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Minister Fikile Mbalula’s plan to fill potholes in South Africa

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula alongside many stakeholder's, during project ValaZonke.

A plan to cover potholes around the country is finally underway and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula spearheading the operation has titled the operation Vala Zonke, a Zulu term meaning to close everything.

The operation which launched on the R57 in Emfuleni on Monday morning aims to service huge road maintenance backlog estimated at R 200 billion.

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Mbalula said government was hard at work with plans to address challenges related to road infrastructure.

Government started operation Vala Zonke alongside the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) who would oversee the operation for the next six months.

Why are potholes worse in regional areas?
 
“The reason to come to regional levels was that the situation was worsening,” Mbalula said.
“This is our response to mitigate the mess in terms of the local roads, as well as regional roads.”
Some roads were in a critical state and government alongside SANRAL planned to make a dent to the current dire situation within six months, said the minister.
R11 billion was allocated to tackle the current pothole crisis and will be distributed across provinces in order to address the dilapidated infrastructure.
“Potholes will always be with us,” he said, adding that capacity was an issue brought to stakeholder attention.
The transport department alongside SANRAL would monitor the ambitious project which aims to also upskill the youth across the country, with thousands of people included in the massive project.
Mbalula pointed to corrupt tendering processes as a key loophole that produced poor workmanship and said the corrupt will soon be held accountable as stricture measures would be put in place.
Construction underway as Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s ValaZonke operation kicks off
Gauteng MEC for roads and transport, Jacob Mamabolo told the transport minister that his department would ensure the project was a success.
While the Emfuleni municipality remains under administration, Mamabolo, said much-needed rehabilitation was underway with over 11 roads fixed thus far.
With 32 roads in the process of being repaired, Mamabolo pledged to support operation Vala Zonke, noting that although the number of the roads being attended to currently was small, they would contribute to the greater goal the operation ValaZonke, wanted to achieve.
Feature image: Department of Transport/Twitter

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