By Vicky Knoetze (MPL), Shadow MEC for Roads and Public Works:
In last weeks’ sitting for Taking the Legislature to the People in NMBM, Roads and Public Works MEC Tandiswa Marawu revealed in a reply to questions that the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Province of the Eastern Cape and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM) only amounts to R5-million for this financial year. It is estimated that at least R50-million is needed to adequately fund the SLA between the Province and the Metro.
The SLA must cover general maintenance, maintenance of bridges and drainage structures, verge clearing, road markings and road signage. This includes roads such as the William Moffet Expressway, Marine Drive, Victoria Drive, Kragga Kamma Road, Buffelsfontein Road, Heugh Road, Kempston Road, Burman Road, Old Grahamastown Road, Standford Road , John Tallant Road and the Old PE UTH Road, to mention only a few.
The William Moffet Expressway which carries approximately 24 000 vehicles per day one way, for example, is seven years past its lifespan and is in need of major reconstruction and resurfacing, projected to cost over R200-million.
Roads such as Victoria drive, Marine Drive and Kragga Kamma Road are used for major tourism events such as the Ironman triathlon. It is of vital importance that these routes are sufficiently maintained to accommodate all road users including cyclists, runners, pedestrians and motorists.
Poor road conditions has a severely negative effect not just on the economy, it affects the quality of life of all road users as it has an impact on the safety of everybody that uses these routes.
Under a DA government, we will ensure that the Department of Roads and Public Works adequately funds this SLA so that the people of the NMBM have better access to economic opportunities and gets a return on their investment, especially as far as the condition of roads are concerned.
All road users must have the freedom and opportunity to make use of roads that are safe and reliable.