In the Kruger Lowveld we are blessed with the pristinely well-maintained national road, the N4 under the management of TRAC N4, as well as some very well-maintained SANRAL provincial roads, I.e. the R40.
However most of the provincial roads are in a poor state and the required budget to repair, rehabilitate and rebuild the 936km of roads, is estimated at R6,6 bn (in 2018)
This is as a result of many years of budget shortages, personnel shortages, lack of maintenance and the final nail in the coffin, the hundreds of heavy ore trucks making their way from the mines to Mozambique.
We are dealing with the two biggest enemies of any road: Overloading (the trucks are heavier than the traffic the roads are designed for) and water. The affected roads mostly around the Panorama area are situated in the area with the highest annual rainfall in South Africa. This causes potholes and weeds growing on the edges of the road lifts the surface and water runs under the tar destroying the base of the road.
We are represented in:
- The Ehlanzeni Roads Committee
- The Provincial Tourism and Infrastructure Cluster Meeting
- Engaging in meetings monitoring and reviewing the upgrades of all the roads in the district on an ongoing basis and giving advice on prioritization of roads affecting tourism
- Lobbying for more funds to be made available to repair or rebuild all the roads in a reasonable amount of time.
- We are currently awaiting the updated report and will take it from there. We are told that there is more budget made available and all the roads we pointed out will be addressed in some way.
- The establishment of the Ehlanzeni Roads Committee itself was an achievement – where the necessary role players and responsible parties meet with Dept of Works to discuss priory roads and how to make do the best with the available budget. The meeting also monitor and review the progress of the plans and lobby for more funds to be made available for the roads in the area.
- The tourism routes were prioritized and basic repairs were done. That was highly appreciated by the tourism industry. Unfortunately we now see even more ore trucks on these roads because they are in a better condition than the shorter routes to the border.