South Africa’s R22bn pothole repair programme


South Africa will spend R22-billion over the next three years on a countrywide pothole repair programme that is expected to create 70 000 jobs in its first year.

Potholes in South Africa
S’hamba Sonke is a R22 billion nationwide programme to fix potholes on major road networks. (Image: Pixabay)

Brand South Africa reporter

In partnership with all nine provinces, the programme – dubbed S’hamba Sonke, Moving Together – will improve access to schools, clinics and other social and economic opportunities by drastically upgrading the secondary roads network and repairing potholes throughout the country.

The project will be modelled on the Department of Transport’s Zibambele (“doing it ourselves”) initiative, which involves routine road maintenance using labour-intensive methods in which a family or household is contracted through a provincial department to maintain a specific length of road on a part-time basis.

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

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Durban on Monday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said a national project management unit would be in place by the end of April.

Provinces have until the end of May to establish their management units, and are expected to report to the Transport Department every month on the programme’s implementation.

“We will monitor the creation of jobs and expenditure to ensure emerging contractors are created in numbers,” Ndebele said.

R6.4-billion will be spent on the initiative in 2011/12, 7.5-billion in 2012/13 and R8.2-billion in 2013/14, the entire amount having been “ring-fenced for the maintenance of roads,” Ndebele said. “The provincial roads maintenance grant is a conditional grant dedicated to road maintenance.”

For 2011/12, the money will be 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 province R501-million.

KwaZulu-Natal has identified the corridors between Nongoma, Dabhazi, Hlambanyathi and Hlabisa, and between Eshowe, Ntumeni, Kranskop and Vryheid as the province’s anchor road projects.

These projects will support the province’s 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 Mpumalanga, the projects have targeted maintenance of 42 kilometres of the R33 between Stoffberg and Belfast at a cost of R24-million, and 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, 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.

South Africa’s total road network is about 747 000km, the longest network of roads of any African country. (Image: Brand South Africa)

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