Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi hands over the Batho Township Greening and Beautification Project to Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in Bloemfontein

05 December 2013


The Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice, Ms Mabudafhasi today, 5 December officially handed over the Batho Township Greening and Beautification Project to Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in Bloemfontein in the Free State Province.

The national Department of Environmental Affairs, as part of its Environmental Protection & Infrastructure Programme (EPIP) made available R35 million for this project. The money has been spent, over the past two years, in this project to undertake activities such as park establishment, park furniture, installation of bins, tree planting, park lights & shade structures, pedestrian walkways, ablutions, electrical installations; general street cleaning (Batho Township); removal of alien plants; maintenance of the park, gateways & signage; fencing of the park; pedestrian bridge, pavilions and parking area.

The Deputy Minister said that this is a government that listens. “The park we launch today is a park that was requested by the Free State provincial government, and our national government responded. This is indeed, one of the ways through which our government converts the illegal dumping sites and hideouts of criminals into safe spaces in line with our vision of Building Safer and Sustainable Communities,” she explained.

The Deputy Minister emphasised that, “As we continue with the programme of Building Safer and Sustainable Communities we are well aware that unemployment remains one of the key challenges facing our country today. As a result, I must add that in the implementation of these projects we always strive to employ as many people as we can.”

“During the construction phase of this project we had 400 local people who worked full-time for no less than 24 months. Out of these people 60% of them were women, 55% were youth and 2% were people with disabilities,” highlighted the Deputy Minister.

Throughout the construction phase of this project it was ensured that there was comprehensive skills development to assist the workers with the necessary skills so as to access the job market. To this end various non-accredited training interventions were facilitated.

Workers were trained on accredited programmes such as Nature Site Guide, Construction Painting, Construction Masonry, Construction Tiling, Plant Production, Cultural Site Guide, Waste Management, Conservation General Assistant, Assistant Chef, Public Area Cleaner.

The Deputy Minister also used the occasion to announce that after following a thorough evaluation process, the department of Environmental Affairs will, through EPIP, fund 23 projects over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) (2014/15 – 2016/17) to the value of R248.5 million in the Free State only.

The Deputy Minister concluded by urging all to continue to work together in Building Safer and Sustainable Communities and to look after these assets as they have always done with their assets.

To access the Deputy Minister’s speech click on the link below:

>> Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi’s keynote address at the official handover of Batho Township Greening and Beautification Project

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Peter Mbelengwa
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