Minister Ndebele on visit to flood affected roads in Mpumalanga
30 Jan 2012
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele today (Monday, 30 January 2012) visited flood affected roads in the Mpumalanga Province, accompanied by Mpumalanga MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport Dikeledi Mahlangu, HOD KM Mohlasedi, CEO of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) Mr Nazir Alli, Deputy Director-General: Roads in the national Department of Transport Adv. James Mlawu as well as other senior national and provincial transport officials.
Following storms and flooding between 16 and 19 January in Mpumalanga, five municipalities in the Ehlanzeni district of Mpumalanga have been declared disaster areas. They are Mbombela, Nkomazi, Umjindi, Thaba Chweu and Bushbuckridge.
According to provincial officials, major infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools and agriculture installations were also damaged. The cost to repair infrastructure was estimated at R445.7 million. Rebuilding roads and bridges would be the most expensive at an estimated cost of R266 million.
On Saturday (28 January), Mpumalanga police reported three children drowned while crossing a river in Balfour on their way home from school. The river was swollen and fast flowing after recent heavy rains in the province. The police reported that a total of ten children - all girls - had drowned in the province in the last two weeks.
Minister Ndebele said: “We visited flood affected roads in Mpumalanga today (30 January) to assess the extent of damage to road infrastructure, following storms and flooding earlier this month. As the national Department of Transport, we are going all out to ensure that we render all the necessary support and assistance to provinces to ensure that road infrastructure damaged by extreme weather conditions is repaired. We already have technical teams deployed in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West to assess the extent of damage and to hand us a report before the end of this week (3 February 2012). Together with National Treasury and the affected provinces, we want to ensure that all resources of the state are mobilised so that the lives of those affected returns to normal as soon as possible.
“R240 million has been allocated in the current financial year (2011/12) to provinces through the Transport Disaster Management Grant to repair road infrastructure, including bridges and sections of online road infrastructure, damaged by floods in 2010/11. These funds are distributed to provinces based on the assessment of flood damage by the National Disaster Management Centre,” said the Minister.
Meanwhile, Minister Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the families of at least 13 people killed in two separate road crashes in the Western Cape this morning (30 January).
“We want to convey condolences to the families and colleagues of the at least 13 people killed in two separate road crashes in the Western Cape this morning (30 January), and wish the injured a speedy recovery. The reduction in road deaths is not just desirable; it is an urgent non-negotiable, and has become our daily mission, which has called upon world leaders to work together and to share solutions to this challenge during this Decade of Action for Road Safety. Through the National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP), during 2012 we will continue stopping and checking no less than a million vehicles and drivers every month, as well as aggressively pursue dangerous drivers who drink and drive, drive recklessly or drive inconsiderately - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. It is time that all right-thinking and like-minded South Africans say: Enough is Enough – we need to take back our roads! We call upon all citizens to be part of the Decade of Activism for Road Safety 2011 to 2020 - Be Part of It!” the Minister said.
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Issued by: Department of Transport
30 Jan 2012
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