Launch of Rehabilitation of trunk road 5

Speech by the premier of the Northern Cape, Mrs. Hazel Jenkins, on the occation of the launch of the Rehabilitation of Trunk road 5, Section 5, between Kuruman and Hotazel on 7 February 2012

Programme Director

MEC for Roads and Public Works, Mr Dawid Rooi

Head of Department, Mr Kholekile Nogwili

The Senior Management of the Mining Companies namely Assmang, BHP Billiton and United Manganese of Kalahari

Distinguished Guests

Community Members

Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to preside over the commencement of the rehabilitation of this road. This Provincial Administration’s vision for development calls for partnering with the business sector to invest in economic growth to achieve positive results.

The rehabilitation of this important road indeed serves as a milestone towards achieving the infrastructure goals articulated in our manifesto for the creation of an efficient and effective road system that would contribute in improving road safety, regional integration and social economic development.

Programme Director, good roads are essential for the development of commerce, tourism and other services. Apart from upgrading the existing road network, the Government will build new roads to open up those areas that have, in the past, been left behind in roads development.

Furthermore, the infrastructure development sector is an important pillar for the economic growth and development of our nation. A sound road system enables efficient movement of people, goods and services. It facilitates trade between people and across Cities and Towns.

Ladies and Gentlemen, roads are not the only way to communicate and to transport human beings, goods and services in a contemporary globalised world, but are still the most direct and irreplaceable way of connecting citizens at all levels and of allowing their daily work to acquire value in the national, regional and international markets.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our government shares with you the opinion that well functioning road infrastructure at all levels, is an important element in our country’s development process.

This important road, that will be rehabilitated, will allow the business sector and communities to access markets and key services with greater ease and efficiency. I am pleased to be here in person to witness the rehabilitation of this road and to celebrate all the investments in the province that will promote greater trade and commerce both within and beyond our province.

This road, Programme Director, is going to serve the province, the business community and our people better. Our responsibility, therefore, is to make sure that we use the road optimally so that the citizens of our province and country can exploit this resource for social and economic development.

Accelerating infrastructure investment will not only stimulate our economy, but also leave us in better shape for economic growth and to respond to international demands.

The proper maintenance of roads will ensure that we promote their long life span as well as to encourage production and wealth.

Ladies and Gentlemen, no road will last forever without maintenance. Our focus as government is to preserve the assets that we have, thus the rehabilitation of this road. Some roads have got a lifespan of 20 years, and must thereafter be rehabilitated.

We recognise the challenges being faced with the state of many roadways across the Country and are doing the best we can in collaboration with our development partners, in spite of limited resources, to respond to the needs of our people.

Our Government is also committed to the development of road infrastructure, because it is an essential mode of transportation in this country. The results from this huge investment will undoubtedly be most encouraging. Today, our rural areas are being opened for more production. Through better roads, we are making it easier for farmers to transport their produce and access markets. We are also opening up areas with tourism and business potential.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to urge all the people living along the route, and the businesses, to take advantage of the improved road after its completion and increase their production. That is the only way of reaping the benefits of having a good road. The improvement to this road, together with the developments that will arise from this undertaking, should enable this region to grow economically.

Programme Director, for me, one of the exciting aspects of this project is that it is a prime example of what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work together.

This project is made possible through support from our development partners namely, Assmang – R30 million, BHP Billiton – R17 million UMK (UNITED MANGANESE OF KALAHARI PTY.LTD) - R12 million. In total R69 million was sponsored by these mining companies. They certainly deserve a hearty round of applause.

Public private partnerships are something you will hear the Government, and me in particular, talking about a lot – for we believe PPPs are very useful mechanisms to help with the quick and efficient construction and maintenance of infrastructure, including roads.

Once more, I want to sincerely thank our partners for their assistance by financing this road rehabilitation project.

I am confident that these laudable efforts will continue so that this project becomes a success for the benefit of all our citizens.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who is involved in this project: the designers, the engineers, the heavy equipment drivers, the workers, everyone involved - and that includes the local communities.

I know what the benefits of your hard work will mean to our province and country and it is therefore my fervent hope that the progress we will witness will be sustained, thereby creating greater opportunity, growth and prosperity here and throughout the entire province.

I thank you

Ke aleboga

 

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