ATC130308: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the Oversight visit to Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape in Relation to S’hamba Sonke, dated 19 February 2013
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON THE OVERSIGHT VISIT TO
KWAZULU-NATAL AND THE EASTERN CAPE IN RELATION TO SHAMBA SONKE, DATED 19
The Portfolio Committee on Transport, having undertaken an
oversight visit to the
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE VISIT
Portfolio Committee on Transport (the Committee), as mandated by the
Constitution and Rules of Parliament, undertook an
oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape from 24 to 27
January 2012 to assess the condition of access roads to schools and health
facilities and to receive briefings from the provincial departments of
transport on their implementation of Shamba Sonke.
delegation consisted of the
Committee Chairperson, Ms N R Bhengu
(ANC), Ms D E Dlakude (ANC), Mr L Suka (ANC), Mr M de Freitas (DA) and Mr P
The Committee was
Ms V Carelse (Committee
Secretary), Mr S Ngesi (Committee Researcher) and Ms Z France (Committee
Portfolio Committee on Transport of the Kwazulu-Natal Legislature and an
official from the Department of Transport accompanied the Committee on the
The municipalities identified for the visits were
The Committee was of the opinion that its oversight visit to
KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape had to be informed by the Shamba Sonke
objectives, the challenges identified and recommendations made in the Household
Survey on Public Transport that was conducted by the Department of Transport in
2003 and the report of the Portfolio Committee on its study tour to China in
The Committees unwavering commitment to this cause
culminated in the launch of the S
programme by the Minister of Transport in April 2011. S
is an innovative,
nation-wide maintenance programme of
The principles and pillars of
were based on:
increasing investment in the maintenance of
key arterial routes to support the rural economy;
increasing the focus on the cost-efficient
use of labour absorptive methodologies in road construction and maintenance;
maintaining a focused attention on the deployment
of local resources to support road network asset management;
improving access to schools and clinics and
other public facilities; and
delivering a safe road environment.
The programme also aimed to reduce the percentage of roads
in poor to very poor condition from the current 30 per cent to 10 per cent.
HOUSEHOLD SURVEY ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The survey which was conducted by
the Department of Transport in 2003 aimed to
understand domestic travel
behaviour and the needs of individuals and households in
The objectives of the oversight visit, which were to assess access roads to
schools and health facilities have
to be engaged in the context of the
principles and the household travel survey.
The delegation focused on the challenges that were raised in
the National Household Survey on Public Transport which included the following:
a) The high costs of travelling and transporting goods;
b) The long time taken in travelling a short distance;
c) The lack of integration of different modes of transport;
Improved access to opportunities for the urban and
STUDY TOUR TO
During its study tour to
was similar to the one in
As part of its
transformation agenda, the Chinese government positioned transport as an
enabling tool for economic development. The transport infrastructural
development in rural areas became central to the economic development
In order to address their challenges, planning for transport development
took place at
national level, as their 2020 transport master plan allowed for an
transport plan. Investment in transport development was more informed by
needs and not economic cost.
partnered with developed countries where they learnt relevant skills for
development, which led to the establishment of a faculty at university
on transport studies. Thirty years ago,
technology skills required to develop the transport industry.
that same challenge today.
The Committee engaged with the provincial
departments on how their implementation
strategies focused on increasing access to
schools and clinics.
SUBMISSION BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
The, Head of Department of the KwazuluNatal Provincial Department of
Transport reported that
activities undertaken on the provinces road network consisted of conservation
of higher order roads through rehabilitation and reseals, regravelling, routine
maintenance, safety maintenance and specific maintenance. The Department had
implemented a 2-year pothole repair contract commencing in the 2011/12
financial year to address the backlog of pothole repairs. A database comprising
111 contractors ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 7 had been created in Empangeni,
Ladysmith, Pietermaritzburg and
Department was continually developing, upgrading and maintaining roads to
support the communities of the province through its various programmes which
These were the African Renaissance Road Upgrading Programme (ARRUP) and Operation
Kushunquthuli which focused on the upgrading of community access roads to
police stations, clinics, schools and areas with high potential for agriculture
activities. The programme also focused on the building of pedestrian bridges.
Department had over the past 10 years investigated various products to improve
the all-weather surface of its roads. Various products had been tested, such as
Road Bond, Roadamine, Soil Fix and Ecobond. Some of the roads that have been
piloted using these products were P710, P218, P15, A1114 and D1599. The
department was monitoring the success of these treatments to determine the best
product for the different material types. In the Ugu district, 20 Vukuzakhe
contractors, comprising Grade 1, 2 and 3 contractors, had been allocated to
carry out pothole repairs. To date, approximately 20 contracts have been
implemented in the 2011/12 financial year to an estimated value of R6 million.
of scholar transport in the province, the Department took over the scholar
transport function from the Department of Basic Education in September 2011.
