Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that the South Africa National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has taken over the project to upgrade Pretoria’s Moloto Road, Rekord reported.
Speaking at a launch in Mpumalanga, Mbalula said the R4.5 billion had been allocated over a period of five years for Moloto Road to be upgraded, which has been the site of several traffic accidents throughout the years.
The transfer of the road comes after the Gauteng government was lambasted for not handing its portion of the road for upgrades in 2019.
The Gauteng section of the road was left out of the multi-billion rand budget from Sanral for the upgrades according to the Democratic Alliance (DA) MPL Janho Engelbrecht.
The budget allocated by Sanral for the upgrades for the Mpumalanga and Limpopo sections of the road was said to have been about R5.7 billion for the 2019/2020 cycle.
Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo, however, maintained the road was a priority while his spokesperson Theo Nkonki said upgrades to the road were in planning and design phases.
During the launch, Mbalula said the road had already seen the training of 135 small, medium and micro enterprises to improve their chances of participating in the project and in the construction industry.
Also along with 185 non-governmental organisations in the Thembisile Hani municipality, he added.
“Furthermore, the number of jobs have been created. We project that over the lifespan of the project some 12 500 jobs will be created,” he said.
At least three fatal and serious injuries were recorded on the deadly road in recent weeks. In one incident, a man died after a light vehicle collided with a government-owned vehicle.
In another incident, another man died while four adults and two children were seriously injured in a head-on collision between two light vehicles.
This year’s October transport month was expected to focus on service delivery across modes of transport with particular attention to roads infrastructure development.
“Under the theme ‘together shaping the future of transport’, we aim to raise awareness of the important role of transport in the economy,” said Mbalula.
“We want to invite civil society and the corporate sector’s participation in providing a safer, more affordable transport system for the country.”
This article first appeared on Rekord and was republished with permission.