Emfuleni Local Municipality joined hands in partnership with the Red Ants security services to launch farm fishing project at the Dlomo Dam as part of executive mayor poverty alleviation project.
Members of the Mayoral Committee, Clrs Khulu Malindi in charge of Local Economic Development and Manana Kubheka of Housing presided over a public participation meeting on 26th February 2013 at Sharpeville Hall to share their development plans about the dam. Scores of youth and unemployed people attended the meeting as Red Ants CEO Johann Boschof presented their plans project part of their social responsibility to Emfuleni community.
Clr Manana Kubheka, speaking on behalf of the Executive Mayor, Clr Greta Hlongwane, explained to the Sharpeville residents that “we are here to consult with you for this private-public sector partnership investment. Yes, we acknowledge all the concerns you raised but let's avoid small differences to make Emfuleni to lose out on investment rather let us embrace this project with one common aim to reduce the current unprecedented rate of unemployment.
Red Ants' farms Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Johan Boschof explained “we have similar project now running for six months in partnership with City of Johannesburg. The benefits include feeding 30 000 families with foods parcels in Eikenhof especially the vulnerable, old age homes, child-headed families indentified by councilors.
Clr Khulu Malindi highlighted that Emfuleni residents must take pride about their natural resources, namely Vaal River and Dlomo dam. He further explained the Emfuleni Local Municipality will continue to be sole owner of the Dlomo dam; and arrangement is to enter into lease agreement with red ants for the duration of the project. “The municipality is in the process of dealing with issues of water contamination to save this private sector investment to help create jobs and new business enterpreneurship skills to boost local economic development “explained clr. Malindi.
It is envisaged that there will be other three projects that includes recreational activities to promote water sports, and for flamingoes birds found here at Dlomo Dam. Red Ants Security Services have employed the services of Professor Johann Koekemoer to help with “Environmental Impacts Assessment and other technical matters to take care of ecological and biodiversity.
Since Dlomo dam is declared a provincial heritage site Sedibeng tourism department and local tourist's operators present urged the red farms to observe the applicable laws to preserve this natural resources. Clr Kubheka and Red Ants farms directors handed out certificates to 17 members of the community for completing one week course in aquaculture in the following modules: investment and profitability, resources and site selection, tilapia species, purchasing and manufacturing.
Sharpeville ward councilors are expected to reflect these plans on their public meetings to get residents views at the same time allow red ants to come up with plans to accommodate the community submissions.