From September to December 2011, service was provided to 27 schools. Service
providers had been appointed and the service commenced on 11 January 2012. The
service would be monitored from February 2012 onwards.
representative from the
According to the submission from the
municipality, the roads from ward 4 to ward 10 were in relative good condition
and the KwazuluNatal Department of Transport was currently re-gravelling some
of the roads. The badly affected and neglected road was D 926 in Ward 1 near the
Kwa Fodo area. Umuziwabantu municipality upgraded the portion which was in an
unusable state from its own budget. As a result of limited funds, only a
portion could be constructed. It was a major challenge for local transport and
emergency vehicles to get to communities in the area during the rainy season.
The road to Indlovini in ward 1 and ward 2 was not accessible during wet
conditions because the road had not been maintained for many years.
Low-level bridges were vital access
points to communities as they provided a safe point for crossing rivers.
Unfortunately, after heavy rains the river overflowed the bridge and rendered
the bridge unusable. When this happened, vehicles were unable to cross the
bridge and children were unable to attend school until the water levels had
The municipality showed images to the Committee that illustrated the
flooding of bridges, even during normal flow.
The municipality felt that low-level bridges needed to be reviewed as
most rivers were rising close to the level of the bridge.
The national roads were in good
condition and routine maintenance was conducted. The municipality was, however,
concerned that contractors had developed a tendency to use cement to close
potholes, particularly on the provincial roads. The municipality had asked the
Provincial Department to closely inspect these roads.
Gravel roads in the municipal areas were
regularly maintained and Umuziwabantu municipality was assisting where the
province could not. The roads that required immediate intervention were the
Weza to Mzimkhulu (a Department of Transport pilot project) and the Bizana
roads. The roads had been neglected by the province. The roads had deformed and
their lifespan had elapsed, but they had not been re-surfaced. Potholes on
these roads were fixed with concrete and because it was a rigid substance, the
concrete stayed intact while the tar had deteriorated. The municipality
regarded these roads unsafe for travel.
The Bizana road, which runs through
the town of
According to the municipality, there
was a need to make use of alternative modes of transport to ease the pressure
on the road network and increase its lifespan. The municipal area had railway
infrastructure and an airstrip. The railway infrastructure which could be used
for cargo and passenger transportation required rehabilitation.
During the submissions made at the meeting with the officials from the
Natal Department of Transport, Ugu District municipality and the
local municipality, the Committee noted the following:
The Ugu District municipal area had railway
infrastructure and a landing strip. There were railway infrastructure lines
which could be used for cargo and passenger transportation. Despite this
available infrastructure, the Committee noted that the uMuziwabantu
municipality had a low revenue base and its survival depended on grants. The
municipality did not take full advantage of resources at its disposal to
improve the socio-economic conditions of the inhabitants.
a decrease in the number of people visiting Harding due to the deterioration of
the road linking
Committee also noted that the provincial Department of Transport was reluctant
to implement the innovative method of repairing potholes that was already
successfully applied by the
According to the provincial
Department of Transport, the scholar transport function had been transferred
from the provincial Department of Education to the provincial Department of
Transport. The current implementation of the scholar transport function was not
.3 Observations made during site visit
(Harding to Bizana road)
No progress had been made in repairing potholes on the road
since the initial visit by the Committee in July 2011. During its site visit,
the Committee discovered that the provincial Department contracted a service
provider to repair potholes with cement on an asphalt road.
The Committee had
expressed the view previously
that this practice was contrary to scientifically
approved methods of road maintenance and was causing damage to roads. The
Committee noted that the pothole ambulance that was fixing the potholes
consisted of more than 10 officials. The Committee informed the Department that
the Ugu method of pothole repair required only three workers at a time to fix
The officials were instructed by the provincial Department
to cease their work until the appropriate material was applied to repair
The Committee questioned the
norms and standards that were being applied to pothole repairs.
The Committee remained
concerned about the non-compliance with approved road maintenance standards.
The Committee attempted to conduct a site visit to Pisgah outside Harding
to observe the D911 and D912 access roads,. The area had a clinic, a tribal
authority and four schools. The access road to these facilities was
unfortunately inaccessible due to rain that had fallen the previous night. The
gravel road had no drainage system and flooded when it rained.
