Drugs and lack of jobs ‘poisoning Eden’

daggaUnemployment and substance abuse are the two main problems plaguing towns in the Cape’s Eden district, MPs on an oversight visit to the region have heard.

“After jobs, people want something to be done about the substance abuse problem,” said DA MP and National Council of Province’s (NCOP) delegation head Michael de Villiers.

The NCOP delegation visited George, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland last week, accompanied by members of the provincial legislature.

The aim of the visit was to assess service delivery in the seven municipalities and engage with residents.

“Apart from Kannaland, where there are a few financial concerns, all municipalities’ administration is looking good,” De Villiers said. “Housing also remains a challenge, but unemployment and substance abuse issues are the main problems.”

A report on the progress of Eden municipalities since the last oversight visit in 2009 will be presented to Premier Helen Zille on Thursday.

ANC MP Freddie Adams said the provincial government had failed to provide houses, bulk infrastructure and job opportunities for residents. 

Briefing MPs on progress made since their last visit to the region, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell said access to piped water in the seven local municipalities in the Eden district averaged at 97.8 percent. Flush toilets averaged at 85.2 percent and 91.1 percent of households had access to electricity though the grid. 

“When the percentages are compared with the averages for the province… access to piped water is slightly higher than the average while access to sanitation and electricity is slightly lower than the provincial average,” Bredell said.

– Cape Argus

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