The uncaring ANC-led Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works lacks the administrative capacity and political will to maintain Middelburg’s provincial roads.
The Department in the Chris Hani Region is the custodian of a section of the R56 from Loop Street, via Church and Jubilee Street, towards Midros entrance and the slipway between the station towards the N9. These provincial roads are in a dismal state while the Department is conveniently ignoring the pleas of the community and public representatives.
Church Street is in such a bad shape that some motorists are forced to drive on the pavement resulting in numerous near-accidents. We are inundated with complaints on a weekly basis with the public wanting to sue the Department for damages to their vehicles. Residents have also threatened to close the road.
The slipway from the Station in town towards the N9 is also in a very bad shape, while the bridge is disintegrating. Middelburg Truck Stop is losing business as trucks refuse to risk driving on the stretch of road which leads to it.
The Middelburg Unit of the Department is lacking material to assist the local community and receives no assistance from the Department. The local supervisor, together with his vehicle, has been transferred to Cradock, without any replacement.
Numerous letters have been written to the Technician and Roads Engineer of the Chris Hani Region of the Department Roads and Transport. The District Engineer conducted an oversight visit to Middelburg in September 2018 and promised to follow up with our requests – we are still waiting.
I have now escalated the matter to the Shadow MEC of Transport, Marshall von Buchenroder MPL, to follow up on the above issues.
Mr Von Buchenroder has already submitted parliamentary questions to the Department of Transport, requesting a status update on the R56 Sanral project and the TCC Weighbridge that is supposedly earmarked for Middelburg.
The Democratic Alliance will hold the Department of Roads and Public Works responsible for failing to do their constitutional duty to maintain their road infrastructure network.
Handri Vorster Cllr
DA Councillor: Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality
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