Johannesburg - SA's roads are in danger of becoming irreparable and the government will be forced to reconstruct them, the Automobile Association of SA (AA) warned on Thursday.
"A vast portions of South Africa's road network are in danger of becoming so badly damaged that they will no longer be able to be repaired, and the government will be forced to reconstruct them," AA spokesperson Gary Ronald said in a statement.
Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele, speaking at a roads indaba in East London on Thursday, said provincial treasuries needed to set aside funds to address the road maintenance backlog.
Ronald said the AA was encouraged by Ndebele's speech, during which he called for provincial governments to allocate significant funds to road audits and repairs. However, he did not mention a number.
Ronald said R100bn needed to be spent on the country's roads to eliminate maintenance backlogs. Current levels of funding were only a quarter of what was needed to maintain the country's road network.
Ronald said even though the "noise" about potholes and other road hazards had died down, the reality of poor road conditions remained.
According to a 2008 study by the AA, the condition of the country's roads dropped from a visual condition index of 65 in 1998 to 46 in 2008 (a VCI of zero indicates very poor, requires reconstruction, while 100 is very good).
The AA called on road users to be patient on roads, manage their time effectively and be aware of road conditions and their surroundings.