The MEC for the Department Roads and Public Works and the Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality rolled up their sleeves today to take the city one step closer to this reality.
THE DREAM of no potholes and a clean city took a step closer to reality on Wednesday when the “Pothole Repair and Cleaning Project”, which will focus on Roodepan, Galeshewe, Colville and Floors, was launched.
The project is an undertaking between the provincial Department of Roads and Public Works and the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
The launch in Roodepan earlier on Wednesday was attended by the MEC for the Department Roads and Public Works, Fufe Makatong, and the Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality, Patrick Mabilo.
Expressing his excitement about the project, Mabilo said it was based on the use of labour-intensive methods to clean and maintain the existing infrastructure, in accordance with the principles of the Expanded Public Works Programme.
The project is seen as a catch-up measure for the local government after communities suffered from a lack of service delivery during the lockdown.
According to Mabilo, no specific amount was set aside for the project, adding that “the Rands and Cents will be determined at a later stage”.
Mabilo pointed out that frustrated community members had taken it on themselves to volunteer to fix roads with cement and building material.
He warned, however, that this often damaged the infrastructure as the incorrect materials were used.
“We appreciate the role that the volunteers play in terms of fixing the roads. But it is the core responsibility of the municipality to fix those roads.
“It is not wrong, but the point is that they don’t have the necessary technical knowledge. As a result, out of desperation, they try to solve one problem but create another problem..
“So please give us the chance to do that,” said Mabilo.
Members of the community were meanwhile urged to continue to report incidents where municipal workers left holes in the roads after digging up the tar, which often led to claims for damages by motorists against the municipality.
Mabilo said a database would be kept of the work done by municipal teams at different sites.
“This will assist in ensuring that the specific team responsible is held accountable,” he said.
MEC Makatong said meanwhile that the pothole project was aimed at creating safer roads for community members.
She said the municipality and the department were faced with huge litigation cases due to accidents and damages caused by potholes.
She emphasised the importance of road users to feel safe when driving on the city’s roads.
Regarding the cleaning project, she explained that it would move from one area to another, taking into consideration the available resources.
According to Makatong, the aim is to have a continuous programme. “The department has availed funding for the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s Urban Renewal Programme.
“Part of the programme’s intention is to keep Sol Plaatje as a local municipal area clean and safe,” she indicated.