Thandi Modise International Airport just as ludicrous as the Lucas Mangope International Airport

Chris Hattingh MPL

Provincial Leader Democratic Alliance North-West

The NWPG’s latest attempt to divert attention from its failing delivery and governance struggle, the announcement of an R50million upgrade to the “Mafikeng International Airport” can only be described as a sick joke. The Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport’s involvement in the airport upgrading is ridiculous – it failed to maintain NW roads and even had to abdicate its infrastructure responsibility on roads to SANRAL.

The NWPG’s capacity to do meaningful capital work, based on clean tender and procurement processes has become seriously restricted.

It appears that even after 13 years of promises of sustainable scheduled flights, massive capital investment – including the creation of 28000 jobs by 2008!, the airport is still being used as a tool in attempts to boost the tainted delivery image of the NWPG.

The reality is that

* R100s of millions had been spent at the airport and surrounding infrastructure during the past decade * The NWPG transferred the airports international license to Pilanesberg and has been trying for years to get it back * The airport was stripped of basic equipment such as fire tenders and other vehicles * The airport buildings were rarely used since the previous upgrade and has again become dilapidated * The previous R1million a month payment to Airlink to have scheduled services was fruitless expenditure with no results to be shown to the taxpayer. * The airport classification was progressively cascaded down with its demise and has now the same status as an airstrip.

It is clear that Premier Modise and the failing MEC of Public Works, Roads and Transport, Raymond Elisha, is on an image building media campaign repeatedly failed propaganda. Whether the NW and Mafikeng people will be fooled once again remains to be seen.

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