New developments in the pipeline for Nkomazi

Cameron McLellan, Pieter du Plooy, Doctor Nkosi, Fritz Koekemoer, Jan Engelbrecht, Jan Mashele, Chris Engelbrecht, Rochelle Roos, (back) Roelof Gouws, Chris Roux and Coen Pretorius.

HECTORSPRUIT – Over the next few years Mjejane township will be upgraded to a formal settlement.

Doctor Nkosi, chief director of integrated human settlements planning and policy coordination in the Department of Human Settlements (DHS), expanded on this process, as well as developments in Malalane and Komatipoort, during a meeting at Buffalo Hotel last Thursday.

This was organised by Nkomazi East Combined Commerce and Tourism Association and the Malalane Chamber of Commerce to clear up confusion among business owners and other affected parties, about Mjejane’s future.

Nkosi elaborated on two other developments in Nkomazi as well as the department’s various directives and projects.

He explained that Mjejane was an informal settlement but that it needed to be upgraded and formalised as it was negatively affecting Hectorspruit’s property prices.

Mjejane will have all social amenities and community services, but needs to be formalised before these services can be delivered.

Nkosi stated that the land Mjejane was on had already been acquired by the municipality. Spaces were put aside for community facilities and people who have settled there will have to be moved.

Job creation will also need to be addressed.

As part of efforts to boost local economies, the department is required to source about 30 per cent of the materials used for the upgrade from local companies.

The project in Nkomazi that is the most advanced is Malalane Extension 21. Here they will build several community residential units, which will be fully serviced.

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Nkosi explained that developments were needed to ensure the town can grow and get the extra infrastructure and services it needs.

The construction of Extension 21 was slated to start in the new financial year and will feature 250 low- to mid-income housing, municipal offices and a secondary school (Horizon Academy).

There will also be an electricity upgrade and they were in negotiations for a bulk sewer upgrade.

At Komatipoort Extension 18, there was a plan for 1 000 sites, with 30 per cent to be made available to people who want to build houses themselves.

Government will install the necessary services and assist those in need of government funding to build houses.

“For Komatipoort to be sustainable it needs expansion,” Nkosi stated.

The Nkomazi Local Municipality was apparently one of the first in the province to put together a long-term development plan, which has since become a requirement.

Nkosi urged community members to contact the DHS to see how they can get involved in the development process and stressed the importance of the private sector’s participation in these projects.

The floor was opened for questions and the provision of water and other bulk infrastructure was one of the first concerns put forward.

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Nkosi assured the meeting that they were working with various other government departments and structures to ensure that these issues are addressed. He also said that, as far as he knows, the water rights on the land are sufficient to accommodate the development.

Jan Engelbrecht, the meeting’s convenor, stated that another meeting is needed next year so that business people can also engage with local management and government to find out more about the implementation of processes and potential issues.

Retha Nel

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