Billions Needed For Collapsed Transkei Infrastructure

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has learnt that the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) municipality in the Eastern Cape needs more than R3.8 billion to implement various projects as part of the reconstruction of the Mthatha area.

This is despite the municipality having been granted a R5 billion windfall in August last year from the Office of President Jacob Zuma. The money was to be used to rescue the city from its failure to deliver services and to replace decaying infrastructure.

This after Cabinet issued a memorandum declaring the Mthatha area as a presidential node, or an area that seeks presidential intervention to speed up service delivery.

In a report handed to Motlanthe by Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet at the weekend, KSD officials argued that to ensure the success of the intervention; the Medium Term Expenditure Framework should make provisions for R3.891 billion to assist the municipality meet its infrastructure targets.

The KSD municipality is the economic hub of the former Transkei region and other municipalities in the region receive some or most of their services from this centre. This makes KSD central to the service delivery and economic development of the region.

The report says the municipality has designed a development plan that spans a 20 year horizon. The plan identifies 280 projects for implementation in various areas where backlogs had been a challenge.

"The KSD municipality has embarked upon a path of sustainable development to address backlogs and service delivery problems that are being experienced by the municipality," Kiviet said quoting from the report.

The report stated that the municipality does not have the financial resources to replace, upgrade or add new infrastructure to address the challenges that it faces due to historical poor resourcing and uneven development in the region as a whole.

"It is against this background that the municipality requested the national and provincial government to assist in order address the identified backlogs".

However, the report does indicate that projects costing more than R941 million were underway in the current financial year. These are mainly funded by several public sector institutions and range from transport infrastructure, agriculture and rural development and human settlements.

Motlanthe, who was in the area to assess progress made on various government anti-poverty projects, is expected to hand over the report to President Jacob Zuma for consideration. - BuaNews