Beneficiaries of the Sol Plaatje Pothole Repair Project from Floors and Colville were on Wednesday equipped with implements to start work in their respective areas.
BENEFICIARIES of the Sol Plaatje Pothole Repair Project from Floors and Colville were on Wednesday equipped with implements to start work in their respective areas.
The handover was made to 40 beneficiaries, who were selected from among the community to roll out the project as part of the EPWP programme, by the Department of Roads and Public Works, through the Sol Plaatje Municipality and the Office of the Premier.
The project materialised after members of the community approached the Premier’s Office about patching and repairing potholes on the “terrible” roads in their suburbs.
The request was apparently for the premier to sponsor 20 people who would work on the project under the supervision of technicians.
The 40 beneficiaries are set to get to work on Thursday and the focus areas are Vera, St James, St Luke, St Johns, St Pauls, Alpha, Delta and Agatha streets in Colville. Recreation, Pine and Community roads in Floors will also be repaired.
The MEC for Roads and Public Works, Fufe Makatong, said during the handover on Wednesday that the project was initiated by the executives of the Colville Community Trust, who approached the Office of the Premier.
Makatong said it was realised that the number of people to work on the project was too little to cover all the identified streets and a request was put in for an extra 20 workers.
The MEC said that the 40 workers received personal protective equipment (PPE) and would also receive a stipend.
According to Makatong, engagements were already under way with her department on how best it could support municipalities, since August 2020, before the premier announced the R500 million intervention strategy.
“There have been engagements even before the trust approached the Premier’s Office,” she said.
“We then asked the trust to bring in their own teams, as a way of empowering people, even if it was on a temporary basis.
“Although it is not our responsibility to maintain or work on internal roads, we do have a programme that allows us to partner with municipalities.
“What you see happening in the Sol Plaatje Municipality is not our budget as the department but that of the provincial government. We are just implementers as it is our responsibility for infrastructure and its development.
“Thus, we saw it fit to bring the community on board through our EPWP programme.”
Makatong added that a local funder offered to sponsor 10 bags of asphalt.
She urged the workers to use the skills they would learn on the project to empower themselves and explore other employment avenues in the future.
“We expect the project to be finished within a month and urge you to commit to it to prevent any delays. We must be dedicated and committed, taking into consideration the change that it will bring to the community,” the MEC said.
“Wear that uniform with pride, because everybody who wears that uniform, they sweat, and it pays.”