Provincial roads in a poor state

2012-10-01 14:35

Cape Town - Close to a third of all provincial roads in South Africa are in a "poor to very poor" condition, according to Transport Minister Ben Martins.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question on Monday, he said the provincial maintenance and repair backlog included nearly 11 000km of paved and more than 69 000km of gravel roads.

"Based on a study and analysis and extrapolation of all available visual condition data for the provincial road network, the estimated backlog for maintenance and repairs for provincial road network is for 10 980 km of the paved road network and for 69 216km of the gravel road network."

Martins said the backlogs were determined from "analysis and extrapolations of all available visual condition data", done during 2009, for "condition index value below 50, as per the international norm".

In terms of this, all sections of the network obtaining a condition index value below 50 were classified as "poor to very poor".

The department was not immediately available to confirm the total kilometres of provincial roads in South Africa.

According to figures tabled at a 2008 transport lekgotla, there are 343 942km of provincial roads across the country. This includes 57 269km of paved, 198 142km of gravel, and 88 531km of "access" roads.

According to its latest (2011/12) annual report, improving the condition of provincial roads is one of the department's main strategic objectives.

This includes "reducing those in poor condition from 65 966km in 2009/10, to between 56 071km and 52 773km by 2014...".

The department was not immediately available to explain the difference between the 65 966km figure in the report, and the more than 80 000km total figure in the minister's reply.

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  • sj.fourie.56 - 2012-10-01 14:52

    Lol so if we as drivers suffer tyre or shocks or suspension damage. Gov wil pay for it

      johnwilliam.roberts - 2012-10-01 16:24


      croix.mactee - 2012-10-01 16:32

      So FIX IT ALREADY, Ministah! After all, that is what you are paid an EXHORBITANT salary for. Useless, useless, useless specimens!

      alan.jerrold - 2012-10-01 17:16

      Yet another stupendous ANC success. And yet, illiterate voters keep voting for them even when the ANC have clearly turned out to be a bunch of corrupt, utterly useless thieves. ANC leaders want respect so they buy big fancy Mercs to look good. When will they learn that respect is EARNED by actions?? That's how it is in the real world. WAKE UP VOTERS, THE ANC ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE. THEY LOVE THEIR ILL-GOTTEN MONEY FAR TOO MUCH.

      claudia.meads - 2012-10-01 22:34

      NATIONALIZE THE ROADS.., NATIONALIZE THE ROADS..! There are more than 6% white surfaces on South Africa's roads, that is the reason why the roads are performing so poorly, South Africa's roads need to be transformed to be more representative of the country's demographics..!! Is that not what they are saying about the mines - surely it must then be applicable to the roads as well... PS: Obtuse and clueless are not the words - they are far beyond it; the reason SA's roads are in the condition it is, is due the Affirmative Action, at every level of SA's infrastructure - EXPECT IT TO GET WORSE..!

      claudia.meads - 2012-10-01 22:36

      TSR01, Last time I checked he was directly linked to fraudulent roads-tenders in Limpopo...

  • lodewyk.fred - 2012-10-01 14:53

    I cannot believe it. It must be a mistake, with this government?

  • kevin.mcdonagh.315 - 2012-10-01 15:01

    Ja smashed 2 rims and ripped 2 tires in a pothole in KZN and 9 months later they still investigating. Cost me R4000 to get up and running.

  • andres.dewet - 2012-10-01 15:10

    Our roads are looking pretty good and they keep upgrading poor ones. Guess the province...

      willem.vanrensburg.562 - 2012-10-01 17:01

      Annman, yes, WE know, but I don’t think the rest of the country actually believes that our province works for the people. That maybe if they voted for another party...then maybe it could be the same for them..?? Maybe.. I think that THEY are so accustomed to the shoddy state of things, that progress just seems impossible...and, let’s not forget that fear of apartheid coming back if they vote for them...stupid hey..???

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-10-01 22:21 has to be Western Province...ministered by the D.A. Just been down that way...your roads are good...they even cut the grass on the side of the roads...and your Rest Spots are very neat and well maintained. I think, we will find that most people who appreciate well run and organised Municipalities will be happy to move down to the Western Cape.

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-10-01 15:12

    If we investigate properly and see who is administering that Department what will we find who has been granted the tenders and equipment to fix these roads, where has the money gone!!!!!Who complied this report????

  • victor.windsor - 2012-10-01 15:14

    Check out the road to memel from vrede and memel to natal border which is 12 km long. It is an absolute disgrace and will soon be called the road of death as people are narrowly missing each other as they dodge the craters which are now permanently in the road surface.

      pierre.walt - 2012-10-01 17:33

      Hey boet it is Zuma's province. You try the road between Kuruman and Hotazel in Northern Cape and then we talk again. Score for the last 30 years. Regional mine deaths = 3. Road deaths on this road = 50+.

  • jack.kukard - 2012-10-01 15:22

    If the thieves stop stealing and upgrading houses the billions stolen could be used to repair our roads , hopefully by competent companies , not those linked to government.....malema's bridge only lasted until the first rains....

