Enoch Mgijima Municipality has set aside a budget of R53 million which will be used to continue for projects that were stalled. The funds are from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant and were sourced for the purpose of hastening service delivery around Enoch Mgijima.
Led by the Executive Mayor Luleka Gubula, EMLM Mayoral Committee paid visits to areas with uncompleted projects to view the amount of work still outststanding and interact with members of the community as well as contractors at the sites where operations are ongoing or set to resume.
Uncompleted projects include the Qwabi bridge, Bacclesfarm bridge, Whittlesea Community Hall, Lesseyton Sports ground and Mcbride Sports ground. These projects were stalled in the 2018/19 financial year when Treasury withheld funds for Enoch Mgijima. During the period, the Municipality did not receive and grants from provincial and national government, leading to contractor’s abandoning sites while some only stalled the work and stymied operations.
Addressing residents and the contractor in Qwabi, the Executive Mayor said “As the Mayoral Committee we saw it prudent to visit these sites and not depend on what’s on the reports written by officials. We understand the frustration of community members and we are doing all we can to ensure that these projects are completed. Funds have now been made available and we will not waste anytime. We will give all necessary support to the administration so that procurement processes are done in the quickest possible time, with adherence to Supply Management Policies”.
Qwabi community member Mr Xolani Makina who is also a bus driver also lamented slow progress on the construction of the bridge. “I’m a bus driver and this is not convenient for me because I have to park the bus in another house and cross the bridge on foot to get to my home. We are glad that the contractor is on site and working, but but their pace is not inspiring. We need stricter monitoring by the Project Steering Commitee and the Municipality”.
Ward 20 Councillor Ayanda Tiwana said “it is true that this project has caused devastation in the area. When it rains, the makeshift bypass becomes dangerous and community members have been helping to maintain it”.
The R35 million state of the art Whittlesea Community Hall has been vandalised by community members and has regressed and is now in a worse state than what it was before the project stalled. It will also receive funds and security will be beefed up to protect it from further damage.