The Department of Public Works and the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works presented their progress reports on road maintenance, job creation and potholes. The national Department was not the road authority but accounted for roads within facilities under its custodianship and had elected potholes repair as the catalyst for job creation, while assisting municipalities with maintenance backlog on potholes. The Department sought technical support from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Agrément South
The national Department found that there were lessons learnt through the pilot project in the Tshwane metro. The collaboration with municipalities was critical for the success of the project. In-depth consultation with spheres of Government was essential for the successful recruitment of beneficiaries. Inconsistencies or a lack of specifications to repair potholes within the municipalities was a big challenge. In the departments engagements with municipalities it insisted on hot mix asphalt irrespective of the conditions or original road specifications.
The Eastern Cape Department of Public Works gave its report on the pothole reparation programmes. The
The province had recently established Road Forums with every Local, District and Metro Authority. These road forums would amongst others seek to coordinate both municipal and provincial road issues and act as the channel for citizen issues to be addressed, prioritised, or referred. The Department did not have sufficient budget to adequately address the poor state of the roads. Potholes were a symptom of a severely deteriorating network and damages from potholes and edge-breaks were likely to continue to climb.
Members were overall disappointed with the presentation from the national Department. They felt it lacked detailed information, especially around job creation. The Department did not adequately answer all questions and Members requested that the relevant information be sent to them. Members said that the report from the
Members would have liked to hear challenges that the Department faced and the different categories for job creation such as for women and youth. They asked what happened to the R22 billion allocated from the S’hamba Sonke programme. The national Department had to provide more support to the provincial departments. Members thought that it would be more cost effective to do in-house servicing of repairing potholes instead of outsourcing contractors. They wanted more information around Small Medium and Micro Enterprises and asked whether jobs were temporary or permanent.
The Chairperson was very disappointed to see that only one provincial department had shown up to attend the meeting. He had wanted all provinces to be present as this was an important meeting. The Committee was responsible for oversight but it would not be able to effectively do its work if it did not know what was happening in the various provinces. He requested that the national Department send out a message to all provinces that they should take an invitation from the Committee very seriously as he could be forced to summon them to appear in front of the Committee at any time.
Department of Public Works: presentation
Mr Obed Molotsi, Acting Deputy Director-General: Projects, National Department of Public Works, highlighted that the Department was not the road authority. However it accounted for roads within facilities under its custodianship. The roads constructed and maintained by the Department were of a low traffic volume within military bases, prisons, and other national government facilities. The Department appointed qualified and experienced civil engineers to carry out the design and documentation of road related services. The Department would review the design parameters by the engineer to ensure that there was no over design or under design, and the cost effectiveness of the design solution proposed based on the guideline document of the South African National Standards (SANS) and the Technical Recommendation for Highways (TRH) by the Department of Transport.
Mr Molotsi gave the Department's approach to pothole repairs. The Department had elected pothole repairs as a catalyst for job creation, while assisting municipalities with maintenance backlogs on potholes. The Department sought technical support from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Agrément South
Mr Molotsi explained the Department's compliance to existing regulations. The method of repair would follow CSIR guidelines which were:
⚫Saw cutting of the potholes to a rectangular shape
⚫Repairing of the base material
⚫Backfilling using materials approved by the engineer
⚫Compaction per layers using appropriate compacting hand operated machinery
⚫Sealing of the surface as per preference of the Road Authority (hot or cold mix asphalt)
⚫Joint treatment between existing and new surfacing.
In the absence of the accredited material by Agrément SA, all material was in compliance to SANS and TRH. The engineer would give approval of the material before application by the contractor.
To assure quality, all materials to be used would have a manufacturing certificate outlining material composition, and the engineer would approve the use of the material. The consultant resident engineer would be on site on a full time basis to ensure compliance to specifications. The Department would randomly conduct tests on completed repairs; officials had attended CSIR induction seminars of pothole repairs. In
All repair works would have a 12 months guarantee period. The Department would retain a sum equal to 10% of the contract value as retention and within the period the contractor would make good all defective work at the contractor's expense. Every pothole identified and repaired would have an identity for example by using GPS coordinates. Failure to repair the works would result in the Department appointing an alternative contractor and levying the costs from the defaulting contractor.
Mr Molotsi gave an update on the project status. Within the
There were lessons learnt through the pilot project in the Tshwane metro. The collaboration with municipalities was critical for the success of the project. In-depth consultation with spheres of Government was essential for the successful recruitment of beneficiaries. Inconsistencies or a lack of specifications to repair potholes within the municipalities was a big challenge. In the Department's engagements with municipalities it insisted on hot mix asphalt irrespective of the conditions or original road specifications. The Department had found that contractors in civil works lacked capacity to undertake road maintenance and pothole repair without the constant guidance of engineers and quality monitoring. Without this quality monitoring the quality of works could not be guaranteed.
