31 January 2012
Emergency funding has been allocated to provinces to fix the worst of the damage to transport infrastructure caused by floods and storms earlier this month, the transport department said on Monday.
The government has a budget of R240-million for the country this financial year from the Transport Disaster Management Grant, said DET spokesman Logan Maistry.
“This money is to enable affected provinces to start immediately with the most urgent repairs to their infrastructure,” he said, but added that the need far outstripped the funds available.
In a tour of Mpumalanga on Monday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele heard that it would cost an estimated R445.7-million to repair infrastructure in that province alone.
“Of this, rebuilding of roads and bridges would be the most expensive at an estimated cost of R266-million,” Maistry said.
Floods and storms swept through Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West in mid-January.
Technical teams deployed
Accompanying Ndebele on Monday were Mpumalanga public works, roads and transport MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu and SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) CEO Nazir Alli.
“We are going all out to ensure we render all the necessary support and assistance to provinces to ensure that road infrastructure damaged by extreme weather conditions is repaired, ” Ndebele said in a statement after his visit.
Technical teams have already been deployed in all three provinces to assess the extent of damage. They are to hand a report to the minister on Friday.
“We want to ensure that all resources of the state are mobilised so that the lives of those affected returns to normal as soon as possible,” he said.
In Mpumalanga, five municipalities in the Ehlanzeni district of Mpumalanga have been declared disaster areas.
They are Mbombela, Nkomazi, Umjindi, Thaba Chweu and Bushbuckridge.