DA continues fight for rehabilitation of the R104 Middleburg/Belfast Road

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The DA remains concerned about the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport’s (DPWRT) ability to deliver on targets set out in their Annual Performance Plans.

This concern is not without merit as the department’s annual reports for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 show that the department failed to achieve 50% and 49% of its planned targets respectively. One is left wondering what percentage of targets will be achieved once the annual reports for the 2013/2014 financial year are released.

Even though that annual report is not made available yet, the DA continues to fight and put pressure on the department, to ensure that they adhere to plans in their APP. This pressure is personified by the DA staging a public protest on the R104 Middelburg/Belfast road on 5 May 2014.

That protest was a result of numerous correspondences with the department that yielded no action from department officials. The unresponsiveness by the department is symptomatic of capacity problems that the department has been carrying for a number of financial years.

The road specifically (R104) was earmarked for rehabilitation in November of the 2013/2014 financial year, and since that date the DA has been calling on the work to begin. After numerous correspondences with the department, we were finally informed that the process is under way.

In February this year the HOD confirmed that the tender was to be advertised and that contractors would be appointed and commence work within about 8 weeks after the advert. To date no further action has been taken.

This does not sit well with the DA, and as such we are setting up a meeting with the MEC and HOD of the department. We hope this meeting will not only find immediate solutions for the rehabilitation of this specific road, but an establishment of a working relationship that can see the overall performance of the department as a whole improve.