Lesedi airfield to boost local economy

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The executive mayor of Lesedi Local Municipality, Councillor Lerato Maloka-Mkhize joined by the deputy minister of Trade and Industry Fikile Majola, handed over the Heidelberg Airfield to a locally based company, MTP Aviation Solutions at a glamourous event held at the Heidelberg Aerodrome on Friday, February 12.

The official handover was instituted as a local-economic empowerment initiative in which MTP Aviation Solutions and other local collaborators will develop the Aerodrome into a fully fledged airport and an international cargo airport by year 2058 in a 60 year concession.

MTP Aviation Solutions is a company that offers investment and consultancy services in Africa. Their range of services include airport planning, designing, licensing, establishment, construction and management. The company is also working on the Vaal Aerotropolis Project.

Government officials who attended the event included Trade and Industry deputy minister Fikile Majola, Lesedi mayor Lerato Maloka-Mkhize alongside members of the mayoral committee.

“At the moment, about 60 % of the cargo arriving at O.R Tambo International Airport is delayed or sometimes spoiled. We are committed that we are going to create the first cargo terminal that will be theft free,” said the CEO of MTP Aviation Petko Atanassov.

“This project is of paramount importance as it will employ the people of Lesedi and create business opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Lesedi’s local economy  and economy of the region will thrive. We are really looking forward to economic opportunities and skills transfer opportunities that will be the result of this project.” said the executive mayor.

The project will be undertaken in three phases, which are estimated to cost R22 billion.

Pic source: MTP Aviation Solutions

“It is a privilege to be part of this ground-breaking event a day after our president addressed the nation. As we know that Heidelberg is endowed with very fertile land. MTP has committed to building an Agri-Park in this community,” said the deputy minister Majola.

Not only will the project benefit the people of Lesedi but road users as well as the development of the airport will cut traffic in the N3 by 2 hours.

What is the Heidelberg Aerodrome

Heidelberg Aerodrome is an existing airfield within Lesedi Municipality, the airfield east of the municipality running parallel to the N3 national road.

Lesedi Local municipality envisions to maximize the economic potential of the airfield to grow the regional economy and create sustainable jobs and skills development. It forms part of the Lesedi ‘Zone of Opportunity’ which has been part of the municipality’s economic strategy.

According to the Lesedi Integrated Development Plan (IDP), the strip of land between Route R29 and Route N17 is demarcated as a “Zone of Opportunity” where future development opportunities linked to these two routes which include the airfield.

The aerodrome development is included in a proposed special economic zone (SEZ) to be established for the Sedibeng region

The R7.8-billion is set to reach and empower the community of Lesedi, which encompasses of areas such as Ratanda, Jameson Park and Rensburg.

According to Wikipedia, Aerodromes include small general aviation airfields, large commercial airports, and military air bases.

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