Free State to invest R1.9 billion on roads: Dukwana

Mxolisi Dukwana delivers the Free State SOPA.
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Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana says about R1.9 billion will be invested on roads as part of the township revitalisation programme in the province.

He is delivering the State of the Province Address in QwaQwa, which the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is boycotting.

Dukwana says roads will be prioritised as they are key to driving the economy of the province, especially in the agricultural sector.

He says, “We escalated our roads construction and maintenance programme by transferring 568.75 km of road to SANRAL during October 2023. This includes the R26 between Ladybrand and Bethlehem, the R34 from the North West provincial border at Bloemhof to the KZN border at Vrede and the R74 from Harrismith to Oliviershoek.”

Eskom relief programme

Dukwana says ailing municipalities will be participating in the Eskom debt-relief programme to provide funding for the rollout of smart metre programmes.

He says a distribution agency agreement with the financially troubled Maluti A Phofung’s municipality will be launched.

Dukwana says the municipality owes Eskom more than R7 billion.

“We are actively encouraging and supporting municipalities to participate in the Eskom debt relief programme. The introduction of the smart-metre conditional grant recently announced by the Minister of Finance will benefit municipalities that participate in the Eskom debt relief programme. This will enhance the existing provincial initiative to provide funding for the roll-out of smart metre programmes in municipalities such as Tswelopele,” he adds.

Free State SOPA by Premier Mxolisi Dukwana:

Additional reporting by Makgala Masiteng.