'Provincial roads in poor state'
Close to a third of all provincial roads in South Africa are in a “poor to very poor” condition, according to Transport Minister Ben Martins
In a written reply to a parliamentary question on Monday, he said the provincial maintenance and repair backlog included nearly 11,000km of paved and more than 69,000km of gravel roads.
“Based on a study and analysis and extrapolation of all available visual condition data for the provincial road network, the estimated backlog for maintenance and repairs for provincial road network is for 10,980 km of the paved road network and for 69,216km of the gravel road network.”
Martins said the backlogs were determined from “analysis and extrapolations of all available visual condition data”, done during 2009, for “condition index value below 50, as per the international norm”. In terms of this, all sections of the network obtaining a condition index value below 50 were classified as “poor to very poor”.
The department was not immediately available to confirm the total kilometres of provincial roads in South Africa.
According to figures tabled at a 2008 transport lekgotla, there are 343,942km of provincial roads across the country. This includes 57,269km of paved, 198,142km of gravel, and 88,531km of “access” roads.
According to its latest (2011/12) annual report, improving the condition of provincial roads is one of the department’s main strategic objectives.
This includes “reducing those in poor condition from 65,966km in 2009/10, to between 56,071km and 52,773km by 2014...”.
The department was not immediately available to explain the difference between the 65,966km figure in the report, and the more than 80,000km total figure in the minister’s reply.