Pine Pienaar MPL
DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Roads and Public Works
The Eastern Cape government has transferred over 2000km of roads to the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) without any guarantees that they will be properly maintained. This is according to a reply to a parliamentary question by the DA to Transport Minister Dikobe Martins. While SANRAL states in the reply that the 2075km of Eastern Cape roads will be included in the 2012/13 budget for routine maintenance, the agency has failed to allocate money for any specific projects on these roads according to the Minister. The DA will ask MEC Thandiswa Marawu to account for why the provincial government is shirking responsibility for these massive stretches of provincial roads. Given the chaotic state of SANRAL’s finances it is unclear whether any of the roads transferred will be attended to properly. We believe that the MEC is off-loading these roads due to her Department’s inability to maintain them but with no guarantees that SANRAL will improve the situation. Roads are the arteries of the Eastern Cape economy. When these arteries become blocked it affects the mobility of people and business which ultimately impacts on jobs. The MEC must account for how she will ensure that SANRAL do these roads justice or accept that the decision to offload them was mistaken.