Pretoria - The Albertina Sisulu Freeway, formerly known as the R21/R24 - the highway that links Joburg to all other Gauteng municipalities - will be completed by the end of April, to the relief of many motorists.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said at the opening of the Gauteng Legislature that
the beautification of the crucial route for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the gateway into Gauteng from the OR Tambo International Airport, will also be completed ahead of the football spectacle.
Also set to be completed by the end of April would be the K29 Malibongwe Drive upgrade, which is a link between the Lanseria Airport and Johannesburg and Tshwane.
Mokonyane said the Gautrain, which has created over 63 000 jobs, was also still on schedule for completion with the Sandton - OR Tambo link expected to be completed in June 2010.
"An efficient, reliable and dependable transportation system supported by a well maintained world class infrastructure is essential for a highly industrialised and very busy province like Gauteng," she told the legislature.
The province committed R505 billion towards the construction and upgrading of roads over the next five years.
Mokonyane said this will yield the construction and maintenance of 1 500 km of provincial roads which in turn will create job opportunities.
"We will upgrade 80 km of roads from gravel to tarred surface and install storm water drainage in the following areas: Sharpeville; Refiloe; Mamelodi; Atteridgeville; Kagiso; Katlehong, Mohlakeng, and Orlando.
"We will undertake the construction of sidewalks on high volume pedestrian roads within the 20 prioritized townships."
This will be a relief for frustrated motorists who have been dodging giant potholes for weeks, with burst tyres and dented rims becoming the norm.
Mokonyane said the province will also be rolling out the Intelligent Number Plate project. This year, thousands of Gauteng motorists will have to re-register for new number plates. The new aluminium plates will have two letters, two numbers, and then GP.
They're implanted with a computer chip with owner details and vehicle licensing information. The present series of plates will run out before June.
"The new system will make it possible to identify vehicles and their owners, and will put to an end the duplication of number plates frequently used in motor vehicle theft," said Mokonyane. She envisaged implementation of the intelligent number plates for October.
Meanwhile there are also plans to increase capacity to test for licences at licensing centres by introducing new technology.
"This year we will introduce mobile computerised learner license testing facilities to schools in Gauteng to introduce driving and road usage skills to grade 11 and 12 learners and assist them in applying for learner licenses," said Mokonyane. Adding that four new testing centres would also be established.