The District Infrastructure Forum drew together at Eden District Municipality Council Chambers on Thursday, the 9th of April, to discuss the progress and development of various infrastructural projects in the Eden District. The meeting concluded in a spirit of fervor for the momentous leaps to come in the development of infrastructure across the region. The latter stands as the result of a request by the MEC for Local Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anton Bredell, to strengthen the Eden District Infrastructure Forum, giving it a distinct structure, as well as electing a Chairperson: Eden District Municipal Manager: Mr. Godfrey Louw and Deputy Chairperson: Eden District Bulk Infrastructure Coordinator: Mr Faan van der Merwe.
Eden Road to Rail
The discussion regarding Eden’s Road to Rail project adopted a ‘constructive’ approach. Alan McVitty, from Mech Mobility, conducted a presentation of the technology necessary to see the project through to completion, as well as the financial implication of Road to Rail in terms of future sustainability. If all stakeholders concur, McVitty estimates that approximately 125 jobs will be created throughout the District. A final decision will be announced by Transnet within the next few months.
Mosselbay Harbour Expansion
Mosselbay Harbour Master, Vania Cloete, elaborated on future expansion plans and strategies which may improve business opportunities regarding the export of merchandise and local produce. These developments would be funded largely through private investors. Feasibility studies are currently underway to determine the financial viability of such an undertaking. Currently, no commodities are being imported to or exported from the harbour apart from petroleum gas.
Go George – the way forward
The Go George initiative has fast become a reliable and leading form of public transport in and around the George CBD. Harold Basson, George Municipality Director of Civil Engineering, presented vital information regarding the current status of the Go George Initiative and brand as well as the employment opportunities which would arise from private taxi businesses participating in the Go George business model.
Basson further clarified that George Municipality is the oversight authority of the initiative and brand, and that Louis Transport is the operational head and service provider to its customers. Noting the complex nature of the business relationship, he states that it has been successful thus far. At present, Go George is funded by National and Provincial Government.
Eden Municipal Manager, Mr Godfrey Louw, expressed concern regarding the safekeeping of the buses, making specific reference to the vandalism and criminal activity which took place in Cape Town involving the setting alight of public transport buses. Basson stated that safety and security remain one of the main focuses for all Go George stakeholders, further adding that CCTV cameras are in place along all main bus routes, as well as on the parking premises.
For more information regarding Go George routes and timetables, visit: http://www.gogeorge.org.za/
Last on the agenda was a discussion regarding the Municipal Infrastructure Performance Management System (MIPMIS), and exactly how projects such as these will be monitored and evaluated in terms of service delivery, financial viability, and alignment to strategic goals and objectives. Mr. Gerhard Otto, Eden DM Disaster Manager, also presented a brief overview of the current status of disasters in the Eden District. Otto made reference to the Kannaland and Oudtshoorn water concerns – both of which are on the agenda for the forthcoming forum concerning the development of water storage facilities.