Gateway to Africa turns to weight problem

ENFORCER: MEC Justice Pitso. Pic. Elijar Mushiana. 07/2007. © Sowetan.
ENFORCER: MEC Justice Pitso. Pic. Elijar Mushiana. 07/2007. © Sowetan.

Khangale Makhado

Khangale Makhado

Limpopo will continue to play a pivotal role as the economic gateway to Africa.

This because it will provide an entry and exit point from the continent, Roads and Transport MEC Justice Pitso said in Musina yesterday

Pitso was speaking at a sod-turning ceremony at the Musina Weighbridge Traffic Control Centre. The ceremony was to pave the way for construction of a multipurpose centre.

Construction is expected to start in October.

Once completed, the centre will effectively eliminate overloading and ensure that all heavy vehicles are controlled by legislation.

The new multipurpose centre will eliminate problems incurred in the past. The location of the old weighbridge allowed for escape routes because while one vehicle was being weighed other heavy vehicles could evade the process and so cross the border without being monitored.

"As a result of the high congestion of heavy vehicles on the current weighbridge, illegal goods and other counterfeit products can easily come into or get out of our country without detection. Our law enforcement initiatives have been undermined and this is a situation that cannot be allowed," said Pitso.

According to Pitso, high traffic volumes by heavy vehicles have a negative impact on the life-span of roads. This placed a heavy financial burden on the department and local municipalities to maintain and rehabilitate roads.

The busy N1 road, which connects South Africa with the rest of Africa through Zimbabwe, has suffered because of heavy and extra-heavy duty vehicles from countries to our north.

Once completed, the centre will enable officers to eliminate overloading, check vehicle road worthiness, inspect cross border permits and enforce the law.

The centre will, electronically, provide Sars with information about the declared mass/weight ratio of vehicles that must be cleared to cross the border.