The Minister of Transport should ensure that:
There is synergy in transport planning
across all spheres of government.
The funding model for road infrastructure is
reviewed and that the formula for allocating funds is based on backlog rather
than on population.
The old apartheid policy which stated that
a road should be travelled by more than 200 motor vehicles to qualify for
upgrading of roads from gravel to blacktop needs urgent review.
The Committee agreed that uneven levels of
infrastructural development in rural and urban areas were unacceptable as the
Constitution prohibits discrimination based on geographical location.
The Committee found it unacceptable that
cement was used to fix an asphalt road in Harding. These road maintenance
methods caused further damage to roads and should be stopped. The Committee
agreed that reputable science institutions assistance could be used to ensure
that such practices did not continue.
That a follow-up visit be conducted to
Roads that provide access to schools and
clinics and roads that connect communities to other communities are upgraded.
The Department of Transport appoints
regional road inspectors who would regularly monitor the condition of roads.
There was a need for the revitalization of
rail transport within
In trying to ease pressure on the road
networks, the strategy to revive branch lines is reviewed. This would also
reduce the cost to transport goods and passengers.
It was imperative for the Department of
Transport to conclude the development of the national policy on scholar
transport so that
The scholar transport plan that was
presented to the Committee did not speak to strategy, basis, job creation and
skills development. The enterprise development strategy should be linked to
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), the type of vehicle that would be used for
scholar transport as well as driver training.
5. VISIT TO THE
BY THE EASTERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF ROADS AND PUBLIC WORKS
According to the MEC for Roads and Public Works, there was no dedicated
funding for the
programme, but funding was made available from the Provincial Roads Maintenance
In most provinces grants were the
dominant portion of roads funding.
establishment of the Department of Roads and Public Works as the provincial
infrastructure nerve centre would allow the provincial Department to liaise
with the provincial Departments of Health and of Basic Education to monitor
backlogs and plan for eradication. The roads and Expanded Public Works
sub-programmes aimed to establish all-weather access to rural hospital
projects, low-volume roads programme targeting gravel roads to key tourism,
cultural and social facilities, inaccessible roads re-gravelling programme and
the construction of access roads by utilising Expanded Public Works Programme
Cape Department of Roads and Public Works had constructed and improved access
to 6 hospitals, 22 clinics and 55 schools in 2011/12. At end of the third
quarter, expenditure was exactly on target at 75% of budget. It was expected
that the roads programme would have spend 100% of its budget in the 2012/13
financial year. The challenges faced by the department were limited technical
capacity and the ageing road network. Local municipalities had very limited
capacity and funding to address access roads and bridge backlogs and
Provincial Department was in the process of signing service level agreements
with local municipal areas. There was a huge accumulated backlog in relation to
maintenance (R9 billion) and upgrades, bridges and access roads to social
facilities. The backlog relating to roads was over 10 000 km and 150 bridges
department faced extreme budget limitations, climatic challenges due to high
rainfall, steep slopes, poor natural gravel sources and frequent flood damage.
The current flood damage bill amounted to R1 billion.
Additional funding was promised from 2013/14
to allow for quick n cheap remedial holding action on large parts of the
surfaced network in 2011/12. The department was working towards ensuring that
the designs and documentation would be ready for significant upscaling in 2013.
The department would also continue to build capacity in the local road
construction industry to meet its 2013 target. It would apply for additional
funding to meet specific challenges and identified needs.
WITH INGQUZA HILL LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Committee met with the Municipal Manager and Councillors of Ingquza Hill municipality.
The Committee visited the Boxer taxi rank the previous day and during the
meeting with the municipal officials, expressed its dissatisfaction with the
conditions at the taxi rank. The Municipal Manager mentioned that the
municipality attempted to construct a new taxi rank in 2005, but it was facing
a dispute about ownership of the proposed site. There was a process to register
the hawkers and build hawkers stalls.
There was a
challenge with sanitation and water at the taxi rank because the municipality
did not own a garbage truck and garbage bins were regularly stolen. Sites had
been identified for additional toilet facilities. The information was sent to
OR Tambo District Municipality, but no assistance has yet been received.
The congestion in town was because the town
planning was based on the Transkei method of town planning, which provided for
only one main road which was the business hub. Municipal bylaws were weak as
the municipality was still following the Transkei
ordinance 33 of 1934.
6.1 Visit to taxi rank
observed that the taxi rank was dirty and was not suitable for potential
investment. Hawkers were selling their goods in the unhygienic environment.
There was a general disregard for basic traffic rules and an absence of traffic
officials to provide traffic control.
