By Sesona Mqheliswa
A former hospital building has been turned into an office park, which will accommodate five provincial departments in the Alfred Ndzo district. Eastern Cape Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, officiated the handing over and renaming of the Thobile Bam Office Park in KwaBhaca (formerly Mount Frere), following a months-long conversion of the former Mary Theresa Hospital building, which will see five provincial government departments move in – as part of bringing services closer to citizens.
Mabuyane, informing the media said the building would be named after Thobile Sithili Bam in recognition of his contributions in the political struggle.
“The goal of the one-stop stores was to not only centralize services for people, but also to build canteens where young people and entrepreneurs could start businesses to combat unemployment”, said MEC Madikizela.
According to MEC Madikizela the projects costed R89 Million and it took three years to complete, with the last year’s delay being due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The offices were completed at no additional cost, and the project stayed on schedule.
The Eastern Cape Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, as custodian of provincial government assets, is tasked with the provision of office space for Provincial Government Departments. The R89.5 million renovations was a 30-month project that started in 2016 and ended two (2) years ago.
“This part of the province is our concentration because of social infrastructure backlog that we have been having here”, said Mabuyane.
Addressing the media, the Premier stated that these offices were constructed in accordance with the Covid-19 norms and regulations, and he further urged people to maintain the offices in good condition.
Soundclip: Mabuyane comments on converting the hospital to a government office park. Sound bite supplied.