More funds to fix city

2019-04-30 15:25
A mess of electrical cable on Alexandra Road.PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

A mess of electrical cable on Alexandra Road.PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

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The escalating number of complaints received by Msunduzi Municipality arising from damages to vehicles in potholes, and escalating crime due to broken streetlights, has forced the City to boost its infrastructure budget.

Subject to council approval, infrastructure services has asked for an additional R25 million for the repair and maintenance of electricity and roads.

The additional funds would be moved from the capital budget.

Acting City manager Neli Ngcobo said R5 million would go towards the ongoing repairs of potholes, and R20 million for the maintenance of the electricity infrastructure, which will include the fixing of broken streetlights.

In February, Msunduzi appointed Pro-Phalt to tackle the pothole problem.

The Witness has previously reported that the worst affected areas with broken streetlights included roads in Northdale, Raisethorpe, the city centre, Blackridge, Sweetwaters, Hilton, the Chota Motala highway interchange and large areas of Edendale.

Ngcobo told council she had been inundated with calls about the state of the roads and broken streetlights.

“The funds will also assist in reducing outages that the city is experiencing currently,” she said.

According to a report, the electricity department had challenges caused by storms at the primary substations down to meters in residential units.

While some opposition parties welcomed and supported the approval of the additional funds, ACDP’s Reinus Nie­mand said the municipality was falling short of adequate budgeting.

DA councillor Ross Strachan said if the request for funds is approved, roads needed to be prioritised in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

“There are roads that need upgrading that have sat on the IDP for years on end without any upgrade or development,” he said.

“We have roads that were upgraded that are not on the budget, like the highway to the mayor’s house. The upgrades must not be politically selected to certain areas.”

Ngcobo noted, however, that “there are emergencies caused by storms that we are unable to predict will happen”.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality
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