The KwaZulu- Natal Public Works Portfolio Committee led by Ms Mbali Frazer headed for Amajuba District to oversee infrastructure projects. Speaking during the meeting held at Amajuba District Office, Ms Mbali Frazer welcomed all guests and stakeholders present and outlined the objective of the visit “For us as Legislature, oversight is our core function, this committee is responsible for overseeing the Department of Public Works.” She continued saying “We are here at Amajuba to check the progress of the two projects, Siyamukela High and Sizanani Secondary. I want to ensure you that this committee is on the side of the public because we are public representatives.”
Portfolio Committee Members on a site tour at Sizanani Secondary School
The presence of stakeholders including Department of Education, Contractors and professionals was evidence that the department has good relations with its stakeholders. Ms Frazer acknowledged the presence of all stakeholders, “Thank you for availing yourselves. I hope that when we come back to this district you will be available again.” The two projects visited on the day were Sizanani Secondary and Siyamukela High School in Amajuba District.
Both these projects have great impact on community development and transferring of skills through the Expanded Public Works Programme. Ms Mbali Mbili; Project Manager from Midlands Region presented detailed profiles of the projects to the committee. She outlined that “The wages paid during construction help to reduce the poverty levels.” These two projects will have long term outcomes for the learners in a sense that they will have access to renovated facilities which will enhance their pass rate level. Although there were challenges of unrest on the projects, the region managed to resolve them through negotiation.
The economic driver of the projects was the inclusion of local community members in the projects with an aim of provisioning skills while also benefitting them with income as a form or poverty alleviation. This is a continued effort by the department to afford local communities benefit from infrastructure projects so as to sustain their livelihood.