Grey Dam rev­enue gen­er­at­ing plans risky

Grocott's Mail - - MAKANA VOICES -

I read with some hor­ror in the GRA News­let­ter that Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is plan­ning to go into busi­ness and spend our money de­vel­op­ing Grey Dam “into a rev­enue gen­er­at­ing self-sus­tain­able tourist and recre­ational fa­cil­ity.” (Quote from the In­cep­tion Re­port of Il­izwe Town and Re­gional Plan­ners cc who have been re­quested by the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to pro­duce a “Fea­si­bil­ity Study and Busi­ness Plan” on this pro­posed project.) Let me make it clear at the out­set that we did not elect th­ese coun­cil­lors to go into risk tak­ing rev­enue gen­er­at­ing busi­ness projects.

We elected them to fix the pot­holes in our streets, to fix the ever leak­ing wa­ter mains, to pay Eskom the money which they col­lect on Eskom’s be­half from us, to keep the streets clear of lit­ter and an­i­mal ma­nure, to keep gut­ters, storm wa­ter drains and the Kowie Ditches free of block­ages, to mow and trim the edges of lawns on verges and many other such mat­ters which are of pub­lic im­por­tance.

This is not the first time Makana has con­tem­plated the idea of go­ing into sup­posed rev­enue gen­er­at­ing ex­ploits. Do you re­mem­ber the fol­low­ing dis­as­ters, all within the last 10 to 15 years?

The Goat Farms. Seven­teen farms in an arc be­tween where the Fort Beau­fort Road meets the N2 and Riebeeck East were ear­marked for pur­chase or hire by Makana to pro­duce goat’s milk cheese. The goats had to be im­ported from Switzer­land and they all died.

The Ostrich Farm. A farm with os­triches was bought and day-old ostrich chicks would be sold to sur­round­ing ostrich farm­ers. The os­triches had to be in­jected against ‘bird flu’ with large sy­ringes and the work­ers re­fused to do this. End of the en­ter­prise.

The Municipal Car­wash. One of th­ese mod­ern tun­nel car wash build­ings was erected at the bot­tom end of Raglan Road (re­named ‘Dr JG Zuma Drive’ by Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity). Al­most no­body used it. Mo­torists pre­ferred to pay the ‘car wash men’ with their buck­ets, sponges and cloths in the car park. Cheaper and help­ful to the poor and needy.

The Kaolin Mine. Eu­phemism for a clay pit. Makana’s first and only ap­point­ment in this en­ter­prise was the Mine Man­ager. Un­for­tu­nately he found when he called a meet­ing of all po­ten­tial stake­hold­ers and in­ter­ested per­sons that the only peo­ple who came were the poor and un­em­ployed who des­per­ately needed jobs. Project aban­doned.

The Makana Re­sort. For­merly a very pop­u­lar car­a­van park and camp­ing site with a few bun­ga­lows and chalets pa­tro­n­ised by mainly lower in­come hol­i­day mak­ers and mo­torists seek­ing an af­ford­able overnight stop. But now it has all gone posh and ex­pen­sive and I doubt whether its re­turns jus­tify the cap­i­tal spent.

Now Makana is at it again. Gra­ham­stown peo­ple will have to PAY to go for a walk or have a pic­nic at Grey Dam. What next?

Clive Whit­ford

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.