The congestion at the taxi rank spilled over into the surrounding areas
which hampered free movement and access by traffic and pedestrians in and
There were not enough ablution
facilities and water at the taxi rank. There seemed to a lack of service
delivery. People were living in inhumane conditions. The current state of
infrastructural challenges and noted in the municipal area would not attract
The Committee noted that the road to
Bambasani Hospital (DR08159) was tarred and generally accessible, but the road
that lead from Mpopomeni Village, which was adjacent to the hospital, was
This forced the community
to use the longer R61 route to the hospital, sometimes at considerable additional
cost to them. The Committee noted that the South African National Roads Agency
Limited (Sanral), through its Mpopomeni project, had built an all-weather
footpath from the surrounding villages to the Hospital. This allowed for
increased access to the Hospital from the villages.
6.3 Visit to Mgezwa Senior Secondary School:
to the school was gravel and not conducive for daily commuting by a transport
service provider due to the damage that could be caused to vehicles.
In the absence of scholar transport, the
stretch of gravel road was also too long for walking by scholars.
6.4 Visit to Holy Cross Hospital:
hospital was accessible via the tarred road (DR08023), the Committee noted
challenges faced by communities who needed access to the facility. There was
only one main access to the hospital. Communities on the Bizana side of the
hospital are situated close to the hospital, but because there was no access
road, those communities were forced to use the longer tarred road to reach the
hospital. The major challenge of this road was that public transport to the
hospital was only available in the morning. This placed a huge financial burden
on people in the villages who made used of the health facilities as they had to
rent private transport to visit the hospitals. The department indicated that
there was a need for a pedestrian bridge from the Bizana side that would
provide access for communities to the hospital.
The Committee felt
that the municipality faced a multitude of challenges that called for
continuous engagement between the different stakeholders to address the
inherent challenges in the municipality. It was suggested that a meeting be
held with the Department of Water Affairs, the provincial Department of Roads
and Public Works, the OR Tambo District Municipality and the local
municipality. The Committee urged the local stakeholders to commit themselves
to engagement with issues in a transparent and honest manner.
The issue of the incomplete
taxi rank should be resolved and the municipality should take the lead in addressing
The municipal manager
from the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality said that sanitation and water was the
responsibility of the OR Tambo District Municipality. The Committee noted that
the responsibility of water and sanitation should be executed by the local
municipality and not district municipality.
The councillors should ensure waste
management at the taxi rank and in town should be improved and there should be
awareness creation about this matter at community level.
The local government ordinance 33 of 1934
should be repealed to address the issue of town planning and development.
The Committee was of the opinion that there
was a need to repeal old apartheid laws that were hindering development.
The municipal manager should compile a
report detailing all the challenges affecting the municipality and it forward
it to the Committee.
The Committee would revisit the
municipality in three months time to review progress.
The Eastern Cape MEC of Roads and Public
Works undertook to forward a report on the expenditure patterns for
to the Committee.
The method used for pothole repairs was
damaging the roads.
should monitor whether the programme achieves
its intended objectives and if there is value for money. It is not acceptable
that a pothole repaired today is a pothole again two days later
All provinces should establish
project management units to monitor the
Provinces should submit their business
plans and performance reports on
to the Department of Transport and to National Treasury.
Where a province lackrd capacity
pertaining to proper costing and budgeting, both the Department of Transport
and the National Treasury should intervene and offer the necessary assistance.
Roads are among the most important public assets in a
country. Road improvements bring immediate and sometimes dramatic benefits to
road users through improved access to hospitals, schools, markets, improved
comfort, speed, safety and lower vehicle operating costs. For these benefits to
be sustained, road improvements must be followed by well-planned maintenance
programmes. Without regular maintenance, roads can rapidly fall into disrepair,
preventing the realisation of the longer-term impact of road improvements and
Postponing road maintenance resulted in high direct and
If roads are repaired
promptly, the costs are usually modest.
Chinas economic development strategy, which placed transport
infrastructural development in rural areas central to economic development,
showed that, if properly implemented and well monitored,
would go a long way towards ensuring that transport
is, indeed, the catalyst for the countrys socio-economic development.
The Committees observation in China showed that investment
in transport infrastructural development would be an enabling tool for
attracting investment to rural areas.
The Committee remains
concerned about the non-compliance with road maintenance standards as well as
the lack of all-weather access roads to schools and hospitals. The Committee
took note of areas of underachievement, non-compliance and challenges. These
areas would be noted for further monitoring and oversight.
Report to be considered.
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