Twelve members of the Blue Waters community in Great Kei were empowered to maintain potholes on Saturday, 24 August.  People living in the area who passed the workers on the road expressed their thanks to the DA for the initiative.

Twelve members of the Blue Waters community in Great Kei have been empowered to maintain potholes.

This initiative forms part of the “Jobs campaign” of the Democratic Alliance.  Country wide DA public representatives and activists are embarking on a series of initiatives that will entail skills transfer projects to communities.

The DA Great Kei councillors Sharne Jacobs and Lappies Labuschagne and activist Bev Wood embarked on a pothole repair project in Blue Waters.

A similar event with DA Adelaide councillor Ernie Lombard took place on Friday.

With some unemployed members of the community identified for this project, the process of learning to patch potholes properly under the guidance of Gavin Swart, a retired Roads Engineer, took place Saturday 24 August.

The participants were paid a token amount for their efforts.

As part of ongoing empowerment, I have requested the councillors in the area to ensure that the names and contact details of these community members who did the pothole work are entered on a skills data base of the municipality.

What is encouraging is that basic equipment such a spades, picks, hand compactors are used.

Of crucial importance is to ensure that this and other planned initiatives are sustainable and grow thus broadening opportunity for as many people as possible to partake of skills training and possible employment.

By so doing this will be a leg up to lift such folk out of poverty to a dignified life of employment.

I will, as constituency leader, ensure that these initiatives remain sustainable and are not become mere “flash in the pan” events.

We encourage all communities in the province follow this initiative to get involved and empower skills transfer to unemployed communise in this regard.

If business owners and community organisations can club together and sponsor a few bags of tar, supply or lend basic tools and use skills from the knowhow of Road Engineers, huge progress can be made in alleviating unemployment and fixing and maintaining our potholed roads in the province.

As a long term initiative we would encourage the formation of “Pothole repair” cooperatives where such skills could be used to assist municipalities to cut the pothole repair backlogs and have our roads maintained quicker.

Furthermore, by having a skills base of empowered people to fix potholes can alleviate pressure on municipalities to do this work.

Many other initiatives are planned over the next few days and weeks such as the establishment of vegetable gardens and assistance with helping individuals to write and compile CV’s (Curriculum Vitaes) to enable them to become marketable in the work place.