Transport interventions to boost province

The purpose of the campaign is to highlight the role of transport in the advancement of socio-economic development and its impact on the value chain of service delivery.

Provincial Department of Public Works MEC, Mr Gillion Mashego will also be participating in various transport activities in the province. He said transport is a broad industry that consists of air, rail and maritime travel.

“As human beings, our feet carry us from one point to another. We need to introspect by asking what have we achieved thus far and how we can make our roads safe.

“We are engaging with various stakeholders who need to work together, ensuring that we minimise accidents on the roads. We also want to mobilise our people.

“In the morning when you drive from White River to Mbombela, it is bumper to bumper. Our roads are getting congested every day and night and it will be worse as people are buying cars and taking licenses for employment purposes.

“Think about people who get injured on the road and the Department of Health gets involved. There is a backlog of orthopaedics in the province especially in hospitals in the province such as Rob Ferreira. There is a long queue of patients who need to be operated on. If we can minimise accidents on the road we are going to save a lot of lives,” explained Mashego. He went on to say that scholar transport should also be involved to ensure that the youngsters arrive at school on time.

It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that safety measures are implemented. This month they will monitor scholar and public transport.

“There is a subsidy that caters for over 400 000 commuters who use buses on 154 routes – the department invested R600 million. More than 60 000 learners who stay more than five kilometres from the nearest school are provided transport and have invested R500 million towards the project for the 2018/19 financial year.

“As part of the non-motorised transport system, the department has donated more than 6 000 bicycles to children who travel between three to five kilometres to school. The Shova Kalula programme was introduced in 2001 by the national department to address much-needed transport in rural communities. We also further invested R86 million towards integrated rural mobility and access strategy.

“In order to deliver economically and socially, the department has built footbridges, sidewalks, access roads and bus shelters in various rural areas across the province. We now have the Ronaldsey, Donkerhoek, Marite, Tjakastaad and Ntombe footbridges that we have built over the period of five years,” said the MEC, who highlighted some interventions the department has made.

Currently, the province has a road network of 13 837 kilometres of which 5 494 kilometres are surfaced while 8 343 kilometres is gravelled road. The demand for a tarred road is high and requires a balance between planning, design, construction and maintenance as 44% of the department’s allocated budget goes towards transport infrastructure.

The MEC will be at Gert Sibande, Bohlabela, Ehlanzeni, Nkangala during October engaging in various activities such as patching of roads, a handover of houses, soccer tournaments and the launch of SANTACO Mpumalanga Transport month.

  AUTHOR
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