R160m puts transport on track

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The national Department of Transport has put aside R160 million to upgrade roads, bus terminuses and taxi ranks in Polokwane.

The amount will be spread over three years.

Thabo Makunyane, executive mayor of Polokwane, said the road and transport programme will include the construction of pedestrian and cycle tracks.

Makunyane was speaking at the Peter Mokaba sod-turning ceremony in Polokwane last Friday, attended by various stakeholders.

He said the tracks will link the central business district with residential areas as part of their preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

"We have already embarked on the city beatification programme where we upgrade parks, plant trees, pave streets and beautify our city entrances," Makunyane said.

"But what is even more important is that our people have to be part of this work. They have to own it and benefit directly from it from the beginning.

"It has to be part of their self-empowerment. As part of the council's resolution on the work we are about to start, our people have said that the company that will be awarded this contract must undertake to involve our people, to train them and to empower them to liberate themselves from poverty and underdevelopment.

"Nothing could ever serve to energise our people to work for their and Africa's upliftment than to integrate among the tasks of our second decade of democracy and the African renaissance our successful hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup."

Makunyane said the hosting of the World Cup matches will help in positioning Polokwane and Limpopo as a destination of choice for the thousands of tourists who will be visiting South Africa beyond 2010.

"As part of our local economic development programme we have already started with our street vendor programme, a local tourism development strategy and a host of other programmes."

Asked about the upgrading of other stadiums like Seshego and Mankweng, Makunyane said: "Peter Mokaba was the main project. There was no way we could have started with the other facilities before starting with the construction of Peter Mokaba, [but] we will be upgrading them."