Plight of Eastern Cape rural roads raised in NCOP

I moved a motion without notice yesterday (subs:  Tues, 4 Nov) in a sitting of the National Council of Provinces that reads as follows:

“No Regional Rural Road Maintenance Contracts have been awarded for the Province of the Eastern Cape in the 2014/15 financial year.

Since April 2014 no maintenance work could be carried out in large parts of the Eastern Cape due to contracts not being awarded because of problems in the procurement process.

The DA calls on the Minister of Transport to:

  1. Award the rural road maintenance contracts as a matter of urgency.
  2. To put contingency plans in place for urgent maintenance works until such time as the contracts have been awarded.

I so move.”

The ANC objected to this motion.

Why does the ANC not want these contracts to be awarded? Does the ANC want to continue to stifle economic growth and tourism in the Eastern Cape? This gesture by the ANC speaks to their lack of concern for rural communities in the Eastern Cape.

Roads are the life blood of the Eastern Cape. The province relies heavily on tourism and agriculture, especially the citrus industry which is the second largest contributor to the economy of the Eastern Cape. Well maintained roads are essential for the survival of these industries.

I have submitted questions for oral reply to the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, to explain to the legislature when and if maintenance of rural roads in the province will commence.