President Jacob Zuma says he is happy with the progress made in the multi-million rand infrastructure upgrades in the Eastern Cape.
Speaking at the launch of several infrastructure projects that cut across water, electricity, roads and transport, Zuma said while there have been constraints that have caused delays in the delivery of services, government was committed to roll out services to priority areas.
Zuma said this when he launched several infrastructure upgrades in Mthatha in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality on Friday.
“Today, we came to inspect and officially launch infrastructure projects related to water, electricity, roads and transport. As you are aware, work is continuing to improve the infrastructure and the living conditions in Mthatha.
“We are also looking at improving housing but are constrained by the land issue, which has not been resolved yet. Today’s programme demonstrates government’s seriousness in extending services that improve lives.
“A lot has been achieved already in 19 years (of democracy) and much more is still being done,” he said.
This comes after Zuma was not impressed with the progress made in 2010 when he went to the area to evaluate several infrastructure projects.
He unveiled several projects, including the completion of the Thornhill substation, which was upgraded at a cost of R40 million.
Zuma also officially re-opened Mthatha Bridge, which was expanded at a cost of R108 million, to ease traffic congestion and travelling time to town.
He also said government had put out a R200-million tender to upgrade the Mthatha airport, and the improvements to be done will include building a new car hire facility with a separate parking area and wash bay; a new security fence around the whole airport, with a parallel security road with lighting; heightening the control tower; landscaping around the new terminal building and the renovation of the existing cargo building.
Zuma also said he was happy with progress that was made in the construction of two reservoirs at the Mthatha water treatment plant.
He said several other electricity grid upgrades and electricity connections to households had created hundreds of jobs in the area.
“Government has prioritised electricity provision in the least electrified provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, focusing specifically on the building of network capacity in these provinces to support additional connections.
“Work is continuing to improve infrastructure and the living conditions in Mthatha. We are also looking at improving housing but are constrained by the land issue, which has not been resolved yet.
“A lot has been achieved already in 19 years and much more is still being done,” said the President.