  • bevan.carpenter.1 - 2012-10-01 15:26

    i see more toll roads in the near future because of the inability to fix it, we'll outsource and the consumers/road users will foot the bill... ...again

  • butch.poulter - 2012-10-01 15:27

    At one stage, not many yrs ago, the only instituition that had more road graders that S.A was the american army. Where have they all gone?? Dont suppose you have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Being in the transport industry we are incurring huge costs because of the bads roads. We are being charged between R9000 to 14000/vehicle per yr. FOR WHAT??????????

      Mike Peach - 2012-10-01 15:34

      Sue them butch.

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-10-01 15:28

    From one of the best road networks in the world to this!

  • Mike Peach - 2012-10-01 15:30

    Sue them kevin.

  • Mike Peach - 2012-10-01 15:33

    And so is the rest of the country except sars.

  • robert.dood.1 - 2012-10-01 15:55

    You have to blame apartheid after all it was apartheid that built the roads

  • richard.zanner - 2012-10-01 16:03

    @ Kevin you are the lucky one. I hit such bad potholes coming from Sn City. Cost me 4 new tires on a brand new BMW of the Run Flat type. Try R 12 000.00 and damage to the suspension. Off course we need to understand that we cannot expect to drive in safety on these National roads as they are not part of the Toll system at 30 cents per km or was it 70 cents. I used the toll road to Warm baths and found it great. Only one gate was working and I had to wait 40 minutes to pay my toll. Must not complain as it is far shorter than the 3 hours to renew my license unless off course I was prepared to pay the R 400 to receive an application form with a number already allocated by a guy in his Volkswagen Golf on the corner. I did phone the anti-corruption hotline number posted in large in the office but the answering person must have been on lunch. Getting my picture taken was however very efficient. Standing next to a tree a guy stood behind me holding a white sheet while the other one took the picture. Next time I will get them to hold a sheet with the Eiffel Tower on it and then I can tell all my friends I was in France.

      johnwilliam.roberts - 2012-10-01 16:27


  • richard.zanner - 2012-10-01 16:05

    Well you guys are not fair. Malema got the Tender to upgrade the roads but as he is now busy with SARS and other little minor issues he has no time to look after the roads despite the over 50 million tender.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-01 16:22

    Oh wow and you have just noticed, but we the public who have to travel on these roads everyday and pay the consequences have been saying so for years. It's nice to see when someone wakes up. But there again once the election is over it's back to sleep.

  • frank.crane.180 - 2012-10-01 17:11

    Glad they noticed.

  • pierre.walt - 2012-10-01 17:27

    And you are Transport Minister. Just one question. Why did the roads collapsed to the current state of affairs? Corruption, nepotism, unskilled appointments, whites excluded. Suffer baby suffer...

  • gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-10-01 17:47

    Minister Ben Martens WHY IS THAT???

  • braamc - 2012-10-01 20:05

    Everything is in a poor state under the cANCer

  • kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-10-01 20:18

    As Minister he is responsible, so why doesn't he resign because he has failed in his job. The provincial ministers should resign with him and pay back all the money wasted by appointing their favourite tenderpreneurs to help themselves to the money, instead of fixing the roads.

  • bobby.boon.18 - 2012-10-01 21:26

    What do you Expect The ANC Never actually Built anything in this country everything was already here at least not without a little help!!

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-10-01 22:08

    Iv'e just been on a trip +-6000klm around our country....the roads in certain areas are shocking. You are forced to take the TOLL Roads to avoid having your car damaged. THIS is a WARNING....R74...this road which takes you past Sterkfontein Dam...on the way to Harrismith....STAY AWAY...IV'E NEVER BEEN ON SUCH A SHOCKING ROAD.Apparently a contractor got the tender to repair this paid in full, but never finished, he pleaded for more cash to complete the job....was given the cash in FULL AGAIN...AND THEN DID A FLIP.... May I say, we found the roads in the Western Cape to be very good...just the odd stretch needed attention.Who runs the W.P......THE D.A.

  • alan.muir.18 - 2012-10-02 09:30

    Since the ANC has been in charge since 1995, where has all the road maintenance taxes gone if no roads were maintain. Maybe those fat cats should pay for it.

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-02 09:55

      Into the fat greedy pockets.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-02 10:02

    They will just blame apartheid like they always do. They will say the white apartheid government left the roads in a bad state and blah blah blah. Its always amazing how these ANC government officials fail to do there jobs properly and no action get taken. In any other country they would be fire immediatly and with no pay. Here you fail and you get paid more to do the job worse. Typical ANC mentality.

  • gavin.taylor.79 - 2012-10-02 10:41

    A few months ago, this matter was debated in another SA newspaper and a Saffa who had just spent 2 years in the UK, claimed that South African roads were in better shape than those in Britain. I was quite amazed by his claim, but he was pretty adamant that his rose-tinted specs were fully functional. Considering that the UK has 400,000 km of tarred roads (vs SA's 57000) and that we have 33 MILLION registered vehicles (excluding all the trucks & tourists coming across from Europe), I think the UK roads are pretty good. Sure, the icy winters cause a lot of damage and Springtime is pothole season, but the govt does a pretty good job in maintaining the system without tolls. What do other S Africans think of the UK roads compared to SA ?

  • leonard.rom.7 - 2012-10-02 12:08

    don't forget about the parties hey omg wake up !!!!!!!!!!!!

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