By Emily Setona
QWAQWA –The R40 billion Phuthadithjaba Gateway Mega project was launched with a sod turning event on November 2 opposite the University of the Free State where the project will be implemented.
The initiative is envisaged to improve the lives of the people of Maluti–a–Phofung (MAP).
The development will consist of 9900 government prototype housing developments, 7400 bonded houses and commercial amenities.
The development is also going to bring electricity, water and sanitation solutions that will not overload the already struggling system of the municipality.
Qwaqwa Gateway group director Tshediso Leotlela estimates that the project will take at least 10 years to complete.
“We are planning on creating at least 50 000 jobs because we are going to build hospitals, hotels, schools, and these amenities need people who will to work there.
“We also want to build skills of the local people; there are no contractors that can handle a project of this magnitude but what we are willing to do is work with the people and provide skills transfer.
“This is a big project that is funded by private investors and a small portion by government,” Leotlela told The Guard.
THE MEC of Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs, Toto Makume, raised concerns on how locals residents who are using students accommodations would have a competition.
Map executive mayor Masetjhaba Lakaje-Mosia accompanied by Premier Mxolisi Dukwana during sod turning at Phuthaditjhaba Gateway.
“A development must not bring any interruptions to the current economic activities in the community. There should be a dialogue to make sure that the developers and the people making a living from the student accommodations in their backyards find a way of working together,” Makume said when addressing the media.
At the same occasion, Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwane had some strong words for errant government officials.
“It is time for government officials to look introspect and start doing the right thing. For those who do not want to do the right thing and serve the people, those government officials must leave their positions and go and take the same risks that businesspeople are taking.
“It is high time we built competent black businesses with government supporting these businesses in the right way.”
MAP executive mayor Masetjhaba Lakaje-Mosia said it was an auspicious occasion to see a project of this magnitude come to the community of MAP.
“I am very happy that this day has finally come. I urge the people of Qwaqwa to support this development and hope that the developers leave no one behind when it comes to the opportunities that this project will bring to the people of Maluti–a–Phofung,” Lakaje–Mosia said.