Billions to tackle potholes

2011-02-15 12:41

Cape Town - The government is to roll out the s'hamba sonke (walking together) programme in a bid to address road maintenance, particularly potholes, and create jobs, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Tuesday.

This was a new and innovative nation-wide programme to focus on the maintenance of secondary road infrastructure using labour intensive methods of construction and maintenance, he told a media briefing at Parliament in his capacity as chairman of the infrastructure development cluster of ministries.

"We have set aside R6.4bn in 2011/12, R7.5bn in 2012/13 and R8.2bn for 2013/14, amounting to a total of R22.3bn in the medium-term. At least 70 000 jobs will be created in 2011 through this programme," he said.

Historically, South Africa had invested mainly in road construction without striking the balance between maintenance and construction.

The international benchmark was a 60/40 split between maintenance and construction.

In South Africa, the reverse applied and this programme was aimed at matching the international benchmark, he said.

S'hamba sonke included a massive pothole patching programme that would be rolled out nationally with immediate effect.

A pothole hotline would be launched for road users to report potholes.

"S'hamba sonke will no doubt arrest the decline of our infrastructure and create thousands of jobs," Ndebele said.

Roads engineers and superintendents would be deployed all over the network with the responsibility to address potholes.

They would be charged with driving up and down stretches of road every morning to determine the daily condition of the road network.

In this way, potholes would be identified and repaired early.

"We will streamline the procurement process so that the necessary skills and inputs are sourced through a specially designed procurement regime to ensure provinces are ready to implement, including setting up project management units in all provinces and nationally to ensure we are ready to roll by the beginning of the financial year," he said.

"We will also explore the use of alternative technologies for the patching of potholes and the maintenance of roads."

The question of roads financing was a problem facing the country.

"We have therefore decided to host a roads funding conference in March in Durban to which we will invite the roads sector to debate and recommend future funding options.

"We will look at options such as public partnership, user pay principle and other potential sources of funding so we avoid overburdening the user," Ndebele said.

  • Pick & Showel. - 2011-02-15 12:57

    Mr.Minister perhaps your department should think; "Chain Gang".....There is an endless supply of criminals behind bars wasting the tax payers money & this may be an opportunity to put them to work.

  • Ria Coetzee - 2011-02-15 12:59

    Good news as we just lost our manager and his wife on Sunday afternoon on the Ermolo road due to a pothole. Maybe some lives will be spared.

  • bob - 2011-02-15 13:10

    Right.... I wonder who the tender went to.. Instead of fixing potholes rather re-surface the whole road.. Just a thought..

  • Nick - 2011-02-15 13:13

    Another fund to plunder and another lucrative contact to dish out to someones mate or family member.

  • Fred Basset - 2011-02-15 13:17

    "Roads engineers and superintendents would be deployed all over the network" - the only way we could come up with the required number of qualified people is if we import them from China. Hmmmm.....makes you think.

  • The viking - 2011-02-15 13:27

    How about doing an audit. It is extremely wasteful to keep plugging potholes. Obviously our roads need re-surfacing.

  • kallie - 2011-02-15 13:35

    Today you fix a pothole & get paid. Tomorrow you dig a pothole. The day thereafet you fox the pothole you created the day before. You can never work yourself out of a job.

  • AsH - 2011-02-15 13:35

    I also think we should use the criminal to serve some purpose in prison instead of sitting and doing nothing, while breathing off the tax payers. I hope that this is not going to be another tender opportunity for some fat cat to get fatter and rip the country of billions.

  • FookDaANC - 2011-02-15 13:43

    So this is the ANC's Grand Plan? Let the country's infrastructure decay to the point of destruction, and then "create jobs" to fix it? How stupid does the ANC think the people of Sou....oh wait...nevermind.

  • Rabbit - 2011-02-15 13:44

    Pick & Showel - you must become my next president please! that is what i ahev been saying al the time, use these prisoners to build and fix the roads, cut the grass next to the highways and biways and to wash the streets where my friends have gone to relieve themselves, pick up the rubbish on and off the streets ,and swipe the roads to get rid of all the little stones etc, that punctures my brand new tyres, remark the roads - I will pay more tax to use them, they must suffer, not sit and watch TV and get free eductaion ....

  • HAB - 2011-02-15 13:54

    Aint gonna work. You need to FIX them not FILL them.

