Good day everybody
This week I close my term as Executive Mayor for Witzenberg Municipality and I want to express my gratitude and thanks to my colleagues in Council; the Mayoral Committee consisting of Executive Deputy Mayor Karriem Adams, Cllr Hennie Smit, Cllr John Fredericks, Cllr Stefan Louw, Cllr Ronald Visagie, The Speaker Theodore Godden and his esteemed Office as well as the Councillors who faithfully performed their duties and offered their support during this 5 year term. Your efforts have been tremendous towards the development and improvement of the Witzenberg region. Your commitment to the Municipality has been exemplary and I am truly gratified that even though we represent different parties, we have been able to work amicably together and treat each other with deference and respect at all times. Our resources have always been under strain, but I am in awe of how much we as a team have achieved to protect the poor, improve service delivery, alleviate poverty, develop municipal infrastructure and market our brand.
I also want to thank our local residents and businesses for their commitment and encouragement during this period. Your feedback and involvement with Council has been invaluable and has enabled us to be more robust in our decision-making, to place the needs of the public first and to execute our mandates professionally and objectively. Our residents have held us as Council accountable, keeping us focussed on our goals and bringing them to fruition. You are our motivation to do more, to do better and to go further!
The Municipal Elections will take place on 03 August 2016 from 07h00 until 19h00 and I want to urge our community to participate in this process. Your vote is your democratic right and it will go a long way towards electing the officials that you choose to represent your interests as a citizen of Witzenberg. I encourage the public to choose wisely at the voting stations and report all attempts to coerce your decision to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Your vote is secret and the IEC is tasked to ensure that these elections are free and fair for everyone.
I am thankful to have been entrusted with the privilege to act as the Executive Mayor of Witzenberg Municipality and I want to wish the next appointed Council, well with their term and continued success and investment for our residents and stakeholders.
Below are some of the highlights which Council has achieved during our term in Office:
Subsidised housing projects and related infrastructure upgrades
In Prince Alfred’s Hamlet, we were able to provide 210 serviced sites (Phase 5 and 6) at a cost of R9, 5 million, with supporting infrastructure costs for this project amounted to R1,6 million and the erection of street lights are currently in progress at a cost of R317 000.
In Op-Die-Berg, we were able to provide 250 serviced sites with top structures at a cost of R 27,5 million with supporting electrification infrastructure and connection costs for this project amounting to R500 000 and the erection of street lights are currently in progress at a cost of R400 000. We were also able to complete a low cost housing project in Op-die-Berg in April 2014, accommodating 251 new houses. The total cost of this project is R25 million funded by the Department of Human Settlements.
In Pine Valley, Wolseley, we were able to provide 160 serviced sites at a cost of R7,5 million, with supporting electrification infrastructure and connection costs for this project amounting to R1,1 million, the erection of street lights at R200 000 and the upgrading of the bulk water systems to this region cost R4.2 million.
In Bella Vista, Ceres, we were able to provide 250 serviced sites at a cost of R11,7 million and will be commencing with the top structure construction during the 2016/2017 financial year. The expenditure for the bulk sewerage upgrading for this project amounted to a cost of R13 million. The expenditure for bulk water upgrading for this project amounted to a cost of R12 million and this will be completed during the 2016/2017 financial year. The bulk storm water upgrade cost R5 million and the electrical infrastructure cost is R4,5 million.
In Vredebes, Ceres, we were able to provide 600 serviced sites at a cost of R28,2 million and will be commencing with the top structure construction during the 2016/2017 financial year. The expenditure for the bulk sewerage upgrading for this project amounted to a cost of R17 million. The expenditure for bulk water upgrading for this project amounted to a cost of R25 million and this will be completed during the 2016/2017 financial year.
In Tulbagh, we were able to initiate a low cost housing project accommodating 427 erven, consisting of 49 serviced sites and 378 top structures. To date, we have been able to complete the handover of 263 erven. The Municipality is currently conducting negotiations with private landowners for purchasing land to complete the project.
Bulk Water Infrastructure Development
During 2010 until 2014, the municipality progressively addressed long term challenges experienced with bulk water infrastructure through an integrated project at a cost of R69 605 000. The funders of this project were the Department of Water Affairs (regional bulk infrastructure grant) with a contribution of R58 million, Witzenberg Municipality with a contribution of R6,3 million and the Tulbagh Water User Association with a contribution of R5,2 million.
The project addressed the following upgrades:
Prince Alfred’s Hamlet
The construction of a storage dam in Tulbagh was initially included in the above planning, but could not be implemented due to increased construction costs. An amount of R 28 000 000 was approved for the construction of the dam for the period spanning from 2016 to 2018.
Rural Economic Development
Witzenberg has been identified as a critical rural development site due to its three poverty pockets located within Bella Vista, N’Duli and Prince Alfred’s Hamlet. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform included these areas into their War on Poverty Programme and invested R22 million in infrastructure projects for these areas since 2011:
Prince Alfred’s Hamlet
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has also invested in the upgrading of infrastructure at a cost of R20m through the Rural Infrastructure Development Programme:
Prince Alfred’s Hamlet
Infrastructure upgrades for the prospective AgriPark development for Witzenberg is underway, in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform:
Upgrading of the Main Infrastructure and Bulk Facilities
The upgrading, expansion and maintenance of our bulk infrastructure has a direct impact upon services and thus we concentrated heavily upon this area, to ensure continuity as well as improvement to our service delivery standards. The following projects were addressed during the 5 year term:
Development of community facilities
As part of our youth development initiatives, Witzenberg Municipality has invested into safe, clean and maintained recreational spaces aimed for our communities to enjoy:
Procurement of fleet
A key area of service delivery is ensuring that there are adequate fleet resources to not only address community needs, but also to improve service standards and turn-around time. Witzenberg Municipality has procured the following vehicle infrastructure (major vehicles) to meet this demand: