The R4m revamped Wodehouse Street and Bells Road which was set to be completed in three months was officially opened last week.
Chris Hani District Municipality mayor Wongama Gela said the opening followed the approval by council to implement innovative projects in the district to improve services and support local municipalities. The upgrading of Wodehouse Street and Bells Road, which was one of the proposed projects out of many in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM), was converted from an asphalt surface to a paved brick road. It is a project which Gela indicated was cheaper to maintain. He said the R4m budget went towards machinery, equipment and providing a stipend to 27 expanded public works programme workers who were employed for the project and who will receive certificates for the skill they have acquired.
“Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality has various projects currently implemented to revamp the economic hub of the district. The N6 has some works lined up which includes the replacement of damaged traffic lights, installation of solar street lights, fencing and cleaning of public gardens and the last phase involves the installation of two digital screens in strategic areas to facilitate sharing of information. A lot of work has been undertaken to resuscitate and beautify the Hexagon to remain the pride of Komani. The projects include the district municipality purchasing additional TLBs, jetting machines, ICT infrastructure, repair and maintenance of water schemes, small, medium and micro enterprise support programmes and youth development programmes, among others,” said Gela.
He said the projects were aimed at enhancing economic development and improving service delivery in the district and the municipality was pleased to have completed the project in the allocated time frame. “Investing in public property also requires that there should be a commitment towards maintaining all of them. We hope EMLM will ensure that this project will be maintained. All of these are implemented for the benefit of the community and various stakeholders. We call on the public to jealously guard and protect these properties against destruction and to report vandalistic activities. Destruction to public property and existing infrastructure is a setback that is anti-developmental.”
On behalf of the business fraternity, Border-Kei Chamber of Business administrator Adre Bartis said they were appreciative of the initiative and hoped the project would expand to other areas. “Our vehicles do not have to go through the pothole-ridden road that was there previously. We also appreciate that this is a low-maintenance road that created jobs and enhanced the skills of youth in the area. I hope Enoch Mgijima will roll it out to as many roads as possible. We enjoy seeing partnerships within municipalities and hope this will be a sustainable long-term partnership. We look forward to seeing it going up to Victoria Park and hope this is in the plans and is a seed that has been planted,” she said.
EMLM community services portfolio head Zukiswa Ralane who spoke on behalf of mayor Luleka Gubula acknowledged the upgrading and the continued support by the district municipality.