On 30 May 2013, the Honourable Mayor Cllr AW Ntsangani tabled his State of the Municipality and 2013/14 budget speech to a full house at the Alice TRC Hall. The speech touched on the successes of the institution which include the construction and renovation of community halls; infrastructural development through the construction of a Chicken Abattoir in Middledrift; construction of a Council Chamber in Alice; construction of a state of the art Sports Complex in Fort Beaufort; re-gravelling and tarring of streets and also fencing of cultivated and grazing land by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.
Taking the issue of poverty alleviation through cultivating the land, recently there has been a lot of activity by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform in the area of Nkonkobe. In his speech, the Honourable Mayor said food security is one of the critical priorities of government; and in view of this, Rural Development and Agrarian Reform ploughed 196 hectors of arable land in Nkonkobe. The areas that benefited include Ngobe village (66 hectors), Amagwali Project (37 hectors) and Amabhele AseTyhume (100 hectors).
Imileqwa Project in Qhibirha and Ndondle Piggery and Poultry Project at Hala location also received tremendous support from the department to further sustain their work. The Honourable Mayor said these are "just a few efforts [by other government departments] that deserve to be acknowledged and applauded".
He then tabled the plans and objectives the municipality has for its communities. This is in line with the vision of the institution which is to be a self-sufficient municipality that is responsive to the needs of the people; with the municipality striving to move away from grant dependency and gravitate to self-reliance.
He stated that this can be achieved by ensuring that the municipality alleviates poverty by mechanising agriculture, by supporting SMME’S & Co-ops in the area, developing infrastructure and devise revenue generating strategies.
The Mayor also touched on the recent pronouncement by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform that by 2015 all farms should be productive; and that municipalities should assist farmers submit business plans to the national department in order to access funding for their farms. "Should this be done effectively, we will then be able to dismantle poverty in our area and a number of jobs will be created," said Cllr Ntsangani.
Some of the projects that have been identified by the national department to receive funding for 2013/2014 include the following:
• Torties Farm - R2 804 973.00
• Greenwood farm - R5 936 978
• Jordan - R4 920 554.00
• Gonzana - R2 704 675.00
• Mpukane - R 1 400 000.00
• The Debe Nek Extension electrification project which is scheduled for connection by the end of the next financial year - 2013/2014 will see 305 household electrified. The Mpofu Extension will see 958 households connected.
• Currently the municipality is providing free basic electricity to 19 855 beneficiaries, 1195 households for alternative energy and for refuse removal the total number of households is 6 402 - a total of 27 452 indigent beneficiaries in this current financial year, as compared to the 22 079 from the last financial year.
• Planned projects by the ADM:
* Victoria East, West (Roxeni) Water Supply (Phase 3) R5 500 000
* Ekuphumleni & 9 Villages Water Supply (Phase 4) R1 000 000
* Bhofolo & Newtown BEP (Phase 5) R 2 000 000
* Nkonkobe: Area Wide Sanitation Programme (Region 1) R9 000 000
• A rectification project of 500 units in Hillside (Fort Beaufort) is currently underway. This project will see 403 units being rectified and 97 new houses built.
• Also, in this current financial year (2012/2013), a project to build 233 units in Mt Pleasant is currently underway.
• A number of temporary structures for disaster-stricken homes have also been erected in Debe Nek (12), Alice (2) and Fort Beaufort (2).
• 232 units are to be rectified in Seymour. The project is currently at tender adjudication stage.
• 299 units are to be rectified in Fort Beaufort and 1 unit is to be built. The project is also at the adjudication stage.
• In Alice (Khayelitsha), 260 units are to be constructed.
• Another 283 houses are to be rectified in Alice.
• In the areas of Ntselamanzi / Hillcrest, 653 houses are to be rectified, and 163 units will be built.
• In Middledrift, 299 units will be rectified and 1 will be built.
• Projects still at the planning stages, where engineers have been appointed to do verification of services availability, geotechnical reports and foundation designs include:
* Lower Blinkwater - 1101 units
* Readsdale - 500 units
* Katberg - 233 units
* Bhofolo Phase 1C - 400 units
* Khayelitsha - 260 units
Projects to be unveiled
• Community Halls: Majwarheni; Dikidikana; Gaga; Debe Marhele; Ndindwa; Ngcothoyi; Mxhelo-Skolweni; Loyd
• Multi Purpose Center
• Nontetha Grave Yard
• Regravelling Of Ntselamanzi
• Surfacing Of Alice Town
• Surfacing Of Temlet
• Surfacing Of Durban Street Fort Beaufort
• Grade A Testing Station
• Regravelling Of Msobomvu Access Road
• Kwamlalandle Pre-School
• Ejonini Pre-School
• Cwarhu Pre-School
• Fencing Of Alice Town Cemetries
• Somerset Street
• Paving Newtown Internal Street (Phase 1)
• Paving and Regravelling – R3.8m
• Construction of halls and Day care centres – R1.75m
• Alice Park – R3m
• Makhuzeni Sport Field – R 762,200.00
Fort Beaufort Cluster
• Paving and Regravelling – R2m
• Construction of halls and Day care centres – R1,665 228
• Sports Complexe Phase 1 – R2.5m
• High Mast Lights – R4.1m
• Paving and Regravelling – R4.8m
• Construction of halls and Day care centres – R3.76m
• Chicken Abattoir – R1.8m
• Fencing of dams – R132 183.00