Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks has vowed to seek new and innovative solutions to the region’s road backlog.
In his State of the Municipality Address, Hendricks praised the municipality’s Road Maintenance teams for being visibly at work.
“During the first seven months of the financial year, the teams repaired 3 131 potholes,” he said.
He attributed the escalation in repairs to a comprehensive new road repair programme that was rolled out in September last year and which has seen teams taking it street by street, at times repairing more than 100 potholes in a single road.
“A contractor was also appointed in November to start resealing roads,” he said.
“Several roads at Jeffreys Bay and Hankey have already been resealed while the evaluation of surfaced roads in all towns is underway to prioritise further streets for resealing. This project will be ongoing.”
Despite the extra effort to bring Kouga’s roads up to standard, the Mayor warned that the backlog in road maintenance and repair is monumental.
“According to a recent assessment, it will cost the municipality more than R500-million to get its road network to an acceptable standard, including, R380-million for rehabilitation, R114-million for periodic maintenance and R44-million for special maintenance.
“But, let me remind you of the wisdom of Nelson Mandela when he said: ‘It only seems impossible until it is done’.”
He said Kouga needed to think out-of-the-box and seek for “new and innovative solutions to kill this giant, taking into account cost effectiveness and feasibility.”
“The Municipal Manager and I will in March be meeting such innovators, who will pilot 1km of tar road in Kouga. If we are satisfied, we will deliver the first of many killing blows to this formidable giant and start turning back the clock on road infrastructure backlogs.”
He said Kouga’s gravel roads were in an equal state of disrepair.
“Despite an ongoing maintenance programme, the backlog remains tremendous and a source of great frustration for communities across Kouga.”
He said that, as promised last year, the Council made further funding available in the adjustments budget for the grading of gravel roads.