Pretoria: The Limpopo MEC for Local Government and Housing, Ishmael Kgetjepe, says infrastructure development at the municipal level is an important first step in building a world-class Limpopo province.
“We must, through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), continue to develop and upgrade existing infrastructure for the disadvantaged communities, and with the provision of infrastructure, the ANC-led government can restore human dignity and self-respect to the poor.
“What we need going forward is world-class infrastructure, which is an important first step in building a world-class province.
“The key to achieving and meeting these needs is the determination to the creation and maintenance of quality municipal infrastructure like good roads, bridges, a reliable supply of clean water and the provision of sufficient electricity,” he said.
Kgetjepe was speaking at a MIG workshop in Tzaneen, organised by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) in Limpopo.
This grant is intended to assist municipalities with providing basic municipal infrastructure and community services to low-income households and promoting economic development.
Kgetjepe said it was time they sent a message to the millions of people who have been promised clean running water, decent ablution facilities, roads and other important basic needs
“Our people are aware that there is this grant and it is up to us to convince them that their money is efficiently utilised.
“We have to prove that we can be trusted in the handling of taxpayers’ money and use it for what it is meant for,” he said.
The provincial picture with regards to spending MIG is not impressive, and has been declining since 2010/11 financial year, with over R983 million remaining unspent.
“To have spent 60 percent by the end of 2012/13 translates to having robbed our people of 40% of their better lives, something that our people rightfully deserve.
“It is this workshop that must find ways and means of improving this unimpressive trend in a quest to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor,” Kgetjepe said.