Bitou turnaround an example of “better together” DA government

Donald Grant MEC

Constituency Head for Bitou

On Friday 31st January 2014, the DA Western Cape Provincial Parliament caucus visited the Bitou Municipality as part of the DA’s project Masisebenze (Let us work).

Fellow Cabinet members Ivan Meyer, Theuns Botha, Albert Fritz, Bonginkosi Madikizela and Dan Plato were accompanied by members of the Provincial Parliament.

The visit was conducted to review the investment & progress made by Provincial / local Government since the DA coalition took over in May 2011 and to launch our 2014 election campaign.

The opportunity was also used to consult with community leaders from the economic and social development clusters and to discuss sustainable, job based economic growth prospects.

The DA inherited a bankrupt municipality with a legacy of corruption and cadre deployment. By implementing strict financial management, the DA has brought the municipality back from a downward spiral and achieved an unqualified audit for 2013. By late last year the Municipality was no longer insolvent.  The Municipality has even been able to give bursaries to 43 disadvantaged students who could not afford to study or were in need of financial assistance to complete their studies.

Water – The Municipality has maintained a successful Blue Drop status, indicating that it has a clean, reliable water supply and sound management. In addition the Municipality has again won the Wilson Award by the Water Institute of SA for the quality of our sewerage effluent in 2013. Plans have been implemented to increase the electricity supply to cater for the needs of the second fastest growing town in South Africa. Four successful housing projects have been implemented in KwaNokuthula, Kurland, Kranshoek & Bossiesgif/Qolweni. Plans have been implemented for recycling and a new solid waste transfer station in Kwanokuthula.

Apart from the turn-around of the administration, the Western Cape government has assisted the residents in improving their quality of life and access to services.  This is no small  task due to the fact that the Bitou Municipality serves as transit point into the Western Cape. People are continuously moving in and out of the municipality making budgeting and planning for service delivery a challenge.   The DA-led government has made every effort to ensure the availability of excellent services. Health – a new  day hospital was built in KwaNokuthula that delivers quality health services to our residents including a TB clinic and a dentistry. The clinic in New Horizons is also currently being upgraded. In Education – Formosa Primary has been rebuilt and two further schools will be delivered in the next two years in Kranshoek & Kwanokuthula. Social services have been enhanced and roads upgraded. The Province will continue to invest more than R400m in Bitou over the medium term expenditure framework – over the next three financial years.

The DA visit to the area concluded with a very successful constituency meeting on Friday evening which was very well attended. The provincial leadership was joined  Alan Winde and took the opportunity to inform the community of the successes at local and provincial level and to encourage people to ensure they, their family and friends are registered during the final registration weekend on the 8 / 9 February 2014.

Bitou Municipality is one of the best examples of how the DA has turned around a corrupt ANC regime and is creating opportunity and another success story in local government.

This municipality is proof that where the DA governs, it governs with the aim to create opportunity as one nation with one future.