Mahikeng the capital city of Bokone Bophirima is firmly set to become the 21st century world class city following the launch of the Mahikeng Rebranding, Repositioning and Renewal Programme (MRRRP) in Mahikeng by Premier Supra Obakeng Ramoeletsi Mahumapelo yesterday Tuesday 26 May 2015.
“The MRRRP is a considerate intervention programme which aims to transform the space economy whilst addressing a multiplicity of developmental objectives,” said Premier
Mahumapelo before reminding the audience that Mahikeng boasts a very rich history having been the Capital City of Bechuanaland Protectorate which is now Botswana, the place where the Scout Movement was started, and the battlefield for the Anglo-Boer War, among others.
However, over the years, road infrastructure in the city had deteriorated into appalling condition resulting in the city being nicknamed the City of Potholes and all names that do not promote the corporate image of the entire province. The city was also characterized by problems poor waste management, illegal refuse dumping, roads and storm water problem,faulty streetlights, and economic stagnation, among others.
Mahumapelo, who also spoke against what he sees as an increased Afro pessimism, said it was crucial to work together in rebranding, repositioning and renewing the city, in line with his saamtrek saamwerk philosophy. In addition to the revamping of all road infrastructures and other infrastructure that needs immediate repairs, Mahumapelo identified as part of the MRRRP 23 key programmes, which include the following:
Tourism product development to promote local and external tourism in and around Mahikeng, with a view to alleviate poverty and protect the environment. The upgrading of Manyane Game Lodge at the tune of R48 million is one of the projects under this programme.
- Road network rehabilitation which includes the rehabilitation and routine maintenance of the road network in and around Mahikeng.
- Traffic and safety control points will be established at all entry points into Mahikeng to deter criminals and keep residents safe.
- Storm water drainage programme which aims to improve current storm water drainage system and to prevent damages to roads as well as flooding in residential and businesses areas in and around Mahikeng.
- The redesigning of Mmabatho stadium to FIFA standard requirements in order to attract games to boost local economy of Mahikeng. Two projects are registered for implementation of the programme, namely the Construction of Kgosi Montshioa Stadium near the airport and the Dismantling of Mmabatho Stadium, which had been declared unsafe for occupation, and use material to improve Montshioa stadium.
- Turning Bop Rhino Studio into an Arts Innovation Hub to develop local artistic talent and positioning of recording studio/ hub as attractive national and international recording facility.
- Refurbishing of Mahikeng Airport and resuming air flights to other parts of the country and position Mahikeng as gateway to Africa/SADC. This includes reintroduction of subsidized passenger flights from Mahikeng.
- Rail network improvement which includes the resuscitation of the passenger rail service between Mahikeng and Johannesburg as well the reintroduction of passenger rail service between Mahikeng and Kimberly.
- Converting Mmabatho Convention Centre into an International Convention Centre. This includes the construction of a five start hotel next to Convention Centre.
- The beautification of Mahikeng with a view to improve the image and aesthetic appeal of city complemented by excellent infrastructure. This includes the patching potholes in and around Mahikeng, cleaning of Mahikeng and surrounding areas and fixing of street lights in and around Mahikeng.
Premier Mahumapelo’s initiative was welcomed by Kgosi Jeff Montshioa who said that he was thrilled to see that the provincial government was committed to restoring the city to its former glory and developing it even further.
The launch was also attended by amongst various MECs, the District Mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, the Executive Mayor of Mahikeng Local Municipality and
representatives from business.