The new multimillion rand council chambers being built in Zamdela township in the Free State Province stand to add to the growing infrastructural development of the area. The building will also bring government and its services closer to communities.
The construction of the building which started early last year, is now 95% complete and will set the municipality back a whopping R39 million when it is completed. An unannounced site progress inspection by the executive mayor of Metsimaholo Local Municipality (MLM) Brutus Mahlaku, revealed that work is going at a fast pace.
The building will first have to be handed over to the MLM by the national department of public works once completed. The mayor said the giant structure will have a special public chamber sitting where members of the community can be accommodated to be part of council meetings and observe proceedings which impact on their livelihood.
Council sittings are by law open to the members of the public.
“This building is about the realisation of the goal of bringing government closer to the people, our people can’t afford taxi fares to collect their free kilolitres of water and electricity bundles in town, so bringing such services to them will definitely stand them a good chance of saving while at the same time just walking to access services provided to them by government,” he said.
He added that despite having more than thirty offices comprising of different government departments, the council chambers will also have an electricity pay-point centre, the office of local economic development (LED). It will also house the department of human settlements and an office dealing with indigent applications for members of the community who are too poor to pay for their services.
The completion of the building will signal the end of a sad reminder, when part of the structure was violently burned by protestors who were objecting to the proposed demarcation which sought to amalgamate the nearby town of Parys into Metsimaholo Local Municipality.
The mayor conceded that the incident delayed the intended construction deadlines but added that in the end there was a renewed sense of optimism and vigour poured into the project.
“We are bringing all our critical service delivery departments closer to the people and yes for the first time people would not have to travel to town to access a host of government related services,” he said.