R7-million “re-gravelled” main road to Queenstown a death trap for Xhonxa Dam villagers



Residents of Xhonxa Dam and Nkolonga Village in the Emalahleni Municipality face a death trap if they want to get to the nearest large town in their area, namely Queenstown. The state of the DR08569 road has led to various serious accidents and damage to property, despite a whopping R7-million having been spent to have the road re-gravelled.

The DA believes that a functional roads network is necessary for local economies and jobs to flourish and for the safety of our people.

This is just another example of how the interests of the people of this province continue to be a non-priority to the Department of Roads. On Saturday it was reported in the media that Premier Phumulo Masualle had to get the help of private investigators to probe a R632-million mess relating to 21 road projects in the province between the 2013/14 and 2015/16 financial years.

The Department of Roads and Public Works awarded a tender for re-gravelling of this road to a ‘safe and acceptable standard’ in 2014. R15-million was allocated for the re-gravelling of this and three other roads, of which R5-million was spent on this particular road and the contractor was paid R2- million. For details, click here:

Emalahleni Road tender

It is a slap in the face of our citizens to see that this is what R7-million worth of the people’s money translates to.

I have written to the MEC for Roads and Transport, Weziwe Tikana, to investigate how it is possible that this road is in such a deplorable state after spending R7-million on it and to commit to prioritising its repair to a safe and reliable standard, as a matter of urgency. I also want to know what action will be taken against the contractor as the state of the road and workmanship has completely deteriorated in just three years.

This situation is absolutely indefensible and is completely unacceptable. The rights of people to have a safe and reliable roads network are continuously trampled on.

The DA will continue to defend the rights of the people to have a safe and reliable roads network.

What we need is DA-led change to ensure that no person and no community is neglected and left behind in terms of accessibility and a fair allocation of funds to attend to road repairs and maintenance. — Vicky Knoetze MPL, Shadow MEC for Roads and Public Works.