25 November 2013
President Jacob Zuma launched several infrastructure upgrades in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Friday, including the Mthatha Bridge, which was expanded at a cost of R108-million, and the Thornhill power substation, which underwent a R40-million upgrade.
Zuma also inspected progress in the construction of two reservoirs at the Mthatha water treatment plant, as well as upgrade work at Mthatha Airport.
He said the government had put out a R200-million tender for the airport’s upgrade, which would include heightening the control tower, renovating the cargo building, landscaping around the new terminal building, and building a new car hire facility with separate parking, new security fencing, and a parallel security road with lighting.
Zuma said that, despite constraints that had caused delays, the government was committed to rolling out services to priority areas around the country.
He said several other electricity grid upgrades and electricity connections to households had created hundreds of jobs in the Mthatha area.
“Government has prioritised electricity provision in the least electrified provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, focusing specifically on the building of network capacity in these provinces to support additional connections.”
He said the government was also looking at improving housing in and around Mthatha, but was still being constrained by unresolved land issues.
“A lot has been achieved already in 19 years, and much more is still being done.”