There is not a single permanent employee employed by the Koukamma municipality to address the municipality’s collapsing roads infrastructure, despite this being a vital aspect of the municipality’s core functions and responsibilities.
The municipality should consider entering into Public Private Partnerships to enable them to secure the prerequisite skills to tackle the road maintenance and repair backlog. It will also be vital that adequate funding be put in place to facilitate this.
Residents of this municipality, which includes the towns of Kareedouw, Storms River, and Joubertina, amongst others, are faced with travelling on roads that are in such a poor state of repair they need complete rehabilitation.
The appalling conditions of the roads in the area have had a dire impact on tourism and have made day-to-day operations for residents a monumental task.
In response to a parliamentary question from the DA COGTA MEC, Zolile Williams, revealed that the only work being done was pothole repairs. He said the municipality relied solely on EPWP workers to fix potholes and did not have a single permanent employee to deal with roads and related infrastructure.
MEC Williams also revealed that the municipality did not have a functioning animal pound, nor had it set aside any budget to establish one.
Stray animals, especially those that wander into roads, pose a significant risk to motorists in the area.
MEC Williams said the municipality was reviewing its by-laws and was striving to appoint a law enforcement officer to enforce animal pound by-laws and was hoping to secure a private entity to manage the pound.
With no budget for its own facility, it begs the question, how the municipality intends to pay a private entity for such services.
It is clear that the Koukamma municipality is failing to prioritise road infrastructure. I am urging the MEC and his Department to intervene and ensure that these matters are attended to as a matter of urgency.
The DA will continue to fight for communities to have access to basic services and hold our municipalities accountable when they fail to do so.