Laingsburg - Provincial Government Is Committed To The Finalisation Of Process - Upgrade Of Cemetery | Western Cape Government

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Laingsburg - Provincial Government Is Committed To The Finalisation Of Process - Upgrade Of Cemetery

24 March 2004
Last year the provincial government of the Western Cape was involved in a process of thorough investigations to refute allegations over the existence of an alleged mass grave in Laingsburg after the 1981 floods. Although the further handling of this very sensitive issue is vested with the Laingsburg Municipality it is in the interest of the broader Laingsburg community that the provincial government not only acts in a reconciliatory manner, but is also actively engaged in the upliftment of a town which was deeply divided by these allegations.

At present the municipality is busy with the development of a tourism centre and flood route, as a tourist attraction, for the town and to stimulate the economy of the region. Phase one will comprise a tourism bureau/museum, conference rooms, kiosks, etc. Also included is the construction of an obelisk as proposed by Cabinet. The funding for phase one is provided in total by the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The municipality is currently awaiting the rolling over of the funds.

To take the process of reconciliation and healing in the Laingsburg community forward the Provincial Government of the Western Cape has requested the Municipal Council of Laingsburg to consider upgrading the former coloured cemetery where eight victims of the flood were buried. This will ensure that these graves receive the same recognition as the memorial cemetery where most of the victims were buried.

Today the provincial government is proud to hand over an amount of R200 000 from the Consolidated Municipal Infrastructure Programme (CMIP) to the Municipality of Laingsburg for the upgrading of the Göldnerville Cemetery. This amount is a contribution to the total cost of R250 000 which will include water supply to the cemetery, the planting of trees, a 200 m access road, an entrance wall to the cemetery, store facilities as well as ablution facilities.

In accordance with one of the goals of CMIP local labour will be utilised and it is estimated that 1 620 person days of work will be provided, of which at least 30% will consist of women.

It is a privilege to be part of the process with the conclusion of this Laingsburg chapter. Our Government was determined from the start to achieve three things for the Laingsburg community: truth, reconciliation and closure. It is in the interest of the broader Laingsburg community that all spheres of government now work together to achieve closure. What we are doing today is an example of what can be achieved.

-In addition to this very important symbolic cheque handover it is a pleasure to announce that an amount R1,3 million has been approved for Göldnerville and Bergsig in Laingsburg for the rehabilitation of roads and related storm water. With high unemployment in this town it is estimated that this project will provide 3 520 person days of work.

Enquiries: Jan Bosman
Cell: 083 775 5312

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