The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has unveiled a multimillion rand project, which will lead to the upgrade and rehabilitation of strategic roads damaged by the recent floods.
Launched in Mbumbulu on Monday, the R500 million road project is part of the provincial government’s continued effort to rebuild transport infrastructure that was damaged by the floods.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, led the launch of the infrastructure turnaround plan which includes the upgrading of section P725 from blacktop to tar and the rehabilitating of another section of the road that had been severely damaged.
More than R409 million has been allocated for the upgrading – with R86.5 million allocated to rehabilitate the stretch of the road from eNgonyameni and uMlazi section.
The road is vital in connecting many wards between uMbumbulu, eFolweni, eNgonyameni and uMlazi. It also provides a link to the R603, which is strategic for the movement of goods.
Zikalala said the launch is part of provincial government’s commitment to restore the provincial economy and ensure connectivity in many communities.
He noted that areas surrounding eThekwini Metro were the hardest hit by the recent torrential rains.
The province, through the provincial Transport Department, has to reprioritise budget allocation for this financial year to attend to urgent emergency repairs.
“Working with the South African Road Agency (SANRAL), the department is also attending to projects such as the N2, R102 and M4. The province is moving with speed in restoring damaged infrastructure and will continue to prioritise those communities that were most affected,” Zikalala said.
The construction and rehabilitation of a section of a road is a living testimony that “as the provincial government we are serious about fulfilling the commitment of recovery and reconstruction”.
“This investment will ensure that the people of eThekwini are able to connect and link with important facilities. This will also create jobs and much-needed economic growth for the area.
“Importantly, it will open economic activities which will benefit the emerging small entrepreneurs which were affected by the recent floods,” Zikalala said.
Zikalala made a commitment that the provincial government will be unveiling a number of projects in the next few weeks and handing over contractors that will be doing repairs.
He said the province has more than 1 365 projects that were affected by floods and needs in excess of R6.5 billion to fix them.