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Public Works and Infrastructure Deputy Minister Bernice Swarts issued a stern warning to contractors over shoddy workmanship when patching potholes.
Deputy Minister Swarts was speaking today at an Imbizo held at the Maquassi Hills local Municipality under the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, as one of the District Development Model Champions deployed in the district. The Deputy Minister was joined by the Mayor of the district Nikiwe Num and local municipality Mayor Mzwandile Filiti.
The Deputy Minister commenced her imbizo in the district with the cleaning of neighbourhoods at Kgakala Township in Leeudoringstad, responding to road maintenance programmes.
Swarts raised concerns to contractors about their handling of road maintenance programmes, especially pothole patching and the compliance standards including their preference of cold asphalt. The Deputy Minister raised questions on the guarantees on the durability of the materials and the equipment used in road patching.
“The government is spending a lot of money fixing potholes. We cannot use material or patch in a manner that will be washed away after a small drizzle. We need to use materials that can give us durability so that the roads can last long. We need to reduce pressure on the fiscus by avoiding fixing similar potholes all the time. Roads are important for people’s movement and to boost local economies. While we want to create employment opportunities and massify our Expanded Public Works Programme, we are very clear that there must be no dumbing down on quality in the service delivered as well as the improvement on the lives of participants” said Deputy Minister Swarts.
“It is against this background that we are calling for the enforcement of standards in all municipalities to commit that the road works they have undertaken will last for at least 10 years. Anyone doing a bad job must be compelled to go back and do what has been paid for. We ask of engineers in municipalities not to compromise and for professional bodies to hold engineers accountable and to abide by industry standards” Swarts added.
The Deputy Minister raised concerns that roads have no pavements and storm water drainage as this compromises the life span of the roads. She concluded her visit with an Imbizo with the Kgakala community.
An announcement was made to decommission the extension six Kgakala Location dumping site. It will be rehabilitated and the land will be used to build community facilities such as libraries and community parks.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure will explore the request to train the youth on firefighting as the district is prone to runaway fires. Among the projects in the pipeline for the area include the establishment of the fresh produce market, the resuscitation of the rail networks which will be explored by the DDM Hub as well as the substations to meet the electricity needs of the community. The projects will also include feasibility on the suitability of the training centre, using some of the unused and abandoned buildings that can be renovated.
The Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality will host the Presidential District Development Model Imbizo on the 20th of October 2023 at Ikageng Sports Complex in Potchefstroom, which will be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Issued by Department of Public Works and Infrastructure