Community scores

The upgrading of the Bhisho Airport is already having direct benefits for the local community in what the Eastern Cape government described as a legacy project.

The upgrading of the Bhisho Airport is already having direct benefits for the local community in what the Eastern Cape government described as a legacy project.

The Department of Labour has awarded certificates to 12 community members who have been employed by the provincial department of roads and transport.

Ncedo Kumbaca, the provincial spokesman for safety, liaison, road and transport, said the community members were trained to erect fences.

"These community members are part of a group of more than 100 people from surrounding villages who have been employed at the airport since the start of the upgrade process at a cost of just over R100 million in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.

"Thirty more people will be trained soon on various fields during the upgrade process as part of the skills transfer process as espoused in the Expanded Public Works Programme," said Kumbaca.

"This initiative is in line with the Blue Skyway Aviation Strategy, which was unveiled by the Eastern Cape department of roads and transport in 2006 to maximise the potential of Bhisho and Mthatha airports."

The graduates will be able to use the certificates to apply for a job elsewhere once the upgrade process has been completed.

As part of the preparations for the World Cup, the provincial government want to use the Bhisho Airport for international flights.

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