially during peak hours without inflating taxi fares unreasonably.
I see an opportunity for food stalls where people from communities can sell food and refreshments because there is no canteen or shop on site. This kind of economic activity, will in the very short space of time improve the lives of many who I’m certain will applaud government and indeed my department for having seen it fit to transform what was virtually falling apart into bee hive of activity to speed up service delivery and improve the lives of many.
Honourable premier; in total, 190 Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and National Youth Service (NYS) beneficiaries were employed for a period of three and 12 month. 100 of (EPWP) beneficiaries cleaned this complex, 30 were trained in landscaping and 60 NYS participated in the renovation. 34 of the 60 have enrolled in a leaner ship programme as part of an exit strategy on further education and training.
My department as coordinator of EPWP is the province will ensure that every project we do, the labour intensive methods form part of the all contracts. This we do to answer a call to create job opportunities and sustainable livelihoods for our people, especially in rural communities like the ones you see around here. We will ensure that more and more EPWP beneficiaries are in the system especially for households when we roll out phase two of the EPWP programme.
To the mayor, councillors and the traditional leadership in this area; I want to thank you for your patience for having waited a little bit longer than we expected but we are finally here. Become our eyes and ears about the level and quality of service delivery from Moretele office park. We will monitor the performance in our own way but as clients on the ground you have a voice. Speak and we will act.
In conclusion programme director, tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be in Ledig village near Sun City to hand over a hospital to the department of Health and Social Development. The hospital is called Moses Kotane. We have completed it at tune of R198.5 million.
I thank you
Tel: 018 387 2447
Cell: 082 305 4594
Issued by: Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, North West Provincial Government
1 March 2010
Source: Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, North West Provincial Government (http://www.nwpg.gov.za/public%20works/Main.asp)
Issued by: North West Public Works, Roads and Transport
1 Mar 2010
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