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Road project an election stunt – EFF


The EFF in the Northern Cape has branded Sol Plaatje Municipality’s latest road improvement project as yet another electioneering stunt.

File picture: Soraya Crowie

THE EFF in the Northern Cape has branded Sol Plaatje Municipality’s latest road improvement project as yet another electioneering stunt.

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Kagisho Sonyoni said this week that the municipality had invested R45 million in the city’s roads.

“We are well on track to completing road resealing and paving projects set for the end of the 2023/24 financial year, which will be completed mid-month,” said Sonyoni.

He explained that the municipality received R19.5 million from the Infrastructure Urban Development Grant (IUDG) of the National Treasury and a further R6 million from the Frances Baard District Municipality to upgrade roads.

“This brings the total to R25.5 million budget allocation for the rehabilitation of roads.”

Sonyoni stated that resealing work had been completed in Phakamile Mabija Street, Schmidtsdrift Road, Royal Street, Morgan Street, Hulana Street, the first phase of MacDougall Street, Albertyn Street, Aristotle Street and Petrus Street.

“To date, only McDougall and Kekewich streets remain unfinished.”

He added that the municipality’s roads and stormwater section had made “serious strides” towards reaching its target of resealing a total of 100 000 square metres within the Sol Plaatje municipal area.

“This involved a combination of the chip and spray as well as the asphalt overlay method. Various roads with high traffic volumes around the Kimberley area were resealed.”

Sonyoni stated that the roads and stormwater section’s internal construction team paved a total of 21 sites, which included the upgrading of a number of streets in Kimberley and several pathways from gravel to paved standard from an allocation of R20 million from the Infrastructure Urban Development Grant (IUDG).

“A total of 195 jobs were created through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The scope of work entailed surveying, mass earthworks, kerb laying, laying of rock dust, laying of paving bricks, laying of sand and compaction and site clearing.”

He added that new road markings had been painted on roads, intersections, islands and pedestrian crossings to improve road safety.

EFF provincial chairperson Shadrack Tlhaole believed that tenders were being handed out and taxpayers’ money was being wasted ahead of the elections as a “quick fix” to patch roads that were “not that bad”.

“State resources are being used for an ANC election campaign. Nothing is being repaired and it won’t be long before all the potholes reappear. Water shedding and load shedding will continue. The municipality has yet to provide a detailed expenditure report on the R500 million that was set aside in 2021 to urgently repair potholes and leaking sewage and water, where nothing was done,” said Tlhaole.

He pointed out that cases that the EFF had lodged with law enforcement agencies had hit a dead end.

“Whenever we enquire they tell us that they are following up, and yet there is no progress on the evidence presented. There appears to be no willingness to combat crime and corruption or hold any politician accountable. Where are we supposed to complain if the authorities are in cahoots with politicians and the theft of state funds is legalised? Only Mickey Mouse people are being arrested.”

He added that the EFF would be taking further action after the elections.

“They must pay attention because these guys will go to prison.”

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