There are over 3 000 potholes in the Sunday’s River Valley Municipality (SRVM), but it remains unlikely that they will be repaired soon.
It is inconceivable that a region with the second largest contribution to the economy of the Eastern Cape is constrained by collapsing infrastructure. This has a direct negative effect on the economy of SRVM in particular and the Eastern Cape in general.
In response to legislature questions I submitted to the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, these potholes must be repaired during the 2015/18 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
However, according to the reply, the cash flow of the municipality makes these targets unobtainable and with the assistance of provincial SANRAL allocation, the municipality might be able to address to some extent the failing infrastructure including stormwater drainage.
It is becoming evident that small towns, in particular, are experiencing the brunt of the failure to properly maintain infrastructure, especially road and storm water infrastructure.
The SRVM was allocated an amount of R701 000 for road maintenance and repairs in the past financial year, however, the total expenditure only amounted to R228 490.
It is clear that the SRVM is the victim of gross maladministration. This information emerges on the back of a recent report that in the 2014/15 financial year an amount of R84.5-million was written off as irrecoverable irregular expenditure. In 2015/16, it is again alleged that the municipality incurred an amount of R72-million worth of irregular expenditure.
SRVM will only be able to address the crumbling infrastructure with proper planning and by curbing irregular expenditure as well as by abiding to supply chain management regulations. It is of vital importance that allocated funds make its way to roads and that visible service delivery takes place.
In a fair society, all road users must be given the opportunity to travel on roads that are in a good condition and that ratepayers’ money is spent on upgrading infrastructure which has a direct effect on the end user and the economy of these towns.
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