Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson officially handed over a R13,5 Million Recreational Park in Barbeton

16 August 2018


The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, together with the Executive Mayor of Mbombela, Cllr Mathonsi officially handed over a R13.5 million worth Elijah Alfred Mkhize Recreational Park in Barberton, Mpumalanga on Thursday, 16 August 2018.

The transformed park was officially handed over to the community in the City of Mbombela, for enjoyment of the natural environment and improve their wellbeing. The open space was previously used as a dumping site and will now plays a significant role in sports, entertainment and other events.

The Department of Environmental Affairs funded the Greening and Open Space Management of Umjindi project through its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The project entailed fencing of the park, installation of playing equipment, park benches, construction of braai facilities, sporting courts/fields, development of a nursery, construction of pedestrian bridges, and office with ablution facilities, amphitheatre, landscaping and planting of indigenous trees.

Addressing members of the community, Deputy Minister Thomson said the “projects implemented under this focus area contribute not only to the maintenance and the integrity of the natural environment but also plays a significant role in the biodiversity conservation, social and physical well-being of the human population and by creating much needed job opportunities for our people.

“Previously disadvantaged individuals have benefited from the project through creation at least 218 employment opportunities in the area. Beneficiaries, who included youths, women and people with disability, received unaccredited training opportunities, equipping them with the necessary skills that will enable them to find other employment on exit from the project. In addition, Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) also benefitted from the project as their services were used on supplying goods and rendering services during implementation,” said Thomson.  

Deputy Minister also handed over sewing machines to learners who completed a mass training programme in the Mpumalanga Clothing and Textile Dressmaking, NQF1. The project was funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs. A total of one hundred and twenty (120) machines have been donated. The machines will be distributed between six (6) municipalities namely City of Mbombela Municipality Dr JS Moroka Local Municipal, Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, Emakhazeni Local Municipality, Dipaleseng Local Municipality and Msukaligwa Local Municipality.

The Department of Environmental Affairs continues to ensure that whilst addressing the mandate of maintaining a healthy environment for all, it also focuses on job creation, small businesses and skills development opportunities.

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Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871