In his speech Cronin referred to the issues that have been prevalent throughout the country concerning the upkeep of the harbours. “There has always been a debate surrounding who should be in charge of maintaining the harbours.
“When the cost of upgrading and maintaining is mentioned, most smaller municipalities prefer not to take responsibility. But the harbours are in fact part of the Department’s integrated development plan – a partnership that has been formed between Department of Public Works (DPW), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and local municipalities.
“We have lost the opportunity here by not inviting the Overstrand municipality to the ceremony that could have strengthened this partnership,” he added.
Cronin then handed the certificate of completion to Fanie Fourie, the assistant director of DAFF, who was also present, before ceremoniously cutting the ribbon.
The project was handled by Bambana, who employed local, unskilled workers to complete the building.
Bambana, which means “hand in hand”, strives towards developing local skills and employing local people.
Janine Ryan, the HR director for the company, said at the ceremony that they had spent R460000 on skills development during this project. “We had 21 learners over the period of the project – 12 women and 9 men – who were skilled in masonry and painting. All the workers were from the local community.”
The upgrades included the upgrading of underground pipelines, the refurbishment of three residences on the property as well as the winch house and pump house, the resurfacing of the harbour road and upgrades of the fish shed and boat house.
The harbour master offices, which were not sufficiently water resistant, were also refurbished.