Date:16 April 2017 - By: Mbulaheni Ridovhona
Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) has received a major financial boost after being allocated R962.1 million for upgrading and maintenance of the provincial roads infrastructure.
This was announced by the MEC of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure, Mr Jerry Ndou, during his recent budget speech in the provincial legislature.
Referring to roads, Ndou said the fact that the province has a backlog of 14 332km is of grave concern for both government and the people. “Therefore, we must create a sense of hope and responsibility for a better life for all, through working with our communities and their representatives to understand where we are and where we are going with the roads network,” he added.
He added that nearly 42km of upgrading the major roads in the province has been achieved, over 122km has been rehabilitated, 254 971m² were resealed and 13km of upgrading access roads to public amenities such as clinics, schools and other public service stations has also been completed. To improve riding mobility in the province, 73km of road has been re-gravelled and 91 164m² of black top patching through pothole repairs completed.
“We have been able, amongst other strategic economic routes in the province, to upgrade 17.8km of the road D4 and D3745, from Matsakale-Alten-Shangoni-Kruger National Park in the Vhembe District,” he added.
He said that the department acknowledges that central to its plan is to deliver on its mandate to improve roads infrastructure and road safety. “That is why we went all out to lobby for more funding from private sector to ease pressure on the provincial fiscus. Through these private sector partners, we raised R302 million,” he added.
Ndou added that RAL will spend R25 million of its allocation to employ local labour during project implementation and has set aside R115 million to support SMME’s and further train 480 local workers.
He concluded that the Department shall continue to liaise with organizations of people living with disabilities to explore ways of increasing their participation in the various projects being implemented.
The MEC of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure, Mr Jerry Ndou
The 22-year-old Mbulaheni (Gary) Ridovhona has been passionate about journalism to the extent that he would buy himself a copy of weekly Univen students' newsletter, Our Voice. After reading, he would write stories about his rural village, Mamvuka, and submit them to the very newsletter for publication. His deep-rooted love for words and writing saw him register for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at the University of Venda, and joined the Limpopo Mirror team in February 2016 as a journalism intern.