Harold McGluwa, MPL
DA Provincial Chairperson
The DA is relieved that the construction process of the controversial road in the troubled Kuruman area is finally set to start next week.
This was confirmed during a legislature committee meeting late last week, whereby the Northern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works made a commitment to the effect that the site handover to the contractors would take place shortly. According to the department, this is in line with stipulations that require the contractors to take over the site within 14 days of acceptance of the contract.
The DA sincerely hopes that the eventual commencement of the construction of the road will dispel the angry sentiments of community members, whose protests have kept children out of school for months already.
There can be no denying that provincial government failed dismally to prevent a repeat of the 2012 school crisis in the John Taole Gaetsewe district. Instead, their lack of urgency in finalising the matter of the road was actually what fuelled the current protests that led to school closures.
We expect that this time round, the department has learnt its lesson and that it will do everything in its power to prevent and mitigate any more untimely delays of the construction of the road. This will, however, demand greater contract management from the department, who until now has failed to prove itself in this field.
The DA will be watching closely to see whether the department can execute its mandate without further jeopardising the future of school children in the JTG district. We will also be visiting the area this week as part of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) delegation, to look at the readiness of the department to meet its commitments.