18 November 2018


DPWR on the right trajectory towards quality road infrastructure

by: Kesaobaka Phatudi   date: 22 july 2018

Although much still needs to be done, there is definitely ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

The state of disrepair of road infrastructure is not unique to Bokone Bophirima province, it is a plague shared with the rest of the country. 

During the 2017/18 budget of the Department of Public Works and Roads, MEC Mmule Maluleke announced that the department needed at least R2billion over and above the R1.2bn allocated.
With the budget allocated, the department would ensure that all provincial roads are trafficable to acceptable standards. Nonetheless, working with a shoe-string budget has not dampened the spirit of the department. 

The department has welcomed the performance that Transport Infrastructure has achieved for the 2017/18 financial year. The Directorate managed to exceed performance targets on all categories of work related to road infrastructure delivery.

The implementation of term-contracts in the department has also played a major role in making sure the department exceed stated targets. The department appointed contractors on a three-year contract in September last year. 

Project Implementation Director, Sifiso Diko, said the use of maintenance plan through term-contract could help the department to ensure that projects get completed on time.
He added that the department had managed to over-perform on categories of work despite challenges it was faced with. 

Diko further advised that planning of projects should be improved by implementing Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS) in order to ensure infrastructure programmes and projects were implemented with budgeted time and quality.

Categories of work that led to over-performance on projects include bridge construction, bridge repairs, upgrading, rehabilitation, reseal, blacktop patching, blading and re-gravelling. Out of these categories, re-gravelling, blacktop patching and bridge repairs were key categories of work accounting largely for the performance registered. The majority of re-gravelled roads were in villages and farming communities.

The department planned to re-gravel 54km of roads across the province, however, the performance was way above the target of re-gravelling a total of 431km. This achievement was largely attributed to maintenance of backlogs and flood damages.

In the departmental plans, four bridges were scheduled for repairs, but the department managed to repair six.  On annual targets set by the department during the past three financial years, it has registered remarkable progress.

During the 2015/16 financial year, the department achieved 34% of the annual target, in 2016/17 it achieved 65% while in 2017/18 it achieved 240% of annual target on roads infrastructure projects.

This has set the department on a trajectory to considerably improve the road network infrastructure.

“In the process of delivering these road projects, the department has managed to create 1 301 work opportunities on apex projects and created 406 jobs under term-contractors,” concluded Diko.