Public Works and Infrastructure Deputy Minister, Bernice Swarts, made a significant visit to Leeudoringstad in the North West as part of her role as a champion of the Presidential District Development Model (DDM). The community welcomed her on Friday, where they voiced numerous concerns that have been affecting their daily lives.
During her visit, Deputy Minister Swarts reassured the community that the government, through the DDM, has formulated a comprehensive plan of action to address the various challenges they raised. One of the most pressing issues in the area is unemployment, particularly among the youth and women. Swarts outlined that initiatives such as training young people in firefighting are in the works to create employment opportunities and enhance the area’s capacity to respond during fire seasons. Additionally, Swarts mentioned plans to engage the private sector in job creation efforts, emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships in fostering economic growth.
To bolster employment opportunities in Leeudoringstad, the DDM team is also considering the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). This long-term plan aims to revitalize the fresh produce market and reintroduce trains to the area, all of which contribute to job creation and sustainable economic development.
Addressing the deteriorating road infrastructure in the region, Deputy Minister Swarts highlighted the need for more robust and durable road construction methods. She expressed the government’s commitment to constructing roads with longer lifespans and the potential for creating additional job opportunities. These road projects are seen as critical for improving transportation and access to the region.
Swarts urged the community to take responsibility for maintaining the public infrastructure being implemented by the government, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in driving local development.
Deputy Minister Swarts also addressed concerns related to overcrowded schools in the area. She pledged the DDM team’s commitment to engage with local schools to find solutions for overcrowding and even floated the idea of constructing a “smart school” in the area, signaling a potential advancement in educational facilities.
Swarts commended the dedication of local youth volunteers who have been actively involved in environmental projects aimed at enhancing the municipality’s cleanliness. These initiatives align with efforts to combat climate change, and Swarts praised the community for their active participation in this regard.
The Deputy Minister applauded the leadership of both the Executive Mayor of Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, Nikiwe Num, and the Executive Mayor of Maquassi Hills Local Municipality, Mzwandile Feliti, for their commitment to driving development in Leeudoringstad.
In a show of solidarity and service delivery, political principals joined the community in activities such as pothole patching and litter picking during the event.
Voster Makola, one of the residents of Leeudoringstad, expressed gratitude to Deputy Minister Swarts for her visit, acknowledging the government’s efforts to address the community’s concerns.
Swarts’s visit to the area serves as a prelude to the upcoming Presidential Imbizo scheduled to be held in the North West this month. The engagement between government officials and the Leeudoringstad community demonstrates the commitment of the DDM to addressing local challenges, fostering economic growth, and improving the overall quality of life in the region.