Government announces KZN flood relief interventions for transport sector

Friday, May 6, 2022

Government has announced multi-faceted interventions for the victims of the KwaZulu-Natal floods ranging from measures to alleviate the economic impact on road users to the rebuilding and rehabilitation of infrastructure.

Addressing a media briefing on Friday in relation to the much-needed relief in the transport sector Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, said government is working closely with communities to ensure speedy repairs to both the road and rail infrastructure in the shortest possible time is realised.

“The quantum cost for the repairs and rehabilitation of the rail network affected by flood damage is estimated at R3.3 billion. The disaster compounded an already challenged rail network that had been hit hard by theft and vandalism of rail infrastructure,” the Minister said.

He said the service recovery for commuter rail will be undertaken in phases due to the severity of the impact of the floods on the rail network.

The first phase will focus on restoring safe train movement in areas where damage was limited.

Government anticipates achieving recovery in the north between one to three months, particularly in areas where the damage is not as severe.

Emergency procurement processes have been activated to introduce a diesel service by the end of May 2022 in the following corridors:

  • Durban to KwaMashu
  • Durban to Stanger
  • Durban to Pinetown

The second phase of the recovery will focus on recovering damaged and destroyed infrastructure, which will take between three to six months from the date of the award of the contract in the following corridors:

  • Durban to KwaMashu
  • Durban to Umlazi
  • New Main Line to Cato Ridge
  • Reunion to Kelso, which will be confirmed once structural and geotechnical engineering consultants have been appointed for Illovo Bridge.

Repairs on national roads

Repair and rehabilitation work on the N2 and N3 is already underway at a total cost of R542.5 million. This work will be funded from the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) budget.

The following sections of the national roads are therefore receiving priority:

  • Mhlali River Bridge (Northbound) - The design and construction drawings to repair damages to the bridge have been finalised. The repair work should be complete in three months from the date of the award of the contract.
  • Ramp M45 Queen Nandi to N2 South over Umhlangane River - The design and construction drawings have been finalised. Expectations are that the repair work will be completed in one month from the date of the award of the contract.
  • Louis Botha Overpass - The design and construction drawings have been finalised. Government anticipates that the repair work will be completed in two months from the date of the award of the contract.
  • Umhlanga River Bridge - The design and construction drawings have been finalised. The repair work should be completed in one month from the date of the award of the contract.
  • Armco Culvert on N3 Southbound ramp at Peacevale Interchange – Design and scoping to address pavement failure and severe erosion of the road fill above the Peacevale Armco culvert have been finalized, with the anticipation that the repair work will be completed in six months from the date of the award of the contract.
  • Embankment failure on N2 Northbound carriageway - Initial assessment and scoping of the works by SANRAL to address the complete embankment failure, resulting in northbound carriageway slow lane and shoulder settlement over 1 metre have been completed. Repair work will be completed in 8 months from the date of the award of the contract.
  • Embankment failure on N2 Southbound carriageway - Design and construction drawings to repair embankment failure resulting in cracking and settlement on the Southbound carriageway shoulder, affecting the slow and fast lanes have been finalised. Repair work should be completed in 10 months from the date of the award of the contract.

Funding repairs for provincial roads

Funding to repair provincial roads will be allocated through the reprioritization of the Provincial Road Maintenance Grant to the tune of R3.1 billion.

“The province had initially requested assistance to the tune of R5.1 billion. However, through the reprioritisation of the Provincial budget, the R2.6 billion will be funded by the Province,” the Minister said.

The following are provincial roads and Municipal structures that have been identified for priority repairs and rehabilitation. SANRAL has been appointed as an Implementing Agent for this work.

  • M4 Slip No. 1 – Repair work to the embankment washaway with failure of the roadway, which includes the shoulder and half a lane width will take six weeks to complete once a contract has been awarded for this work.
  • M4 Mdloti River Bridge No. 1187 – Repair and rehabilitation work to the embankment washaway, which undermines the pavement structure behind the abutment, leading to part failure of the roadway will take two months complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • M4 Slip No. 2 – Repairs to the embankment washaway with potential to undermine the roadway will take one week to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • M4 Tongati River Bridge No. 1237 – Repairs to severe settlement of one pier resulting in the settlement of two bridge spans and hence the roadway above will take 12 months to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • M4 Slip No. 3 – Repairs to embankment washaway with roadway cracks indicating signs of possible failure of the pavement will take three months to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • R102 Culvert No. STC 2516 – Repairs and rehabilitation of the failed structure, which comprised a single-span bridge, resulting in closure of the road, will take six months to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • R102 Slip at Mhlali River Bridge No. 2556 – Repairs to the washed away road embankment in the vicinity of the Mhlali River Bridge, with resultant failure of the pavement shoulder and a portion of one lane will take one month to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • R102 Tete River Bridge No. 2073 – Repairs to the embankment washaway, which led to the failure of the roadway will take six weeks to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • R102 Culvert No. STC 2538 – Repairs to the embankment washaway, with the roadway showing signs of imminent failure will take two months to complete once the contract has been awarded.
  • Based on latest estimates for repair times affecting R102/M4, the estimated period is 12 to 16 months in respect of Otongathi and six to 10 months in respect of Mvoti.

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