Following the heavy rains that destroyed bridges, roads and fields in the country a month ago, on Friday the Prime Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro officially launched the programme ‘Operation Phau Manyetse’ for the construction and rehabilitation of bridges and roads countrywide at the event held at Ha Jimisi, Mazenod.

The programme’s name is in honour of the late Famo musician, Mr. Phau Manyetse who died recently.

Dr Majoro expressed happiness to the community of Ha Jimisi for gracing the event in large numbers, saying this confirms how desperate they needed and waited for this change.

He said since 2017, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Qeme Constituency, Mr. Nkaku Kabi has been requesting for construction of the Ha Jimisi bridge, saying finally their government adhered to his request hence the bridge will be constructed.

He said the community is lucky that the launch of countrywide construction and rehabilitation of bridges and roads takes place in their area.

He remarked that the subcommittee of Ministers assigned to compile reports on the impact of the heavy rains could have not done this excellent job of discovering that there are many bridges, fields, cemeteries and roads destroyed if it was not for the help of community councillors, therefore, thanked them for their cooperation.

Dr Majoro urged Mr. Kabi as Minister of Water to facilitate the issue of water and electricity in the area, saying they do not have much time before the 2022 elections hence he should do all he can to ensure that the Qeme constituency gets all that is needed by the community as it is the responsibility of government to deliver services.

He therefore called on all cabinet ministers to work hard to restore citizens’ hope to government as they have been appointed to ensure service delivery.

Also speaking, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Mathibeli Mokhothu said the damaged caused by the rains is a blessing in disguise since the Ha Jimisi community has been without a proper access bridge for a long time but now is among the communities to benefit after the torrential rains.

He said he is thankful to the Member of Parliament for Qeme and his community as things are working in their favour now hence will finally have the bridge they have been longing for.

On one hand, Minister of Public Works, Mr. Lebohang Monaheng said the Mazenod – Au road is the responsibility of his ministry saying this means they are going to work together with other line ministries like Forestry, Agriculture and Food Security and Local Government to ensure that the programme becomes a success.

In his remarks, Mr. Kabi said he is thankful for the community of Ha Jimisi as they needed a bridge to access services. He added that they had a temporary structure that collapsed recently, saying the construction of the new bridge comes at the right time.

He noted that unlike other people living in urban areas, the community of Ha Jimisi have no access to water, electricity and roads hence feels discriminated against.

On the other hand Chairperson of Fika-le-Mohala Community Council,  Mr. Sello Molise said when the event of this nature takes place in their area, they feel humbled and grateful since they have had difficult years without roads, water and a bridge.

He thanked Mr. Kabi for working tirelessly to ensure service delivery in their area, therefore appealed to the community to always consult with the councillors before engaging the media whenever there is a need.

On the same note, the Chairperson of Mohlakeng Community Council,  Mrs. ‘Malits’itso Kutumela thanked the Prime Minister and his deputy for the day’s events at ha Jimisi, saying they have for many years been living in despair due to unavailability of the bridge and other services including electricity, road and water.

She also thanked a Member of Parliament for Qeme Constituency, Mr. Kabi for working hard to ensure that Ha Jimisi community also have access to services, saying governments have been changing but doing nothing for the Ha-Jimisi community.

On behalf of the community, Mrs. ‘Maphakiso Namane said they do not have enough words to express their happiness, saying for many years, they felt discriminated as other nearby areas had access to electricity, roads and water.

She noted that they have been waiting for this day for a long time hence thanked Mr. Kabi for making it possible.

Meanwhile in accordance with the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) Act of 1997 (3),(1),(2),
the Prime Minister, Dr Majoro on February 16 declared the state of emergency for six months following the collapse of many bridges due to heavy rains countrywide.

The cost of the damage by the rains is estimated at about M400 million. The M23 million is for food security to compensate farmers whose fields were destroyed during the rains, M4 million is for nutrition, and M179 million has been set aside for the construction of roads and bridges and M106 million will go to Public Works and the remaining M72 million goes to Local Government.

Additionally, M3.1 million is for Water, M80 million goes to the Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation to rehabilitate and conserve soil while M37 million goes to Social Development to assist households that were affected by the rain.

Source: LENA 12/03/2021

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