Premier Winde on his visit to Velddrif ahead of SOPA
Media Release by Premier Alan Winde on his visit to Velddrif ahead of the Official Opening of Parliament and the State of the Province Address
I visited the town of Velddrif today to meet and engage with the community, and to listen to their ideas and concerns, ahead of the State of the Province Address which will take place in the town on 15 February 2022.
As part of my visit, I took part in a ribbon-cutting and plaque unveiling for the new Grace Medical Centre. The centre, which is an initiative of a local entrepreneur and philanthropist, will not only improve service delivery in terms of frail care to the community but also create jobs for those working in this important sector.
It was my great pleasure to visit this scenic town to engage with members of the community. I also engaged with the local Mayor, Ray van Rooy and the Municipal Manager, Hanlie Linde to discuss important issues affecting the area.
During the visit, I also had the opportunity to assist in preparing food at the local FDSA soup kitchen and then personally deliver the food prepared to the homes of frail and elderly persons.
While visiting the soup kitchen, I met Tannie Bettie who runs its operations. Tannie Bettie offered some of her mince stew, noting that she feeds up to 500 people a day.
She explained that her soup kitchen had previously been burnt down during a protest and has subsequently requested that myself and Mayor van Rooyen assist in its restoration.
Despite challenges faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western Cape Government has continued to support and drive infrastructure development in Velddrif and the Bergrivier municipality more generally. This includes:
- Support provided by the Provincial Department of Social Development to the Aand-Oewer service centre for Older Persons, the FDSA feeding scheme and youth program, its funded Youth Café in Velddrif and local schools and ECD facilities.
- 3 public libraries that all provide free internet access through the Rural Library Connectivity Project. Of which, the Noordhoek Public Library was upgraded and will be opening soon. A mini-library for the blind has further been established in Velddrif Public Library.
- In Piketberg, as a part of the Joint District Metro Approach projects, the West Coast District has successfully developed a Youth Centre to address community and youth needs in the region. The Pietie Fredricks Youth Development Centre in Piketberg is scheduled for completion by the end of March 2022 and will provide residents with key facilities that advance youth development, as well as skills and training in the community.
- The upgrading of 1145 metres of gravel sidewalks within Velddrif. Surface footways will be provided on at least one side of every road. Where pedestrian traffic is expected to be high, priority is being given to the pedestrian. The total project cost is R 3 million of which 245 households will benefit.
- The St Christopher Sewer Pump Station and Rising Main are further being upgraded by the Provincial Department of Local Government. The St Christopher sewer pump station is responsible for pumping the sewerage from 3 other pump stations, including its own, to the Velddrif Wastewater Treatment Works. This is critical to ensure that the whole upstream system is accommodated. The upgrade is expected to benefit a total of 338 households, many of whom are in indigent communities.
I am looking forward to the SOPA taking place in Velddrif this year and I am very encouraged by the development of new infrastructure here. We know the pandemic has taken a significant toll on us all, and we have particularly seen this in small towns such as Velddrif whose tourism and hospitality was hard hit.
This year’s SOPA will focus on job creation, promoting the dignity and wellbeing of our residents and promoting and improving their safety overall – with a particular focus on what we will be doing in the fight against GBV.