E Cape capital due for radical facelift

Thursday, September 8, 2011
By: 
Zona Mpendulo

Bisho - The Eastern Cape province's capital, Bhisho, has been earmarked for a radical facelift to once again make it the gateway to the province.

At a Heritage Month celebration in Bhisho, Transport, Roads and Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu said economic regression had resulted in the town's decline.

"Bhisho has a low provincial and national profile due to the lack of significant nodes to attract people to the town," said Marawu. 

She said the town will be revitalised as part of the provincial government's small town regeneration programme, ensuring it is economically stable and "gets the respect it deserves."

"Bhisho is the seat of government in the province. It employs over 4 000 people, with salaries ranging from R48 000 to R1.5 million a year. The revitalisation will convince some employees to live, shop and invest in Bhisho," said Marawu. 

She said as part of the programme, a contractor had already been appointed for the construction of the Bhisho Massacre memorial. 

"The construction has commenced and the completion of the project is [forecasted] for January 2012. When completed, there will be a contact centre where visitors to the Bhisho Massacre site will be able to view film footage, historical documents and artifacts from the massacre," said Marawu. 

In addition, she said an office accommodation project was being finalised, with construction due to start in November this year, as well as a recycling project that will create jobs for the unemployed. 

She made the announcement following Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile's tour of the province's heritage sites and visits to the families of liberation struggle heroes and heroines. 

Joined by Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRACC) MEC, Xoliswa Tom, Mashatile and Marawu visited historic sites, including liberation icon Oliver Thambo's home in Nkantolo and the Duncan Village massacre grave site. - BuaNews