Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the newly launched Operation Vala Zonke targeted, which aims to fill all potholes across the country, will be carefully monitored to ensure its integrity and accountability.
The department and stakeholders launched the campaign in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal on Monday. This is in response to national pothole crises, especially in local areas.
Potholes are a daily nightmare for motorists and are also contributing to road fatalities. Vereeniging is one of the countless areas littered with potholes, not only compromising motorists’ safety but also costing them financially.
“Some of these potholes are so huge; they are the size of two bedrooms. It’s a nightmare. I have just spent R8000 because these potholes damaged my rims oh no they are bad,” a motorist says.
And finally, their cries are heard. The Emfuleni mayor blames under-used budgets, poor oversight and mismanagement for the pothole crises.
As the work to fix potholes gets underway, motorists also welcome the project. “It will help a great deal, we will wait and see,” another motorist explains.
VIDEO: Operation Vala Zonke – Government on a national project to address the scourge of potholes
No clear budget has been allocated so far but the Department of Transport says they are still negotiating with Treasury for money to be allocated. For now, they are using part of the R11-Billion set aside for roads in the country.
‘Appeal to communities’
Gauteng Roads MEC Jacob Mamabolo has urged residents not to damage road networks when embarking on service delivery protests.
Mamabolo says damaging road infrastructure is a criminal act and also puts the lives of road users in danger. “We would really like to appeal to communities that when they have got grievances that require the attention of the government they should not attack the road in order for their issues to be attended to. When they dig the road they must think of people’s lives. And we know that human life comes once.”
In Mpumalanga Department of Public Works says the launch of Operation Vala Zonke will help speed up some of their ongoing programmes aimed at fixing potholes. MEC Mohita Latchminarain launched the project in Hazyview.
Road Maintenance Director in the province, Ronny Masia says among their top priorities is to fix potholes in all tourism routes as soon as possible.
“As the department, we have got targets that say we want to achieve a situation where all the tourists are potholes free by the end of this financial year. So this programme is going to assist us to achieve those set targets.”
More videos below on potholes: