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Exciting times ahead

“Exciting times lie ahead for the Moqhaka community with new developments in the pipeline,” says Mncedisi Mqwathi, municipal manager of Moqhaka.

Job creation, economic stimula­tion and infrastructure development are high on the priority list of the municipality.

Mqwathi said they align them­selves with the National Development Plan Vision 2030, Brics Billaterals, and the Free State development strategy.

New projects in the pipeline are the Maokeng Mall with a capacity for about 50 stores, a R160 million investment with retail potential of R1,2 billion per annum, the creation of about 500 jobs during and after construction and for the benefit of local small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs).

The establishment of the Senwes outlet with an investment value of about R74 million along the N1 next to the Sanral weigh bridge, will also boost the municipal tax base. This investment will contribute a great deal to the agricultural sector, which is one of the important economic key drivers in Moqhaka.

Nonya Properties is bringing a business investment of about R50 million opposite the construc­tion area of the Maokeng Mall. The ground work is in its initial stage.

“The municipality has received a proposal of $10 billion from Moqhaka For The People (MFTP) for the upgrade of the Kroonstad Power Station. This will not only boost the economy, but will create jobs for unemployed residents.

“In 2019 our main focus will be the economic and infrastructural development. However, our township economy needs to be revitalised and special attention needs to be paid to our SMMEs.

“The municipality has received an unqualified audit report for three consecutive years from the Auditor General and we believe this is one of the critical components if attracting investment.

“Electricity and water theft is a major concern to the municipality. The municipality is losing about R67 million annually through this illegal activities. We invite investors to the red carpet and not the red tape areas, to create jobs,” says Mqwathi.

Regarding the infrastructure, the municipal manager says they concentrate to work on critical areas first and are aware of all the current problems, such as sewage and water leaks. The municipality says during 2018 two sewage and one water plant were refurbished and upgraded in Kroonstad, and one in Viljoenskroon.

Electricity with the overhead line and backup support of the underground supply is ideal for the municipality. Electricity supply was not a problem in the last few years.

Electricity theft is however still a big concern and a big challenge for the municipality.

Currently the municipality are installing smart meters that immediately send a signal when it is being tampered with. They hope to have these installed in the whole of Moqhaka in the near future.

Regarding the fixing of roads in Moqhaka, preference are given to main roads with heavy daily traffic, although they are aware of the seriousness of other road problems in the area.

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