The focus is currently on the John Taolo Gaetsewe District as it was hardest hit by the recent rainstorms.
A FLEET of new heavy-duty vehicles, worth R19.1 million, will assist in repairing roads in the Northern Cape that were damaged during the recent heavy rainstorms.
The provincial Department of Roads and Public Works on Monday launched six fleet vehicles, which will all be dispatched to the John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) District to help repair roads in the area.
The MEC for Roads and Public Works, Fufe Makatong, said that several roads in the JTG District had been damaged during the rainstorms.
“There were some roads in the Province that were closed due to the damage and some bridges were collapsing. Most of the damage was experienced in the JTG District.
“The fleet consists of six excavators and six tractor loader backhoes (TLBs), which will assist in the maintaining and fixing of roads. Today we have six fleet vehicles and are awaiting an additional six. The first six will be dispatched to the JTG District and the other six will be dispatched to other parts of the Province,” said Makatong.
She said that the current focus is on the JTG as it is the worst affected district in the Province.
“Many people in that district were cut off from other parts of the Province because of the severe damage the roads experienced. We have fixed the majority of the roads and bridges, but there are about five roads that still need to be reopened.”
Makatong said that the addition of the new vehicles will allow the government to speedily respond to the needs of communities.
“The department had to return to the drawing board and reprioritise the budget so that we can come up with a mechanism that will speedily respond to the need in the Province. These machines will help maintain the road network in the Province and also assist in building the economy of the Province,” she said.
Premier Zamani Saul said the fleet will assist in rendering effective services to the people of the Province.
“Public Works plays a critical role in the economic growth of the Province and road infrastructure is key to economic growth. In the Province, only 13% of our 26,400 kilometres of road network is tarred. That means that more than 22,000km of the road network is gravel. Most farmers use gravel roads when transporting their goods.
“We know how much the agricultural sector adds to the Province and the country. It is the duty of the Department of Public Works to ensure that gravel roads are maintained, because bad road infrastructure has a negative effect on the economy,” said Saul.