DA concerned about delays in Moloto Road upgrades

2019-06-14 16:22
A fatal accident on Moloto Road. (Supplied)

A fatal accident on Moloto Road. (Supplied) (Emer-G-Med)

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The DA says residents of Kameeldrift East in Pretoria claim that their plea for the notorious Moloto Road to be upgraded has fallen on deaf ears, resulting in more lives being lost.

According the party's MPL responsible for roads and transport, Janho Engelbrecht, it had learned that the Gauteng provincial government had instructed the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to halt the design work last year until further notice because the road was not "on its priority list and that it had not yet budgeted for the project".

"Limpopo and Mpumalanga have handed over their share of the road to Sanral which has invested R3.7bn in the project, while Gauteng's share has not yet received any budget allocation," Engelbrecht said.

He added that it was ironic that the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport had refused to hand over the road while it did not have a budget to maintain it.

"In the 2018/19 financial year, the department returned R182m to the Treasury. This money could have been spent on upgrading Moloto Road."

No street lights

The former Gauteng MEC for roads and transport, Ishmael Vadi, previously told the finance committee during the budget hearings at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature that Gauteng would not hand over its share of Moloto Road because it was an asset for the province, Engelbrecht said.

Crashes involving mostly buses, taxis and trucks have claimed hundreds of lives and left many more injured on the road. It has now been dubbed the "death road" because it has the highest number of recorded crashes in the country.  

It does not have street lights, is a single lane and has no clear road signs.

ALSO READ: Moloto Road: 40 years of broken promises

"Furthermore, there is a massive development in the east of Tshwane that will add enormous pressure on the road. The ANC Gauteng government must be held accountable for any loss of life on this dangerous road."

However, the transport department said it would be prioritising various plans for the improvement and expansion of road networks in the province.    

Newly appointed Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo said among some of the rehabilitation and upgrade projects were the Johannesburg/Vereeniging Road - K57 (R82), William Nichol Road K46, Moloto Road K139 and Woodmead/Atteridgeville Road K71 (R55).

"Gauteng, as the largest economy in the country, is growing at a fast pace and our road network is even more crucial in keeping the economy ticking. We need a reliable and safe road network so that we can grow the economy of our province."

Mamabolo said he had met with senior management to get a brief on projects that were being implemented. He added that it was important for him to get a sense of the work that had already been done in expanding and upgrading the roads.

The DA would engage with various roleplayers, including, Sanral, the Department of Roads and Transport and the City of Tshwane to ensure that the upgrades of the road were underway, said Engelbrecht.

He added that the party also planned to table questions in the legislature to ascertain when the road would be upgraded and also to get a timeframe of the plans.

Read more on:    johannesburg ­  |  accidents  |  service delivery

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