Public Works and Infrastructure Deputy Minister, Bernice Swarts, has interacted with the community of Leeudoringstad in the North West.
The Deputy Minister, in her capacity a champion of the Presidential District Development Model (DDM), visited Leeudoringstad on Friday, where the community voiced a plethora of issues affecting their daily lives.
Swarts explained that government, through the DDM, has planned a range of interventions to address challenges in the community.
“We are looking at packaging a plethora of interventions to address the issues that you have raised. On the issue of unemployment in the area, we are looking at a range of measures such as training young people on firefighting, so that they can assist the area during fire season.
“When we talk about creating work for our people, especially our youth and women, we must look at implementing projects that can create employment at a mass scale. We will also look at engaging the private sector to assist with the creation of work for our people,” Swarts said.
She pointed out that to create more work opportunities for the residents of Leeudoringstad, the DDM team would also look at implementing the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
The Deputy Minister said they have a long-term programme to create jobs in the area, which includes a plan to resuscitate the fresh produce market, as well as bringing back trains in the area.
“These initiatives can create jobs in the long term,” she said.
On the issue of collapsing road infrastructure, Swarts said government, through the DDM, will revisit the model used to construct roads.
“We must construct roads that will remain strong and stable for a long time. We are also looking at rolling out paved roads for a longer life span. These kind of roads will also assist with the creation of work opportunities for residents,” the Deputy Minister said.
Swarts appealed to residents to look after the public infrastructure that was being implemented by the government.
“We have to work with you in ensuring that we bring development in the area. You, as residents, have a duty to protect the assets that are being implemented by your government,” she said.
Turning to the issue of overcrowded schools, Swarts said the DDM team will engage schools in the area to understand what can be done to deal with overcrowding, and the possible construction of a “smart school” in the area.
“You have raised concerns that you have three primary schools and one secondary school. We will have to attend to this as the DDM Team.
“We will work with you all the way to ensure that we attend to this matter. If need be, we must look at the possibility of building a smart school in the area,” Swarts said.
Swarts commended the young people who volunteer in projects aimed at tackling the cleanliness of the municipality.
“The greening programmes that you spoke about respond to the issue of climate change. The work you are doing in this area shows that together, we can respond to climate change,” she said.
She praised both the Executive Mayor of Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, Nikiwe Num, and the Executive Mayor of Maquassi Hills Local Municipality, Mzwandile Feliti, for driving the development of the community of Leeudoringstad.
During the event, the political principals participated in service delivery activities, such as pothole patching and litter picking.
One of the residents, Voster Makola, thanked Swarts for visiting the area.
Swarts’s visit to the area is a precursor to the Presidential Imbizo that will be held in the North West this month.
Source: South African Government News Agency