It was brought to the attention of the Excelsior News that property just outside of Mkhondo municipal grounds, on the Wakkerstroom road, is being destroyed by wrongdoers.
This empty property which is fenced off has guardrooms and has been levelled, which means that it has been prepared for construction to begin and yet, no progress has been made in ages. The palisade fence has been almost completely destroyed or removed and the only thing that is remaining of the guardrooms are empty shells, as all of the windows have been broken.
Ms Nelly Makhanya, the Agricultural Manager of the Mkhondo Local Municipality, has confirmed that the grounds are to be used as the new offices for the Department of Agriculture. She also stated that the MLM is well aware of the vandalism and the matter has been reported to the Mkhondo SAPS on several occasions.
The property has been left vacant for quite some time now and the reasons for the delay in construction are not clear. What is clear however is that the delay has made this an easy target for criminals and when the Department of Agriculture finally starts building their new offices, the existing fence and buildings will have to be almost completely rebuilt. This was a complete waste of time and money to erect a fence before construction began.
According to Ms Makhanya, the construction of the new offices will start soon and a service provider has already been assigned to the project. The ward councillor and the senior portfolio committee of the MLM are well aware of the situation.
It seems to be an exciting time for the Department of Agriculture, as the Mkhondo Agri-Hub is expected to open its doors in September. According to Ms Makhanya, an operational manager has already been appointed and the farmers of the Mkhondo area are excited to be involved in the project but, there are still a few issues that need to be addressed.
No further information is currently available about the Mkhondo Agri-Hub.