Eastern Cape Dept of Public Works to spend R3.5 billion on roads

MARCH 18, 2015

The Eastern Cape Department of Roads plans to spend around R3.5 billion on fixing the Eastern Cape’s ailing road infrastructure. This was revealed by Eastern Cape Public Works MEC, Thandiswa Marawu, on Tuesday when she laid out her plans for road infrastructure development during her 2015 policy speech at the Bhisho Legislature.

While R1.3 billion would fix poor roads, she said that her department has handed over 33 projects worth R2.2 billion to the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) to resurface parts of the province’s national roads, including the N1, N2, R61 and R72 as well as for upgrades to rural roads.

MEC Marawu said the R1.3 billion would be spent on construction, maintenance and repairing a number of roads during the 2015/16 financial year and these include:

  • R120-million to resurface the R61 between Bizana and Port Edward (the Magusheni/Mzamba area);
  • Phase three of the road construction to Siphetu Hospital, as well as the road to Madwaleni Hospital;
  • R40-million road construction project – DR 8376 to Sabalele village, once home to late ANC stalwart Chris Hani; and
  • The rehabilitation of MR661 between Lady Frere and Queenstown.

MEC Marawu said the 33 roads projects handed over to SANRAL include maintenance, strengthening and rehabilitation as well as improvements and upgrades of national roads.

Among them are:

  • The R135-million N2 project between Grahamstown and Fish River Pass;
  • R159-million Riet River to Tarka Bridge road construction project;
  • Resurfacing of the R61 between All Saints and Bazi, a R114-million project;
  • Resurfacing of the R61 between Qamnco and Ngcobo;
  • Resurfacing of the R61 between Tsojana and Qumanco; and
  • The R172-million roadworks project on the R72 between Port Alfred and Fish River.

The MEC added: “Our infrastructure delivery capability will be optimised when we embrace all the delivery tools at our disposal. To ensure that we provide road infrastructure to all our people, we have signed service level agreements with municipalities.”

The department has also decided to implement R81 million worth of road maintenance projects in-house, and would hire new graduates for the projects – the Wild Coast meander between Coffee Bay and Zithulele Hospital, Madwaleni Hospital roads, the N6 to Wriggleswade, and the road between Lady Free and Mkhapus/Macubeni.

“This move is to ensure that funds, which could have been used by consultancy firms are used for developmental objectives,” said Marawu.