Eastern Cape Department of Public Works: presentation
Ms Thandiswa Marawu, Member of the Executive Council (MEC): Transport, Roads and Public Works,
The Eastern Cape Department received approximately R2 billion for Roads and EPWP programmes, but this had to be spread over 43 000kms. Approximately 50% was spent on capital projects, salaries, planning, design, monitoring and evaluation, governance, etc. there was an enormous historic backlog in the new and upgraded roads and bridge projects, particularly in the former homelands, of more than R100 billion. The other 50% was spent on maintenance, but this was still only 25% of the required budget for sustainable maintenance. Nationally, road maintenance had been under funded since the 1980’s. This had resulted in a huge backlog in maintenance of approximately R13 billion for
Ms Marawu said that the province had recently established Road Forums with every Local, District and Metro Authority. These road forums would amongst others seek to coordinate both municipal and provincial road issues and act as the channel for citizen issues to be addressed, prioritised, addressed of referred. The road forums also sought to coordinate prioritisation and implementation of new projects and the rehabilitation and maintenance on road and bridge projects. The province had appointed social facilitators to act as secretariat for road forums and would cover the costs of venues, secretarial services and stipends. The Department also had several Service Level Agreements (
Ms Marawu went on to explain the Road Asset Management System (RAMS). The Department had such a system in place to assess and record condition data, monitor condition trends over time, determine priority maintenance needs and optimise the impact of the limited available funding. During 2011/12 and 2012/13 the
Ms Marawu said that the Department had used the Visual Condition Index (VCI) to determine the status of surfaced roads. Due to long term under funding of maintenance, the network was currently severely stressed and in a deteriorating condition:
⚫1996: 12% poor/very poor
⚫2000: 15% poor/very poor
⚫2008: 31% poor/very poor
⚫2009: 32% poor/very poor
⚫2010: 40% poor/very poor
Ms Marawu gave an overview of the pothole maintenance programme. The entire
Ms Marawu explained the policy on reparation for damages. When minor claims for damages, for example pothole damages, were received, these were initially submitted to the relevant District Roads Engineer to carry out an inspection of the site of the accident and to make a recommendation. Liability was assessed on two areas; liability of the state or contractor as applicable such as negligence in timely repairs or adequate warning and liability of the driver such as driving in a manner inappropriate to the conditions. Recommendations were then reviewed by the departments’ legal advisor. Approved claims for the state were processed by supply chain management and had to comply with regulations and processes. Claims for contractors’ accounts were submitted to the relevant contractor.
Ms Marawu highlighted that all claims paid by the state was paid from one vote of the budget to enable monitoring. However, claims paid out by appointed contractors were not currently monitored. The Department would institute reporting on claims paid by the appointed contractors as part of their monthly reporting requirements. The Department would also investigate the feasibility of including reporting on municipal pothole claims paid out as part of the Road Forum liaison meetings. In conclusion, the province did not have sufficient budget to adequately address the poor state of the roads. Potholes were a symptom of a severely deteriorating network and damages from potholes and edge-breaks were likely to continue to climb. While the Department could minimise the liability of the state by erecting pothole warning signs, the effect on the citizens and transport costs through the ever climbing vehicle operating costs on our roads was severely hampering economic and social development. The Department would set up a monitoring system to track and report on the pothole reparation costs in the province. Immediate focus was however still on repairing the enormous flood damages sustained in the province.
Mr Z Mlenzana (COPE,
Ms M Themba (ANC,
Mr H Groenewald (DA,
Mr Molotsi replied that S’hamba Sonke was a project by the Department of Transport in conjunction with public works therefore it was difficult to say how the money would be allocated.
Mr M Jacobs (ANC,
The Chairperson said that the Department had useful standards but the main problem was as to how the billions allocated would be implemented. He was concerned that the different systems in national, local and provincial government were not coherent. On slide 14 the inconsistencies and lack specifications was a worrying sign to him.
Mr Mlenzana asked how the SMME contractor development was linked to job creation for youth, women and people with disabilities.
Mr Molotsi replied that the reason for involving SMMEs was to improve the SMMEs grades. It started this year and would run over three years. This was done to develop the Department's pool of own competent contractors and was focused on empowering youth and women.
Ms Themba said that if Mr Molotsi from the Department did not have adequate answers to Members’ questions then he should ask for the assistance from his colleagues.
Mr Jacobs asked whether the national Department told the provincial departments what material to use and which standards to follow.
Mr Molotsi replied that it was difficult for the Department to prescribe to municipalities which materials they had to use. The Department did not have set standards but only materials and provinces themselves chose whether to use hot or cold mix asphalt.
The Chairperson asked more specific details around beneficiaries appointed, such as whether these were temporary or permanent jobs.
Mr Molotsi replied that these were not permanent jobs but rather contractual for six to 12 months.
Mr Groenewald said there was a municipality mentioned in the
Mr Molotsi replied that the identification of roads to be attended to was agreed with municipalities. The
The Chairperson requested that all information needed to answer Members’ unanswered questions had to be sent to the Committee as soon as possible.
The meeting was adjourned.
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