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Sol Plaatje farm: service delivery more important than white elephants

The FF Plus asked the Ministers of Finance, Tito Mboweni, and of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy, via a written parliamentary question whether the government is going to contribute to the R14 million that the Lejweleputswa District Municipality has approved to purchase and declare the birthplace of Sol Plaatje a heritage site.

Plaatje, who was the ANC's first General Secretary, was born on a farm in die Boshoff district.

The head of the Lejweleputswa Development Agency, Bufanani Mnguni, claimed before the Free State Committee for Public Accounts and Finance that these two departments will fund the purchase of the farm.

The FF Plus wants to know if a tourism impact study of any kind was conducted as well as whether a tourism plan was formulated before the land is purchased with the aim of developing it into a heritage site and tourism attraction. The FF Plus will also address questions regarding the matter to the Lejweleputswa council.

Initially, the piece of land was earmarked to re-establish the Boshoff Nature Reserve, but due to the number of animals it may not be appropriate. The District Municipality is currently trying to have the farm declared a heritage site.

The ANC government's record of owning and managing land in the province does not bode well. It seems that the province is once again going to squander money on yet another white elephant, like the Winnie Mandela Museum in Brandfort, the Vrede Dairy Project, the Ramkraal project in Heidedal and the N8 corridor in Mangaung.

The Free State needs service delivery. Heritage sites that have no proper planning will, like all other ANC projects, not benefit the people of the Free State.

Contact details: 076 629 6219

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