  • josh - 2011-02-15 13:58

    i like the term set aside, youve been setting aside money since the devil knows when and then you come up with a do you manage that maybe the whole of you need to be set aside

  • Mr.Glum - 2011-02-15 14:17

    “Roads engineers and superintendents” Unless you call a woman with a wheelbarrow from a rural area a road engineer, where are you going to get these people Mr. minister? Sounds more like window dressing before the elections.

  • dgee - 2011-02-15 14:22

    Working the criminals on the roads is an excellent idea but wont happen because no ones pocket will benefit. I just find this convenient that they are copying the ideas of the Lead SA and dial direct pothole brigade idea. I wonder if theyre going to ask for money to backpay the guys who have been waiting for their money for fixing potholes over the last two yars and then ask for more money when the new guys dont get paid - the corruption and squeeze on taxpayers doesnt end. They keep asking for more money yet the last years budget wasnt spent - does that mean that they should rather reduce the amount they're applying for instead of increasing it .. less chance for corruption I suppose. Can we please insist on goverment audits that are publicly visible and clearly shows income and expenditure vs budget. Just like every manager in a company has to explain his budget etc. Now theres a computer system I wouldnt mind them spending my tax money on!!

  • Steve - 2011-02-15 14:24

    The best way to create jobs is to educate the masses and create a free-trade environment. An educated nation will never go hungry.

  • Anne - 2011-02-15 14:31

    If the roads had been maintained on a regular basis, they would not have deteriorated to the extent that billions have to be spent to repair them. This problem has been on going for years and everyone responsible turned a deaf ear.

  • Mike - 2011-02-15 14:40

    So I wonder which ANC official's BBE company will get the tender? Untrained and ill equiped to do a proper job. Another waste of money.

  • Tommy - 2011-02-15 14:45

    This smells like another half-job get rich scheme. The severe deterioration of our roads should never have happened in the first place. Where all of a sudden does this kind of money come from? The "chain gang" idea sounds good. Thomas Bain used it to great effect to more than fill potholes.

  • swifty - 2011-02-15 14:50

    whats the use when you hire under qualified contractors that get paid huge amounts of money to delivery substandard workmanship and construction.

  • Shaun - 2011-02-15 14:52

    I am yet to see a single pothole being fixed. I ride past, through and over at least 1 on ever road I travel to get to work.Not 1 has yet been repaired. ????????????

  • Investor - 2011-02-15 15:02

    Potholes = job creation opportunity however ANC will rather spend 900 million on new police headquarters from 'friend' who bought it from transnet for a paltry sum....that transaction only make ANC ricj and doesnt create any jobs...and there are thousands upon thousands of those transactions daily that is the problem why no jobs are created

  • CJ - 2011-02-15 15:08

    Whenever the ANC is involved we can smell a rat. Give us the email or contact details for Bad bad roads. Who can we phone for repairs?

  • Rob - 2011-02-15 15:21

    Pot holes repaired for a couple of rand only =

  • Craig - 2011-02-15 15:29

    Well if they fixed the dam things properly in the first place it wouldnt cost this much 5 years down the line to fix... I have one idea tho - instead of making pothole warning signs, FIX THE DAM POTHOLES!

  • Calvyn - 2011-02-15 15:29

    I'm worried about this part - "We will look at options such as public partnership, USER PAY PRINCIPLE and other potential sources of funding so we avoid overburdening the user" Huh?

  • Karen - 2011-02-15 20:48

    s'hamba sonke (walking together) programme - perfect name since we can't drive on the roads in this condition. I guess walking together is the option.....idiots

  • Brian - 2011-02-16 02:17

    "We have set aside R6.4bn in 2011/12, R7.5bn in 2012/13 and R8.2bn for 2013/14, amounting to a total of R22.3bn" Errr... no - that adds up to R22.1 billion

  • John C - 2011-02-16 07:27

    If the roads need to be rehabilitated, rehabilitate them. Do not patch, a patch remains a patch and the road will ultimately have to be rehabilitated anyway. This is just another "before Elections" ploy to the non-free- thinking masses.

  • Disgruntled - 2011-02-16 11:23

    The only thing that is getting fixed is the elections and bleeding the tax paying people of this poorly governed country.I agree with Pick & Showel use the endless supply of criminals we are paying for in the over crowded prisons.

  • Pottie - 2011-03-02 13:45

    Fixing the potholes is like treating the symptom & not the cause. Fix the roads propperly, under qualified supervision & according to a propper specification. All these idiots are going to do is fill the hole with soil, which they are going to dig up from next to the road & level it off. So in two days time they can fill the hole again. That way they will have a job forever.

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