Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga says government’s Vala Zonke campaign is eradicating the scourge of potholes


Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga says government’s Vala Zonke campaign is eradicating the scourge of potholes

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga (middle) raking hot asphalt to repair potholes on Selby Msimang Avenue, Pietermaritzburg


Pietermaritzburg, 23 February 2024 – Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga says South Africa’s pothole plague will be a thing of the past as the Vala Zonke campaign gains greater momentum across the country.

Minister Chikunga took the government’s war on potholes to Pietermaritzburg on Friday morning where she inspected work being done to repair stretches of Selby Msimang Avenue, one of the main roads in Msunduzi Municipality.

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and the Msunduzi Local Municipality are collaborating to fix potholes in and around Pietermaritzburg. SANRAL, on behalf of the National Department of Transport, is coordinating the national campaign to eradicate potholes, commonly known as Operation Vala Zonke.

Speaking to journalists in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, Minister Chikunga said that government, through its implementing agency SANRAL, was intensifying the war against potholes across the country. “Operation Vala Zonke is coordinated by SANRAL and, working together with provincial and local government structures, this campaign is helping to eradicate the scourge of potholes throughout the country. We can assure motorists and all road users that our government, in partnership with the private sector, is making steady progress in the repair of vital road infrastructure”.

Addressing community members at Inadi, outside of Pietermaritzburg, Minister Chikunga said the government had significantly improved the national road infrastructure and was working hard to ensure that provincial and local roads were able to transport people and goods. “Through SANRAL we are building world-class roads and massive interchanges, demonstrating excellent engineering skills in the process,” said Minister Chikunga.

“Our transport system is key to moving our country’s economy. Without good roads, we won’t be able to grow the economy. Over the last 30 years, this government has delivered impressive road infrastructure and we will continue to spend billions of rands in the construction industry to improve and maintain our roads, creating jobs, empowering small- and medium-sized businesses, and ensuring that we continue to grow our country’s economy for the benefit of our people. This government has undertaken to accelerate the creation of jobs by improving road and rail infrastructure. We are attracting investors as we improve freight logistics and we are promoting our young graduates to provide excellent engineering,” she said.

Minister Chikunga also handed over 430 bicycles to learners from schools in the Msunduzi Local Municipality as part of Operation Siyakha, an initiative of the National Department of Transport to enable easier access to education for learners who live far from their schools.

Minister Chikunga said her department had distributed 120,000 bicycles across the country since 2001. “I hear some people saying that this government has not made any difference and that we only make promises, but these bicycles are not promises. We are helping thousands of children to get to school every single day, providing bicycles and helmets and even reflector jackets. That is real evidence – not just talk – of this government helping to make a difference in the lives of young people, particularly in the rural areas of our country.” Learners from Mbanjwa and Ncwadi Primary, Enati Senior Secondary as well as Ngcedomhlope, Inqwangele, Ntabende and Qoqisizwe High Schools are among the schools that will benefit from the initiative.

The Shova Kalula National Bicycle project was introduced as a pilot in 2001 to alleviate transport pressure on poor households and has benefited more than 120 000 deserving learners to date who walk more than 3 kilometres to 5kilometres to and from school daily.