Only 3% of Buffalo City Municipality's rural road upgrades budgeted for

OCTOBER 31, 2016

A capital budget of R20 million has only been allocated for rehabilitation of the Buffalo City Metro Municipality's roads for the 2016/2017 financial year. However, R660 million is needed for the rehabilitation of the rural gravel roads over a three year period to eradicate the backlog, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday.

"This backlog amount of R660 million does not include the 28 new villages Buffalo City absorbed after the August 2016 elections," described Dillon Webb, a DA Councillor  in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

"This means that after a study is finally done by Buffalo City on these villages, the backlog could be even greater. It is no wonder our rural gravel roads look like they do, with only R20 million being made available."

Webb said that the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality has a gravel road network of approximately 1 229.5 kms - which means it would roughly cost R536 804 per kilometre to rehabilitate the roads.

"This lack of commitment from Buffalo City shows how little they care about our rural villages. Residents are constantly complaining about the damage they are inflicting on their vehicles due to the poor state of the gravel roads," he said.

"These roads are in such a bad state that public transport cannot even get commuters to work due to avoiding them."

Webb said that the Democratic Alliance in Buffalo City will continue to fight for the "residents in the rural areas until they receive the quality services that they have been waiting so long for".

"The DA will again raise this issue with the Chairperson of the standing committee for Infrastructure, in order to prioritise the regular maintenance of municipal infrastructure".