THE Eastern Cape government has officially placed the cost of damage to the province’s roads following this year’s devastating floods at more than R1.2-billion.
Last year, the cost of flood damage stood at about R1.1-billion.
Speaking during a legislature sitting, premier Noxolo Kiviet said about R1.208-billion was needed to fix infrastructure in the province damaged this year.
The department of roads and public works’ 2011-2012 annual report shows the department has had to respond to a series of devastating flood events since November 2010. Severe damage was caused to the fragile provincial road network between 2010 and March 2012.
Kiviet said public works “ has been allocated R100-million to address roads, bridges and sanitation infrastructure damages within Cacadu district and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
“Furthermore, the South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral), which is responsible for all national roads, is addressing the reconstruction and repairs of the damages on the N2 between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth.”
She added Sanral was also taking care of the R72 between Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth.
In 2011, numerous roads were severely eroded and bridges and culverts damaged or even washed away completely. This damage was assessed at R1.08-billion.
The department had to delay other projects as funds had to be directed to the damaged areas.
In their 2011-2012 annual report, public works states that as a result of chronic underfunding of roads maintenance (since the 1980s) the province has built up a backlog of maintenance estimated to cost more than R13-billion.
However, more than R2.8-billion was being spent on provincial roads by Sanral, creating about 1400 jobs. The report says Sanral has 16 road projects in the province.
Department spokesperson Sisanda George said the department had been allocated an additional R1- billion for the current financial year, with R166-million of that earmarked for flood relief.
Provincial acting deputy director-general of roads and public works, Sandile Booi, and his general manager of roads planning, Craig McLachlan, last month announced R300-million had been made available for flood relief.
They said Sanral had in April agreed to take over 4750km of the Eastern Cape’s road network. R100- million of the R300-million would be used on Sanral projects in the East London and Mthatha areas. — firstname.lastname@example.org
Article source: http://www.dispatch.co.za/flood-damage-bill-put-at-r1-2bn/