DICHEONG – We have made a commitment during our inaugural address in 2016 that we will move with speed towards sustainable provisioning of basic services. And we are therefore mindful of the fact that water in our district municipality has for so long been a major challenge.
And all of us can remember that last year, 2018, our province was hit by drought and declared ‘water disaster area’. Coupled with our scientific prove that our ground water source has depleted, we are in real trouble indeed. We are a Water Services Authority (WSA) and Water Services Provider (WSP) in accordance with powers and functions in terms of the Water Services Act, Act 108 of 1997.
And the current status quo is that we are providing full water and sanitation services in the main towns of Burgersfort (12 815 people), Marble Hall (4 025 people), Groblersdal (6 312 people), Steelpoort (3 374 people) and Ohrigstad (1 520 people). These areas have access to other high-level services such as refuse removal and roads.
In the main, majority of our villages in the far flung areas are being provided with ground water as alternative sources and water tankers where necessary. Most of the rural villages in the Flag Boshielo Water Scheme are receiving water services in a much more improved way than other rural areas.
In 2017-2018 financial year, a number of villages have begun benefitting from water provided by a main pipe from De Hoop Dam, namely: Mpelegane, Maepa, Ratau, Maphopha, Rantho, Masha, Malekana and Maseven. This is a notable progress as De Hoop dam’s provision is beginning to reach villages.
The district municipality is currently implementing a massive sanitation programme and providing Ventilated Improved Pit latrines (VIP’s) to various households. In the 2016-2017 to 2017/2018 financial year’s, 22400 VIP Sanitation units were built across the district as part of providing communities with sanitation.
SDM Invested R779 million in infrastructure development in terms of project planning and implementation during 2017/18 financial year.
The Sekhukhune District Municipality has the total population of 1 169 762 people with 194 962 household.
The Sanitation -Ventilated Pit-latrine (VIP) infrastructure backlog was at 155 238 in 2015/16 financial year and reduced by 17 481 in 2016/17 and reduced by further 4919 in 2017/18.
Currently our backlog stands at 132 838. And working together with our communities and all the social partners, we shall overcome.
The Water infrastructure backlog was at 39% in 2015/16 financial year and reduced by 4% in 2016/17 and further reduced by further 5% in 2017/18. The water backlog is currently at 32%.
The water services backlogs fluctuates based on the availability of water and new residential developments are without water provision. The operation and maintenance patterns on the existing water infrastructure also affect the water services backlog remarkably.
One of our flagship projects we have as the district municipality is the – contractor development programme. The main objective of the SDM-CPD is to increase the capacity, equity ownership, sustainability, quality and performance of CIDB registered contractors – effectively raising the contribution of the construction industry to South Africa’s accelerated and shared growth initiative.
This shall be achieved by providing business opportunities and further training to historically disadvantaged (new and existing) contractors registered with CIDB in Grade 1 to 3 in the building industries thus ensuring that they become successful, independent contractors over time.
These contractors will then be expected to employ people from disadvantaged communities thus contributing to the reduction of unemployment and alleviation of poverty through the following factors.
This intervention will make a difference in the fight against unemployment within our district. It will also create entrepreneurs, as well as sustainable employment for the less and semi-skilled unemployed people.
The SDM-CDP will focus more on youth, women and people with disability to participate in the programme. The SDM-CDP will commence in the current financial 2018/19. Fifty two learner contractors will be provided with both construction and financial management skills and technical knowledge in project management.
These projects will not happen if we do not confront and deal with the culture of community and business forums that hijack and disrupt projects in our communities in the name of empowerment. In some cases people who stop service delivery projects do so without the mandate of the community.
We call upon community members to reclaim their wards and villages and fully participate in developmental projects. Where there are genuine issues, let us raise them through proper channels including making use of my office rather than disrupting projects, as such negatively affecting service delivery. Let us work together and grow South Africa.