Local Government spokesperson Dacre Haddon made an undertaking during the recent sitting of the Legislature to chase a grant of 14 million euros which is available from the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. The Eastern Cape is the only province that did not apply for the grant.
Haddon was speaking during a debate on a report of a study tour trip to the Netherlands, conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Traditional Affairs.
He told the House: “Speaker, what the report does not convey were the feelings of the Dutch officials towards our group on this trip. The officials at the Chamber were bemused because there was a free grant for development yet the Eastern Cape did not apply for the funding.”
The grant is available over a period of 12 years and is awarded for infrastructure development. A motivated feasibility study application was all that was required to seek this funding.
“All we had to do, as a Province, was to ask for the money,” he said. “Imagine what the impact of 14 million euros would have had on the infrastructural development of this province. Of concern is why this application for funding from this Province did not take place. This was the only Province that had not applied for the grant funding.”
The recommendations from the committee contained in the report only referred to the department identifying relevant municipalities and assist them to apply for the grant.
Haddon has written to the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, to answer a parliamentary question whether the province has now applied for this grant funding and if so, to give the relevant details.
“As a province with vast unemployment we need to utilize every opportunity to access grants for development in the province and not let golden opportunities like these slip away due to ignorance or maladministration on our side,” he said.