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By unknown | Feb 19, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Outgoing KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele spoke of unprecedented economic growth in the province under his tenure.

Ndebele has led the province since 2004. In a grand finale state-of-the-province address in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, he took the people of KwaZulu-Natal down memory lane, dating back from his first day as the political head of the province.

He highlighted key programmes that have managed to "positively affect the lives of our people, across the length and breadth of the province".

His speech was flighted on local radio and TV.

Ndebele said it was not the first time in 2004 when the people of the province voted, but it was for the first time that their vote had given them so much.

"KwaZulu-Natal has seen the biggest investment in infrastructure programmes in its history," he said.

"These include the R2,2billion Moses Mabhida Stadium; the R6,8billion Dube Tradeport and King Shaka International Airport; and R259million was made available for stadia infrastructure development in four district municipalities and the Metro [Amajuba, Ugu, Mgungundlovu, uThungulu and eThekwini]."

Ndebele said since 2004 areas north of the Thukela River, which had been neglected for decades, have now been prioritised for development.

These include the R350million P700 corridor from Richards Bay to Ulundi, which is under construction; the R300million P577 from Mtubatuba to Hlabisa and Nongoma; and the construction of the R260million Nsezi Bridge on the John Ross Highway near Empangeni, which is the longest bridge in South Africa.

He also cited the Cornubia development, a public-private partnership project, and a 1200 hectare greenfield site in Mt Edgecombe as great achievements.

"Through a partnership between the Metro and Tongaat Hulett, the development of Cornubia will eventually involve a R4,6billion investment in roads, bridges and housing for more than 100000 people."

Political commentator Protas Madlala said Ndebele had helped develop infrastructure in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the province.


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