President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the community of Tsomo, under Intsika Yethu Local Municipality, Chris Hani District in the Eastern Cape Province. This was the 09th District Development Model (DDM) Presidential Imbizo of the current administration. The engagement took place on Friday, 11th August 2023 in Tsomo Town.
The inaugural DDM Presidential Imbizo was held in March 2022, in Mmabatho, North West Province. It was then taken to other provinces, with the Eastern Cape being the last province to be visited. This programme is primarily aimed at assessing service delivery and the availability of enabling infrastructure, evaluating levels of coordination across all spheres of government and interacting with communities over the challenges they face.
The District Development Model is an integrated planning model for cooperative governance which seeks to ensure integrated, district- based service delivery approach aimed at fast-tracking service delivery. During his visits in all nine provinces, the President together with members of his cabinet engaged directly with the communities and stakeholders, addressing their concerns and mapping solutions that will enable integrated service delivery.
With the participation of leadership from the National, Provincial and Local spheres of government, the President visits facilitated meaningful community engagement. The President ensured that government programmes and initiatives were tailored, to meet the needs and priorities of residents.
Preceding the Imbizo in Tsomo, were build-up activities led by Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premier, MEC’s and other government agencies. They assessed progress on service delivery projects within Chris Hani District and Eastern Cape Province at large.
In his arrival in Tsomo Town, President Ramaphosa visited the Tsomo River Abstraction and Water Treatment Works Project. The water treatment plant is a cross boundary water supply project abstracting water from the Tsomo River, serving the towns and rural settlements in two district municipalities, i.e. Chris Hani District Municipality (Intsika Yethu and Engcobo communities) and Amathole District Municipality (Mquma Local Municipality).
The cost to the completion of the project is estimated at R553 million. Currently, the plant delivers a capacity of 25 megalitres per day. A further upgrade of the Water Treatment Works to 42 megalitres per day will cost an additional R353 million to cater for Butterworth, Centane and other Mnquma Local Municipality villages.
The President proceeded to preside over an interactive session with the community, where a range of service delivery issues were raised, including the shortage of water, road infrastructure and high unemployment rate. The President afforded Ministers an opportunity to respond and update the community on plans to resolve some of the issues raised.
In his conclusion, President Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude to the people of the District who attended in very large numbers and for the constructive manner in which they raised issues. He also commended them for their trust in government and for their commitment to partner with all government structures in improving services.
Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President
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