Thaba Tshwane, the military “suburb” south-west of the Pretoria CBD, is now officially under control of the Defence Works Formation (DWF) and will function as a military town management (MTM) entity.
Tshwane Metro councillor Ina Strijdom, whose ward includes the military area, told defenceWeb she had more problems than solutions when dealing with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and what was the Works Formation of the SA Army. This situation arose because, even though Thaba Tshwane is part and parcel of the Tshwane Metro, municipal officials and councillors do not have jurisdiction over what was previously Voortrekkerhoogte and before that Roberts Heights.
Major General Joseph Ledwaba, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of DWF, gave a brief outline of the way in which Thaba Tshwane will be managed with the first step appointment of a project manager and team. This, according to a presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV), is “achieved” with an unspecified pilot project for the military area also approved.
In the same presentation Ledwaba told the committee, installation of “prepaid utility meters” in Thaba Tshwane was approved. This forms part of the Department of Defence (DoD) strategic facility plan with the prepaid meter installation proposal submitted to the Logistics Division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) just on a year ago.
Thaba Tshwane, in addition to providing housing for SANDF families and single quarter accommodation, is home to a number of military training institutions including the army, air force, defence and military health colleges. The SA Army college campus is also home to the SANDF peace mission training centre.
The north-eastern boundary of Thaba Tshwane is the site of 1 Military Hospital where maintenance and upgrades are an ongoing headache for DWF and Minister Patricia de Lille’s DPWI.
Ledwaba notes in his presentation “emergency repairs” in the form of two projects at what was the SA Military Health Service’s (SAMHS) flagship healthcare, dispensing and surgical facility, will cost more than R107 million. This is for mechanical and electrical work only with the “total facility management cost” for the hospital yet to be determined.