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Mcebo Dlamini appears in court. Picture Credit: Julia Madibogo
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R267m still means zero for town's poor

By unknown | Dec 12, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Residents in Phalaborwa would have to wait until next year to get jobs in the country's cleanest town when the municipality kick-starts the long-awaited infrastructure development programmes.

Ba-Phalaborwa municipal mayor Gloria Valoyi was yesterday trying to appease unemployed residents in Phalaborwa. They were expecting an end to poverty when the municipality signed a multimillion rand agreement with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

Her answer to their question about why this would not immediately transpire was unsatisfactory to them because the residents, most of whom live from hand to mouth, heard they would have to wait until next year.

Florah Sainah Mathonsi, of Matikoxikaya, said she had lost faith in the municipality. Mathonsi lives with her three children and four orphans whose parents died recently.

She said: "I live in abject poverty. I hoped I would get a job a few weeks after the signing of the memorandum. But now I have to wait for a year and spend Christmas without a job."

The agreement, releasing R267million to the municipality, was signed in July. The money is aimed at helping the social, economic and environmental development of Phalaborwa. The money has been earmarked to provide basic services - water, sanitation, electricity - as well as roads and rail infrastructure, sport and community facilities, upgrading and enhancing economic opportunities for the municipality area.

During construction more than 500 full-time and part-time jobs are expected to be created. Scientists, area planners, engineers, architects, land surveyors, bricklayers, electricians and artisans will benefit.

The R267million is still with the DBSA and will become available as the project unfolds.


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