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On Thursday, 5 May 2022, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Neliswa Nkonyeni delivered her budget policy speech during the legislature sitting in Pietermaritzburg.
MEC Nkonyeni highlighted that her department would be focusing on transport infrastructure and district services. This, she said, was because several of the most heavily trafficked roads have passed their design lifespan, while some heavily trafficked roads are not designed to accommodate freight.
“This has increasingly manifested itself through road failure, more potholes, higher accident rates, increased vehicle operating costs, longer journey times, higher transaction and logistic costs, reduced productivity, reduced global competitiveness and high levels of public discontent.”
However, despite these challenges, the MEC stressed that the department remains committed to delivering services.
“In this financial year, we plan to upgrade 183 kilometres of surfaced road, build new 50 kilometres of gravel road, and construct 10 vehicle bridges and two pedestrian bridges. In addition, we will rehabilitate and maintain 1 800 000 square metres of the current existing infrastructure. Some of these commitments will need to be re-prioritised based on the Provincial needs post the April 2022 floods. A realigned budget will be captured within the next month to suit the provincial needs,” she noted.
This is in addition to the already existing 8 668 kilometres of the paved provincial road network and 25 404 kilometres of gravel road network throughout the province.
The MEC further explained that to improve the pace of delivery, the department has a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) with the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to utilise their contracts. This agreement includes five projects valued at R615 million.
Moreover, the Department has allocated more than 72% of its budget to this initiative. According to the MEC, R8.9 billion has been allocated to this programme.
“The biggest allocation is going to the maintenance of existing infrastructure, which is allocated R4.2 billion and the construction of new projects allocated R3.8 billion. The remaining budget will go to programme support (R741 million), infrastructure planning (R36 million), and infrastructure design (R49 million).”
She further elaborated that the Department is going to be delivering all these projects guided by the infrastructure Master Plan, which is currently being finalised. This master plan will guide the provincial priorities and will outline strategic routes and priorities per district municipality in the province.
Infrastructure Budget Breakdown per District Municipality
|District||New Infrastructure||Projects for Rehabilitation||Upgrades|
|eThekwini||R18 million||R178 million||R121 million|
|Ugu||R10 million||R260 million||R139,9 million|
|uMgungundlovu||R62 million||R266 million||R246 million|
|uThukela||R21 million||R132 million||R143 million|
|uMzinyathi||R55 million||R297 million||R132 million|
|Amajuba||R24 million||R16 million||R42 million|
|Zululand||R85 million||R146 million||R161 million|
|uMkhanyakude||R19 million||R133 million||R31 million|
|ILembe||R44 million||R52 million||R75 million|
|King Cetshwayo||R27 million||R213 million||R152 million|
|Harry Gwala||R46 million||R292 million||R170 million|
With millions of rands now being earmarked for KwaZulu-Natal’s roads, what are your thoughts?
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