The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government needs R6.5 billion to rebuild roads and bridges damaged by floods in April.
However, MEC for Transport Peggy Nkonyeni, says the province has not yet received the requested funds from national government, and that the province is using its own funds to rebuild damaged roads.
Nkonyeni and Premier Sihle Zikalala unveiled a R86-million project to rehabilitate the P725 road at Umbumbulu, south of Durban, after the April floods and to upgrade it to a tar road.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier @sziks launched a multi-million rand post flood recovery project in eMbumbulu. The multi-million rand project will lead to the upgrade and rehabilitation of strategic roads which connect economic areas to @eThekwiniM. #GrowingKZNTogether pic.twitter.com/VkMyILTWF8
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) June 6, 2022
“Some roads are really, really dilapidated so it could even take more than six months to reconstruct some of the roads. Like for instance your N2 road, when we engaged with SANRAL they did inform us that it might take even a year to reconstruct that N2. Then we conducted assessments we submitted to the National Disaster Management Centre. According to our calculations, we need that kind of money in order for us to reconstruct our roads. So, we are still expecting that response from the national disaster management Centre. Right now, there has never been any allocation,” says Nkonyeni.
The P725 road links the rural area of Umbumbulu and to areas like Isipingo and Umlazi in the south of Durban. The recent floods worsened the condition of the gravel road, causing huge potholes.
Premier Zikalala says government will put measures in place to ensure that contractors deliver value for money and that the project is completed on time.
“This road is one of those that are important in linking communities of Umbumbulu with the areas towards town. People in rural areas as people in townships and suburbs deserve equal services and the same standard. We would want to be emphatic. One of the shortcomings we have identified is that in most cases, we will start building roads but because of whatever reasons, projects will not be completed, and we are going to put in place tight monitoring systems.”
Community welcomes repairs
The community of Umbumbulu has welcomed the repair and upgrade of the road.
“We are very happy because when I came to live in this area, I was puzzled as why this road is gravel and full of dust while in other areas, they have tar roads. But today I am very happy that this road will be tarred, and cars will now drive in a nice road and less vehicle repairs for the owners.”
“Because of the recent floods, this road was further damaged resulting in big potholes. Now our area will now have a decent road that is good to public transport and to us as people using the road.”
In the aftermath of the floods, questions are being asked of government’s planning and capacity to assist, as outlined in the video below: