r3billion for roads in rural eastern cape

Eastern Cape MEC for roads and transport Gloria Barry will today launch a R3billion infrastructure plan that will create thousands of jobs.

Eastern Cape MEC for roads and transport Gloria Barry will today launch a R3billion infrastructure plan that will create thousands of jobs.

The ambitious ten-year plan was adopted by the department after the Eastern Cape Rural Roads Summit held at Qunu near Mthatha last August.

Barry will launch the project at Port St Johns this morning.

"This initiative will improve the face of the Eastern Cape while creating thousands of jobs. It will also contribute to the economic growth and development of the province," she said.

Rural areas especially, Barry said, would benefit from the employment opportunities on offer.

"At least 62percent of our province is under-developed, so the rural areas will benefit not only through employment but by having roads leading to clinics, schools and villages etc."

Barry said the main areas that would benefit belong to the former Transkei and Ciskei administrations.

"Presently 80percent of the roads in the Eastern Cape are gravel and only 20percent is tarred.

"The main objective of the plan is thus to have the 80percent tarred in the next decade," said Barry.

She said this would be achieved through the use of alternative surfacing technologies.

She said R112million had already been budgeted for in the current financial year and added that R600million would be spent in the medium-term expenditure framework period that runs from 2009 to 2012.

Barry is also expected to launch the department's Port St Johns intervention programme.

This programme entails a variety of projects that seek to improve local infrastructure while also creating sustainable jobs.

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