EC to spend R100m on roads

08 May 2008

The Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport recently announced that it would spend R100m on reconstructing the province's roads during this financial year.

This was during the department's presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport at the Provincial Legislature in Bhisho.

The department's team, led by MEC for Safety, Liaison, Roads and Transport, Thobile Mhlahlo, also presented the list of all roads earmarked for reconstruction to the committee with most roads from the former Transkei region.

The money was approved by provincial Cabinet in November 2007 and R300m was allocated to the department over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period to restore inaccessible and impassable roads.

According to the department the main purpose of the intervention is to provide concrete short, medium, and long term strategies to address the backlog in maintenance of the rural transport network.

The strategies will support the initiatives of the Provincial Growth and Development Plan, the Integrated Development Plans and rural communities.

"The first R100m was spent in the 2007/08 financial year," said departmental spokesperson Ncedo Kumbaca, adding that reconstruction of some roads started as early as 5 December 2007.

Some of the roads to be reconstructed in the Eastern Cape include:

- Mhlanganisweni access road

- Gangeni, Goli and Jange access roads

- Mdubi, Zixambuzi and Luqolweni

- Luhewini access road

- Road to lower Hukuwa JSS

- T-306 T-17 to Mvenyane

- DR03231 Kloopershoek road

During the presentation, Mhlahlo further briefed the committee about the Eastern Cape Rural Roads two-day summit, which would be held on 5 June at the Qunu Youth and Heritage Centre near Mthatha.

The purpose of the summit is for the department to present its strategy and priorities for the next 10 years to the public.

It will seek to change the ratio of surface to gravel roads, with 80% of the 43 465 km provincial network to surface and 20% to remain gravel.

Presently, 5,102 km of the province's roads are surfaced and 38,363km are gravel.

The objectives of the summit are to highlight provincial infrastructure challenges and best possible strategies to improve the quality of the Eastern Cape rural roads.

It will also focus on promoting the use of alternative technologies due to the scarcity of quarry material and to promote strategic initiatives that will give expression to labour intensive methods of road construction and maintenance in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) principles. – BuaNews

Readers' Comments
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I would like to ask the MEC for Safety, when will money be budgeted to retar the roads in Paradise Beach near Jeffreys Bay? The development in this area has increased tremendously, so therefore additional ratepayers are contributing to the funds of the municipality of the Kouga region. The residents and holiday home owners have been attending meetings to voice their anger at the pot holes that are only patched up. When the rains come the pot holes re-appear, more pot holes develop, and money used to fill the potholes are once again wasted. The solution is to retar.

Mayor Robbie Dennis of Jeffreys Bay was given a tour of the shocking conditions of the roads in Paradise Beach, and is yet to comment or take a decision to spend the money on tarring. When last did the MEC for Roads and Safety visit Paradise Beach? The Eastern Cape is a wonderful region for tourism, and Paradise Beach is becoming popular, but it is an embarrassment when visitors have to dodge the potholes. – Veronica McIntosh

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