Limpopo fixes potholes to attract business and tourists
Limpopo, 7 October 2022 – In just over 60 days, the Province of Limpopo – renowned for its many bountiful natural treasures from platinum to coal to mangoes – has seen the fixing of 25 431 potholes as part of Operation Vala Zonke.
The province is also home to the recently launched Musina Ring Road, an engineering masterpiece built by South African National Road Agency SOC Limited, which is also the implementing agency for Operation Vala Zonke, a Department of Transport initiative aimed at fixing potholes across the country.
The Ring Road will positively transform road transit between South Africa and neighbouring countries, cutting down travel time and saving the town of Musina, and its residents, from the constant onslaught of heavy-duty trucks.
Limpopo has set a pothole-fixing target of 180 000 square metres, and so far the Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure, together with Extended Public Works employees, have managed to patch:
• 4157 potholes in the Capricorn district;
• 3 924 in the Mopani district;
• 2 487 potholes in the Sekhukhune district;
• 10 170 in the Vhembe district and
• 4 693 in the Waterberg – all covering an area of 25 000 metres
The commitment to eradicate potholes is part of the national government’s broader commitment to infrastructure development, identified as a critical element of South Africa’s economic recovery plan in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Infrastructure Investment Plan is the cornerstone of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October 2020.
Infrastructure projects are vital to the country’s economic recovery due to its multiplier effects in restoring economic growth, creating new jobs and protecting livelihoods.
Reviewing the work done to date, Nkakareng Rakgoale, Limpopo MEC for Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure and Transport said: “Good roads attract tourists to an area. Limpopo is the gateway to other African countries, but travellers want to know that they can reach their destination safely.”
As part of accelerating the work by the department, Rakgoale recently launched a project for the full rehabilitation of the D1909, which links the Timbati Eastgate Airport Road with the R40 in the farming and tourism town of Hoedspruit.
“Motorists will breathe a sigh of relief as this 17km stretch of road will soon be rehabilitated. This comes in handy as the airport is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment. With an average of 150 monthly flights and over 7 000 passengers passing through its gates on any given month, we had to come on board and provide proper road infrastructure to strengthen the influx of capital into the province,” Rakgoale said.
Over the next six months, the Department of Transport, through SANRAL, will monitor and assess the impact of the interventions which have been put in place. This will enable SANRAL to generate audit reports, which will form the basis for validation of the work undertaken and the turn-around time for attending to potholes in Limpopo.
Tom Vorster, a representative for the local tourism sector, said they were delighted that the roads were being fixed as this would create a conducive environment to do business in the area.
He said repairing potholes saved roads from further deterioration and was a great initiative to make the province’s roads better and safer for all road users.