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Plans to catch up on backlog of infrastructure


Limpopo residents can expect to see some infrastructure developments in the respective townships and villages, after various government departments have committed portions of their 2020/21 budgets towards infrastructure projects.
When tabling budget votes during a virtual meeting of the Limpopo Legislature recently, MECs announced that large amounts will be appropriated to improve infrastructure for various purposes in the current financial year.
The Department of Transport and Community Safety has set aside a total of R4,5 million to start with the development of comprehensive Integrated Transport Plans for Mopani, Sekhukhune and Waterberg district municipalities.
According to MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, these are multi-year projects which will only be completed in the 2021/22.
She further said the department is going to construct Driving Licence Testing Centres in Thohoyandou and Seshego and reiterated that the two institutions will cost around R30 million each.
She added that R5 million has been budgeted to begin with the multi-year project in this financial year.
Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure MEC Dickson Masemola has informed the virtual meeting that there are 14 road upgrade projects spanning about 85 km in various parts of the province with two bridges at an estimated cost of R662 million earmarked for this financial year.
He stated that his office will continue with the preventative maintenance which includes pothole patching.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has allocated R50 million for projects to implement the Revitalisation of Agriculture and Agro-processing value chain in the province.
MEC Nandi Ndalane indicated that included in the programme is support for food security initiatives, which will also assist in strengthenning measures in the prevention and management of the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.
She added that R2,5 million from the allocation will be utilised for the construction of animal handling facilities in the province. The total budget of the Department of Education includes R1,2 billion for the education infrastructure grant. MEC Polly Boshielo emphasised that the money will be utilised towards the building of new and replacement infrastructure, upgrading
of existing infrastructure, refurbishment, rehabilitation and renovations of existing infrastructure including storm damaged schools as well as maintenance and repairs of existing infrastructure.
She added that in this financial year, the Rivoni Special School for the Blind will have its hostels constructed as phase one of the project while 215 schools will also be provided with appropriate sanitation facilities.
On the other hand the Department of Social Development has set aside R300 000 to maximise the functionality of Seshego Treatment Centre while the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism pledged to continue to refurbish and maintain Seshego, Nkowa-Nkowa and Thohoyandou industrial parks.
Sport, Arts and Culture MEC Thandi Moraka reported that R178 million budgeted for library and archives services will be used to provide 94 libraries with free internet access at a value of R14 million, finalise the construction of the four libraries being Runnymede, Seleteng, Mavalani and Mulamula and continue with the construction of four new libraries in Tshaulu, Makhuduthamaga, Botshabelo and Vleifontein areas. Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba informed the House that her office has appointed an Infrastructural Technical Resource Unit to speed-up all processes related to the planned Limpopo Central Hospital and Academic complex. She highlighted that an amount of R952,8 million has been allocated to the Health Infrastructure programme which will be used mainly for hospital revitalisation, maintenance and upgrades of clinics, nursing schools and emergency medical services stations.
With a total budget of R1,2 billion allocated for human settlements, the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs plans to reduce the housing backlog in the province. MEC Basikopo Makamu outlined that they are planning to complete 5 998 new housing units across all human settlements programmes.
He further revealed that the department also plans to acquire 30 hectares of strategically located land in an effort to increase the delivery of housing units in Limpopo.

Story: Endy Senyatsi
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