Some Mpumalanga roads remain closed, repair funds awaited

Motorists will have to wait some time longer than originally expected until the provincial roads damaged in the floods earlier this year are repaired.

Repairing the flood-damaged provincial roads in Mpumalanga may take even longer than initially hoped, as the latest information from the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is that there is a limited budget.

The NDMC’s spokesperson, Legadima Leso, said they had received the provincial funding request from Mpumalanga to the repair damaged roads after the floods in February. They confirmed they had verified all the documentation, but due to a limited budget for the 2023/24 financial year, they are trying to secure other forms of funding for road repair.

“We are engaging the National Treasury and the relevant department to explore various mechanisms of funding the damaged roads. This includes the reprioritisation of funds by the national and NDMC’s spokesperson, Legadima Lesoand the augmentation of the 2023/24 allocation to the NDMC,” Leso said.

He also said the affected municipalities in the province have already received a disaster grant to allow them to restore damaged infrastructure. He said the NDMC pledges its continued support to all affected state property.

The spokesperson for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lindiwe Msibi, confirmed that the NDMC had approved the municipal grants based on assessments of damaged infrastructure, but that these grant would not cover all damaged municipal infrastructure due to the above-mentioned limits. She said some municipalities are already in the process of appointing service providers to start with repairs, and in others, repairs have already commenced.

While Cogta awaits the grants to fix the province’s roads, the current arrangements will stay in place. The R536 between Hazyview and Sabie and the R40 between Barberton and the Josefsdal Border Post, located on the Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail, will remain closed. The R40 next to Klipkopjes Dam will continue to operate on a stop-and-go basis.

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