The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), honourable Des van Rooyen will visit the communities of Mbashe municipality in the Eastern Cape on 15 August 2017 to assess progress of a R10-million Mpame bridge project.
Various villages in the municipality are forced to use dangerous makeshift means to cross the local river to access different community services such as schools, hospitals, clinics, churches and other public amenities.
Following the intervention of CoGTA, the dreaded rainy season inconveniences will soon become a thing of the past as the new bridge is set to bring relief to villagers of Kwa Chezi; Manzibomvu; Mdikana; Mpame; Mncwasawane; Ngileni; Mkhathazo and Manzamnyama who will now enjoy safe crossing to interact with one another and access important government services.
South African municipalities are faced with serious service delivery infrastructure backlog which has led to the establishment of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) under the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as a special purpose vehicle to accelerate the delivery and maintenance of infrastructure in municipalities.
Since its establishment, the Agency has implemented various projects as requested by various municipalities - the construction of Mpame bridge is one of its latest project to improve municipal service delivery infrastructure.
The communities of Mbashe villages share somber stories of various humiliations they have to endure when crossing the local river where in some instances they would need to take off their clothes so to continue with their journey on the other side of the river.
Minister van Rooyen said CoGTA was excited about the new investment and that MISA is at advanced stages of completing the new bridge which will benefit communities in line with the country's constitution that guarantees a safe and healthy environment for all.
He said: Ours is a caring government that will stop at nothing to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of our people wherever they are, hence we have decided to restore the dignity of Mbashe communities by relieving them from this hardship and thus giving hope.rdquo;
Source: Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.