MARIENTAL – A high-powered delegation of the Swedish town of Staffanstorps is currently in Mariental to assist the municipality with structural development, water management, wastewater planning and recycling.
The visit is part of a twinning agreement between the Swedish town and Mariental as both are prone to recurrent floods.
Director of Development of Staffanstorps, Bo Gertsson, told New Era that over the past four years delegations of the Mariental Municipality visited Sweden to receive training in structural development, town planning and fire-fighting.
Fire-fighting equipment to assist Mariental’s fire brigade were also donated.
According to Gerttson, fire-fighting and prevention are an essential tool in any city or town. Hence, the focus was among others on fire-fighting and prevention. “The best fire is the one which has never taken place,” he emphasized.
Gerttson said the municipality of Staffanstorps decided to assist Mariental as they are facing the same flooding problems, in order to help Mariental to prevent future flooding and also effectively deal with problems arising from floods.
During its visit the delegation met with, inter alia, residents from the informal settlements in Mariental and made suggestions as to how the fate of these people can be improved.
Gerttson expressed satisfaction with progress made by the Mariental Municipality on structural development and water waste management so far.
Meanwhile, the Mariental Municipality has embarked on a structural plan for future developments at the town. The aim of the new plan is to align the town for future development in order to address the acute shortage of serviced erven, housing and unemployment, and for the creation of recreational activities.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Mariental, Cathy Boois, told New Era that all future developments at Mariental would be dealt with in line with the new structural plan once the draft has been discussed and adopted by all stakeholders.
A public meeting to inform the local community and business people about the new structural plan was held at the town last week on Wednesday.
By Hoandi !Gaeb