Latest stop on the Zuma roadshow: Spring Grove Dam

2013-11-20 09:27

President Jacob Zuma has praised his administration’s infrastructure roll-out programme as evidence of its service delivery record at the latest in a series of high profile project unveilings that will continue throughout the run-up to the 2014 elections. Zuma was speaking at the opening of the Spring Grove Dam at Rosetta in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the latest of a series of project openings that he and his lieutenants have carried out in recent months. The projects have all been built under the auspices of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), chaired by Zuma, which oversees government’s infrastructure programmes.

Spring Grove, built with R1 billion of state funding, created more than 960 jobs and will supply water from the Kamberg catchment area of the Drakensberg to six KwaZulu-Natal local and district municipalities, including Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

A similar project, the De Hoop Dam in Limpopo, will be opened by Zuma as he moves through a highly visible programme of unveiling projects completed by his administration as a means of defusing criticism over service delivery ahead of the poll.

After a ceremony at which he opened the main valve of the dam – also known as the Mooi Mngeni Water Scheme – Zuma and his entourage, which included acting water affairs minister Nathi Mthethwa and cabinet colleague Ebrahim Patel as well as the KwaZulu-Natal cabinet, moved to Bruntville Community Health Centre at nearby Mooi River.

There government’s social cluster had set up shop assisting with health, identity documents and other issues, while audience members who had waited patiently for several hours because of delays in Zuma’s programme were fed from mobile kitchens.

Zuma told the thousands of residents bused in from towns around the Midlands that he had been moving around the country opening projects completed by government departments and state enterprises under the PICC’s overarching control.

He would be opening many others, he said. These included the Grootvlei Power Station at Balfour; automotive wagons in Port Elizabeth; the R71 and R81 in Limpopo; the revamp of the Mthatha airport; universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape and 12 Further Education and Training colleges.

Zuma said the ANC government had electrified and provided with water areas which the apartheid government had ignored.

"In the past 19 years we have worked very hard to bring water to all, especially remote areas. We are happy that millions more South Africans now have access to clean drinking water which they did not have before 1994. Even as we continue on this successful path of delivery, we know that many of our people still don't have water due to the legacy of our past, where they were not catered for and were never a priority of the apartheid government,’’ Zuma said. "It is for this reason that we are hard at work to make sure that those who are still waiting, obtain clean drinking water, like everyone else, faster.’’

» Talk to us: Is government's infrastructure roll-out programme a good indication of service delivery? Leave your comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page or on Twitter: @City_Press

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