Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Minister: P A Municipality is Healthy

- Linda Jaquet -

During a visit to Prince Albert on 13 March, the Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Pierre Uys, said that he was satisfied with the Municipality’s achievements to date and with its implementation of major projects. He felt that the appointment of the new Municipal Manager could only strengthen the already healthy situation he found during his visit. At the same time, he praised the efforts of Dawid Rossouw, who has acted as Municipal Manager since March 2008.

Minister Uys’ visit drew attention to the Provincial Government’s commitment to upgrading and building infrastructure in the Central Karoo this year. The Province has allocated R13.3 million to infrastructure projects, such as building and upgrading of roads, storm water drains, pipe lines, waste water works and bulk water provision, in the region. Funding will be channelled through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).

The MEC inspected the upgrading of Prince Albert’s waste water treatment works, where the oxidation dams need relining. The project of R4.7 million is being undertaken after the old dam walls started cracking and water seeped into a nearby river. The upgrading and lining of the dams will prevent future percolation into the underground water.

Minister Uys pointed out that the Province’s financial support of projects like the upgrading of the dams not only primarily benefited poor households, but had many positive spin-offs. “It stimulates economic growth, job creation and ultimately, improves service delivery and contributes to a better quality of life for all our people,” Uys said. “For example, the Municipality’s upgrading of the dams directly benefits the lives of 5 221 people and 1 199 households.”

According to Dawid Rossouw, Minister Uys had noted that Prince Albert was one of only seven municipalities in the Province to have its Anti-Corruption Policy in place. Uys had also referred to water crises throughout the Western Cape and instructed the Council to move quickly to free up invested funds so as to relieve Klaarstroom’s water problem and construct a water pipeline from the Swartberg to Prince Albert.

While in Prince Albert, Minister Uys attended the official opening of the Sydwell Williams Sentrum by the Executive Mayor, Magdalena Benjamin.

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