Hon MEC, Babalo Madikizela, had an engagement session with Contractors from Ndlambe Local Municipality at the Dutch Reformed Church about Infrastructure projects that are being implemented by the department within the Municipality.
The Hon MEC first visited Bhongweni School to check on renovations that are currently in progress at the school on behalf of the Department of Education. Bhongweni has 16 classrooms that accommodate pupils from grade R until grade 7(seven).
Sandisiwe Tele-Ngqokotya, candidate Construction Project Manager, briefed the Hon MEC about progress on renovations at the School which amount to a sum of R38 million. Tele-Ngqokotya highlighted some of the challenges encountered such as the project not moving with required speed, water and ablution challenges.
The Hon MEC promised to assist and make follow ups pertaining to the challenges. “We need a committed a civil servant, who will commit in serving the people whole heartedly” said Hon MEC Madikizela.
In the engagement with Contractors the Hon MEC highlighted issues such as 30 per cent Small Medium Micro Enterprise (SMME) beneficiation, the adoption of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality currently under Sarah Baartman Region, training and utilisation of Artisans and the transformation of the Property Sector.
The Hon MEC also highlighted the partnership that Public Works will have with other government departments: Human Settlements and Transport, in fast tracking infrastructure delivery of the Province. Hon MEC further mentioned that the department has adopted the Sarah Baartman region so that there could be interventions made to assist the Municipality.
“We want to use the pool of Artisans that we have trained for maintenance. The incubator Programme must also assist to upgrade Contractors from one grade to another. We must be able to produce Eastern Cape grade 8(eight) and 9(nine)s” The Hon MEC said.
Following that an open mic session was opened for Contractors to raise their issues. The main issues raised were the delays in payments, access to land owned by Public Works but generally it was issues relating to Bhongweni school.
The department therefore responded to issues raised promptly and Department of Health and South African Revenue Service (SARS) were given an opportunity to share information that was beneficial to Contractors.
“We understand your challenges and we will work around the clock to correct our previous mistakes like non-payment of service providers within 30 days, my second coming will be the tick box on what we have achieved” said the MEC in closing.
Written by: Nathi Dokwana
Pictures by: Siyanda Nogantshi