28 November 2017 - NW3727
Lekota, Mr M to ask the Minister of Transport
With reference to the community protest actions in the Matatiele region regarding the state of disrepair of the road network in the specified region, what (a) is his department’s assessment of the (i) access, (ii) district, (iii) regional and (iv) primary road networks in the greater Matatiele region and (b) plans are there to attend to the repairs and maintenance of the specified road networks?
a) (i) (ii) (iii) and (iv) R56 commences just outside of Pietermaritzburg and navigate the eastern region of the KZN province. It consists of various sections of roads which are Main road P5; P416; N2; P609 and traverse the towns of Richmond, Ixopo, Umzimkhulu and Kokstad respectively, R56 then further extends outside the border of the KwaZulu Natal province to Matatiele.
The KwaZulu Natal Department of Transport embarked on an exercise to do Condition Assessment for the Province for the total paved network of approximately 7650 kilometres consisting of provincial and district roads.
Upon completion of the exercise, it was found that 66% of the entire network was not in a good condition. A priority list was deduced based on the severity of defects on the roads and using the limited available funding, rehabilitation measures were implemented.
Route 56 has always been a high priority as it forms part of a link between the provinces of KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape and the country of Lesotho and over the years the KZN Department of Transport has done rehabilitation work to ensure safe transition and will continue to plan for maintenance activities accordingly.
b) Whilst 32 kilometers of P609 which is the nearest section of road from the KZN province region to the Eastern Cape boarder, towards Matatiele, it can be confirmed that the rehabilitation plans are only envisaged to commence during the 2020-21 financial year. With the current condition of the road being deemed as poor due to defects related to functionality, the structural capacity of the road is however relevantly sound and poses no risk to the design life of the road or any other unanticipated catastrophic failures. However, holding maintenance measures in a form of patching and pothole repairs where necessary will be conducted on an ongoing basis to ensure safe driving conditions.