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Ndebele: Sod-turning ceremony for road D 903 (10/03/2003)

10th March 2003

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Date: 10/03/2003
Source: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
Title: Ndebele: Sod-turning ceremony for road D 903


SPEECH BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, MR S'BU NDEBELE, DURING THE SOD-TURNING CEREMONY FOR ROAD 903 AT EZINQOLENI MUNICIPALITY, 10 March

The Programme Director
Amakhosi present
Mayor of Ezinqoleni Municipality
The KZN Head of Transport, Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa
Senior Managers and Staff from the KZN
Transport Department
Councillors present
Chairpersons of CRSCs and RRTFs
Members of the media
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen, I greet you all and thank you for attending. As previous speakers have already mentioned, we are gathered here today for the re-gravelling of D 903. We have received numerous complaints that this road is impassable during rainy days yet it is supposed to be a crucial link for surrounding schools and communities especially of Lonjane and Mdlazi communities. The road is 7.8 km and its re-gravelling will impact positively on the following schools:

* Itshe LikaShoba Combined Primary School
* Ikhanda leSizwe Combined Primary School
* Khumbuza Primary School (which is hosting us)

The present state of the road impacts negatively on such essential services like police and ambulance services. I am happy therefore that our being here is in line with what our democratic government stands for, namely to expedite the goal of a better life for all. For us in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport, a better life starts on a road.

In his State of the Nation Address on 14 February this year President Thabo Mbeki made a call to all of us to "take new measures to increase the volume of quality of our investment in the social infrastructure. This includes such areas as housing and municipal infrastructure, hospitals and clinics, schools, roads, water, electricity and government facilities."

Very few, if any, governments in history have had the challenge of tackling manifold challenges such as we do in South Africa. The combined oppression of colonialism and apartheid left our communities on the verge of disintegration. Our rural communities, in particular, were in crises in spite of their potential in terms of agriculture and tourism. Therefore, when the democratic government took over in 1994, the challenge was not only to address historical imbalances but also to face new challenges imposed externally by globalisation, challenges such as trans-national crime, AIDS - which is trans-national and poverty which became exacerbated by the tyranny of the unforgiving market forces. It is in this context that we set our self a goal of achieving a better life for all.

However, a better life will not just float in a foundation-less space. It is based on certain fundamentals and preconditions. Preconditions for a better life include PEACE, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT. In a similar way preconditions for development include ACCESS, ENERGY AND WATER. Road access, energy and water are all considered necessary conditions for successful integrated rural development and economic growth. We as the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport are willing and able to play our role to achieve a new economic order in KwaZulu-Natal.

A well-maintained balanced road network is critical to the creation of a nation's wealth. Rich nations have sophisticated transport infrastructure that has landed people on the moon, yet our people are still struggling to reach the village.

Though our goals are not as ambitious as those of the rich nations, but we are very proud that it they centred on the lives of the people. A well-maintained road network is of critical importance in social reconstruction, especially in rural areas like here at Ezinqoleni because the whole of South Coast is a gateway to the Eastern Cape and further down. By re-gravelling D-903 we will make it easy for people from all surrounding districts to have access and to intermingle. This in turn will create favourable conditions for PEACE, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT, the preconditions of A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL.

I THANK YOU.

Issued by: KZN Department of Transport, 10 March 2003
Source: SAPA
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