Access to government services and information remains a huge challenge for many citizens as government departments are either located far away from the people or based at different locations.
In its drive to bring services closer to the people and to make our government more accessible, the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) has rehabilitated an old hostel owned by the Western Cape Government and converted it into a top class Shared Services Centre. The centre will house officials from the Departments of Health, Agriculture, Social Development and Education, offering these services to the community of Mossel Bay.
The R60 million project, also known as Mossel Bay Shared Offices Building (SOB), is located in the accessible and popular Marsh Street. 48 jobs were created for local residents. The development is a wonderful example of how government and the community can work together.
Before rehabilitating the 60-year-old building, the DTPW appointed a Heritage practitioner who made proposals to Heritage Western Cape on its design. Approval was granted for the renovation on this basis.
During excavations, remains of an old stone house were found. The stone has been used in the garden retaining walls and the excess was donated to Heritage Mossel Bay for use on other projects.
Every effort has been made to maximise the site, the existing building and the new additions within budget, and in compliance with all regulatory and other requirements.
The Department of Health occupied the building on the 26th of November 2020 while other Departments moved in during January 2021. It is therefore now fully fledged and operational.
I am proud that my department was able to consolidate old buildings and create a beautiful, bright building that is a one-stop-shop to help communities. Residents are at the heart of everything we do, and we hope this centre is well used, and brings great benefits to the community.
The Western Cape Government remains committed in bringing services closer to these most deserving residents.