Pothole repair programme launched

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pretoria - The newly unveiled programme, S'hamba Sonke - Moving Together, aimed at repairing potholes, is expected to create 70 000 jobs in the 2011/12 financial year.

"For the first time in the history of this country, the entire amount is ring-fenced for the maintenance of roads. The provincial roads maintenance grant is a conditional grant dedicated to road maintenance. 

"Our collective success starts this financial year, with an amount of R6.4 billion, R7.5 billion next year and R8.2 billion [will be allocated] in 2014. It will total some R22.billion by 2014," said Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele at the launch of the programme on Monday in Durban.

For the 2011/12 financial year, the money is allocated as follows: Kwazulu-Natal R1.2 billion; Eastern Cape R1 billion, Mpumalanga R1 billion; Limpopo R934 million, Gauteng R566 million; Free State R447 million; Western Cape R411 million; Northern Cape R308 million and North West R501 million. 

In support of S'hamba Sonke, KwaZulu-Natal has identified the Nongoma - Dabhazi - Hlambanyathi - Hlabisa Corridor, and Eshowe - Ntumeni - Kranskop - Vryheid Corridor as anchor road projects. 

These projects will support the Tale of Four Cities initiative, which aims to connect Ulundi, Richards Bay, Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

Similar programmes are being rolled out by the other eight provinces in support of S'hamba Sonke. In Mpumalanga, the projects have targeted maintenance of the R33 Road between Stoffberg to Belfast (42km) at a cost of R24m. There is also an upgrade of a 40km road from White River to Ntsikazi, at a cost of R16 million. 

In Gauteng, there is a project to reseal the N14 from Krugersdorp to Klieveskraal at a cost of R55.8 million and the Ben Schoeman highway to the N1 at R10 million, as well as upgrading an 8.54km stretch of the P126 (M1) at a cost of R1 million.

Ndebele said his department would have established the Project Management Unit by the end of April. Provinces have been asked to establish their management units by the end of May, and are expected to report to the Transport Department at a national level every month on the implementation of S'hamba Sonke.

"We will monitor the creation of jobs and expenditure to ensure emerging contractors are created in numbers. The Transport Forums will become another layer of civil society, which will contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of S'hamba Sonke," said Ndebele. 

Road engineers and superintendents will be deployed all over the network with the responsibility to identify potholes and implement infrastructure maintenance. - BuaNews