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DA claims R7 million 're-gravelled' road to Queenstown a death trap for villagers

May 31, 2018
DA claims R7 million 're-gravelled' road to Queenstown a death trap for villagers

Residents of Xhonxa Dam and Nkolonga Village in the Emalahleni Municipality face a death trap if they want to get to get to the nearest large town in their area - Queenstown, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Thursday.

"The state of the DR08569 road has led to various serious accidents and damage to property, despite a whopping R7-million having been spent to have the road re-gravelled," described Vicky Knoetze (MPL), Shadow MEC for Roads and Public Works. 

"The DA believes that a functional roads network is necessary for local economies and jobs to flourish and for the safety of our people.

"This is just another example of how the interests of the people of this province continue to be a non-priority to the Department of Roads."

Knoetze said that on Saturday, it was reported in the media that Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle had to get the help of private investigators to probe a R632 million mess relating to 21 road projects in the province between the 2013/14 and 2015/16 financial years. 

"The Department of Roads and Public Works awarded a tender for re-gravelling of this road to a ‘safe and acceptable standard’ in 2014. R15 million was allocated for the re-gravelling of this and three other roads, of which R5 million was spent on this particular road and the contractor was paid R2 million."

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"It is a slap in the face of our citizens to see that this is what R7 million worth of the people’s money translates to.

"I have written to the MEC for Roads and Transport, Weziwe Tikana, to investigate how it is possible that this road is in such a deplorable state after spending R7 million on it and to commit to prioritising its repair to a safe and reliable standard, as a matter of urgency," Knoetze added.

"I also want to know what action will be taken against the contractor as the state of the road and workmanship has completely deteriorated in just three years.

"This situation is absolutely indefensible and is completely unacceptable. The rights of people to have a safe and reliable roads network are continuously trampled on."