An amount of R 75 million has been diverted from the road maintenance budget for the Sarah Baartman District area, which includes the Kouga, to supplement the Eastern Cape’s over-commitment on capital projects in other district municipal areas.
“The general road maintenance programme has ground to a halt this year. Since the start of the financial year in April 2015, some roads and areas damaged by flash flooding have only been maintained through disaster or emergency intervention funding,” says Elza Van Lingen, the leader of the DA in Kouga.
“It is now the third year running that the provincial department has not put out road maintenance tenders in time and this calls for an investigation as to why in the past two years, money was returned to national treasury as not utilised by the department,” added Van Lingen.
The lack of funding for maintenance is not just affecting the economic drivers such as agriculture and tourism. It has severe impact on the social support services such as health, access to social services, scholar transport, police services.
The Democratic Alliance is investigating the current collapse of financial support for road maintenance programmes in the SBDM.
Vicky Knoetze, DA MPL has undertaken to call for a proper investigation on the department of roads and public works’ projects in each district municipality – how on time and over budget both the maintenance and capital projects are.
“The DA will call for an urgent programme shift to top up and service the roads in Kouga, Koukamma and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality,” added Van Lingen.