Poor roads hampering our economy

BAD roads deprive the poor communities of their dignity and pride.

The poor state of the roads is a major contributing factor in hampering social and economic prosperity in rural South Africa, and it most certainly adds to the cost of doing business in our country.

I support a dedicated road infrastructure and maintenance fund to deal with the backlog in road maintenance and upgrading at provincial and local level.

Thanks to the various government departments that dedicated themselves to help with rural infrastructure in the rural areas through the Comprehensive Rural Development Programmes led by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

I had the opportunity for the past few months to visit some of the pilot sites and I must say I am very impressed by the development that is at present taking place at those sites.

I just wish the development could be spread to other rural areas.

The road network is the heartbeat of development, especially of rural areas, because it fulfils the basic critical function of providing access and mobility for the execution of economic and social activities.

The provincial and rural road network is under severe strain and is rapidly deteriorating.

This threatens logistics and the safety of road users, while communities are denied access to opportunities such as attending schools, clinics and other essential services. The government must do more to help develop rural areas.

I also urge NGOs, civil societies and churches to come on board to make sure that SA is developed in urban areas as well as in rural areas.

Mondeni Ntuli, GaRankuwa