Members Transport Debate
By Honourable Mntomuhle Khawula
Member of the Department of Transport Portfolio Committee

Pietermaritzburg: Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Honourable Speaker


In his report the MEC spoke about the Departments response to flood damages. It is still lamented that the response time of the Department to these damages remains unacceptable. It takes ages before repairs can be effected. In respect of striking a balance between construction and maintenance, I agree whole heartedly with the MEC. However, the need is as great also in striking a balance between urban and rural in both construction and maintenance. The MEC has provided us with some figures in respect of both construction and maintenance. He says, between 1 April and 30 September, 797 Kilometres of gravel roads were re-gravelled.  For me this is unacceptable. It is too little.  Again 39 859 km of gravel roads were bladed. My question is where did this happen, I live in a rural area, I travel in rural areas almost everyday. Where is this 39 859 km of road that was bladed? The Department should stop feeding the MEC wrong figures and he also goes public about them. Who is monitoring these contractors who are given the tenders of blading our roads. These roads are nowhere in this Province.  We hardly see a grader blading in rural areas.


There is this persistent problem which the MEC has also spoken about of road safety and the increase in road accidents. Hon MEC, your department should stop being serious about law enforcement only during the holiday season. Law enforcement should be strictly adhered to 365 days a year.  Accidents do not take place only during the holiday season. It is unacceptable that in 6 months 732 accidents have happened leading to 1310 fatalities


The MEC also speaks about Road Safety gatherings that were convened in this period. It beats me as to how do gatherings and rallies take precedence over law enforcement. I would have been more comfortable with a report that says so many law enforcement officers were employed to curb fatalities. I would have been happier with the MEC reporting maximizing of the equipment and tools to deal with road traffic inspections.  When is such thinking going to be a priority over wasteful rallies and gatherings?


Here again the MEC reports that the Department conducted 25 242 roadblocks in 6 months. This amounts to 192 roadblocks per day in this period. I wonder where these roadblocks were taking place. I want to agree with MEC in his statement that Provincial departments ďare not taking the programme of EPWP seriously".  But who is to blame for that. This points to the failures of government and the powers that must crack the whip accordingly. Rather, the MEC should be reporting to us what measures are being taken so that government departments take the problem seriously, and not lament with us.


Honourable Mntomuhle Khawula
078 3034 542