Construction of the long-awaited 39-kilometre Tshesebe Masunga road in the North East District will finally be implemented this financial year at a cost of P400 million.
The road will be upgraded to bitumen through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). This revelation was made by North East District Council (NEDC) Chairperson Florah Mpetsane during a full council meeting on Monday in Masunga.
She said the project had been awarded to Bash (Pty) Ltd as the main contractor and Rites Afrika in association with a local company, Pula Consultant, as the site Engineer.
“The site was handed over to the main contractor on April 27, 2017 and commenced on May 2, 2017. It is currently at mobilisation stage for a period of a month. The contract period will run for 20 months and is expected to be completed by December 2, 2018,” she said.
Touching on other development issues she said that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has engaged consultants for the design of Zwenshambe clinic (level two) which will include10 staff houses.
The site was handed over to the consultants on May 4, 2017 and the design is expected to take six months after which tendering will commence.
Among other health issues, she said the district had registered five cases during the season of malaria; two in Matsiloje, one in Mapoka, one in Mosojane and one in Sechele villages.
“Patients from Mosojane, Mapoka and Sechele had visited malaria endemic areas specifically Mohembo, Mozambique and Nokaneng. I am pleased to inform this house that there were no deaths registered from these malaria incidences,” she said.
Mpetsane said contact tracing was carried out for all the patients and none was found positive to the malaria test. She cautioned the communities to avoid mosquito breeding factors like stagnant waters, overgrown vegetation and encouraged individuals to report to the nearest health facility immediately when they experience signs or symptoms of malaria.
On water supply, she said that North East District continues to experience shortage of water in most villages although the Dikgatlhong, Ntimbale and Shashe dam levels stand between 99.3 percent and 97.7 percent full.
“This is attributed mainly to numerous infrastructure failures that occurred during the quarter. This coupled with the fact that Ntimbale Dam Water Supply Infrastructure has inadequate capacity to meet the normal water demand, resulting in prolonged water shortages which were more pronounced at villages along the A1 road,” she said.
She said the North East District continued to experience human wildlife conflicts. She said 228 cases from 2015 were registered reporting frequent damages caused by elephants at Patayamatebele, Ditladi, Matopi and Matsiloje villages while few incidents were reported at Zwenshambe, Mapoka and Tshesebe villages.
“Properties destroyed include horticultural products and equipment, field fences and field crops. The disease control fence along Ramokgwebana River has also been smashed by elephants. Predation of livestock by carnivores also remains a challenge,” she said.
Mpetsane, however, was happy that the Department of Wildlife was allocated an amount of P3 million to cater for compensation for losses in the past three years.
She said 27 cases amounting to P181 895.85 have been paid to date and others are expected to be processed by end of June 2017.