NMB invests R100 million in former Ibhayi area

2016-06-29 06:00
The tarring of a road in the Govan Mbeki cluster.                 Photo: SUPPLIED

The tarring of a road in the Govan Mbeki cluster. Photo: SUPPLIED

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CHALLENGES around access for emergency services, SAPS vehicles and wheelchair-bound people in the former Ibhayi area (New Brighton, KwaZakhele, Zwide, Veeplaas and Soweto-on-Sea) will soon be a thing of the past, after the R100 million investment by the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in the tarring of roads, paving of sidewalks and improvements to the stormwater drainage system in these areas.

Nomfundo Ngcingane (56), who lives in Tsewu Street in New Brighton, could not hide her excitement about the improvements being effected in her street, which is one of the streets under reconstruction.

“This reconstruction of our street will change the picture of this area. It will not only improve access, but it will also add to the value of our properties.

“Raining or not, we will be able to walk freely in a paved street. We used to experience a lot of flooding when heavy rains came. We have been told that stormwater drainage will also form part of the work that will be done. Thank you to the Municipality,” said Ngcingane.

Another resident of New Brighton, Lindile Kinzela, who also benefited from the project through employment, confirmed that the project was a boost for him and his family.

“Our street will not only be reconstructed but for the duration of the project I will be able to provide for my family,” said Lindile Kinzela.

Kinzela added that the improved roads would aid many aspects of service delivery.

“When we have good roads,we talk about easy access for physically challenged and wheelchair-bound residents; we talk about easy and quick access for emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks to our area; and we also talk about easy and quick access for police when they attend to criminal incidents that might endanger people’s lives,” said Kinzela.

The project is currently in progress in different areas and in different phases, not only benefiting the residents of these areas, but also empowering emerging businesses (SMMEs), who are an integral part of the delivery of this project.

An SMME owner, Lumnka Speelman (41), who co-owns Speelman Mtika Construction Company, is one of those who have benefited as a sub-contractor from one of the road construction projects in Kwazakhele Seyisi, in an area called Maqanda.

“It was the first project I have ever received from the municipality. This opportunity has given me a lot of experience, more especially as a female construction company owner. We used to be ignored in the construction industry, but things have now improved. This project will not only benefit my company financially, but the experience I will obtain will position my company better to bid for more projects, bigger than this one,” said Speelman.

More than 50 kilometers of road construction will be done in the area. The work that will be done, will include informal settlement areas like Qaqawuli and MK Silvertown.

Work to be done in informal areas like these, will be in preparation for the formal housing construction that will be undertaken later this year. – REPORTER

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