Times of Eswatini
Ingwenyama commands govt to improve feeder roads
LOBAMBA – His Majesty the King has commanded his government to give more attention to improving feeder roads in the communities.
The Monarch said improving feeder roads in communities would attract investment and development in these areas.
Ingwenyama, speaking during the official opening of the fifth session of the 11th Parliament, said he had witnessed immense contribution that the probase road project has had in improving the road network in the rural areas. “Government shall give more attention to improving the feeder roads in our communities so as to attract investment and development in these areas,” he said.
“While there are some challenges in some areas, these need to be addressed urgently and government will expand the probase network across the country.”
He said roads remained a critical element in the productivity of the economy. As a result, the head of State, speaking from the Throne, commanded government to continue strengthening the rehabilitation programme of existing roads infrastructure.
He ordered government to construct new ones to connect towns and cities as well as provide an unhindered movement of goods and services. Ingwenyama announced that a Roads Authority would be established to ensure that the country’s newly- improved roads network was well- taken care of and maintained for the benefit of future generations.
His Majesty commended the impressive developments in the road networks, such as the Manzini intersection and the MoneniMbadlane Highway, which, he said, were at par with some of the roads in First World countries. He said the country needed to see more of such roads meeting such standards, particularly the industrial area of Matsapha where there was traffic congestion during peak hours.
He said this frustration needed to be addressed urgently as it compromised the ease of doing business. The King said the nation would be pleased to note that the Nhlangano– Sicunusa ( MR13) Public Road, which had experienced implementation challenges, was due for completion in July 2023. He said the completion of this project would bring travel convenience to road users and assist adjacent communities in accessing services and other development initiatives.
On another note, the King said one of the major impediments to development was the absence of a well- structured resettlement programme that would oversee growth in rural communities.
He said the absence of such an important programme exhibited fast growing economic activities that could transform the areas into towns. He said it was, therefore, imperative to quickly address this anomaly, which had resulted in numerous land disputes and proved costly when much- needed economic growth had to be initiated.
He said proper demarcation and respect for boundaries of private land and Eswatini nation land needed to be enforced so that development of communities could be sped up, with people deriving benefits from essential service facilities. “We should also see to it that the resettlement programme incorporates housing schemes in rural areas that attract financing from private institutions. This would go a long way in improving home ownership for our people,” the King said
“We encourage the developing communities which are growing into towns to be guided by proper development plans that accommodate future expansions into towns.”
He said the existing towns and cities should continue with their programmes of development so that they were at par with other cities of the world. He then called for quality health for emaSwati. “The health of the nation is a priority. We are noting that COVID- 19 continues to change itself to bypass our immune system and make us ill,” he said.
“We, therefore, urge all emaSwati to continue taking precautions for the virus and follow the guidance being given by the health sector.”
In an effort to bring health facilities closer to the people, he presented five newly- built clinics. They were built by the government and were operational. These are Nkomanzi, Hlane, Magwanyana, Tikhuba and Sidvokodvo at Luve. He said the time had come for government to expand the services provided at the clinics so that they catered for more diverse needs of the populace.
He urged government to ensure that hospitals and clinics were provided with the required medication, particularly HIV prevention drugs, which should always be made easily accessible. He also urged communities to jealously protect these structures because they were directly affected if they were to be destroyed.