‘Road to nowhere’ cost a cool R117m

Eastern Cape road 'leading nowhere' cost R117m
Eastern Cape road 'leading nowhere' cost R117m
Image: 123RF/ ensup

R117-million. That is how much the government paid to tar a 14km stretch of road on the outskirts of Somerset East in the Eastern Cape which starts and ends in the middle of nowhere.

The road‚ which runs past six farms‚ is relatively quiet with only about three cars passing through every hour.

During a visit to the area by The Herald more than a week ago‚ the team saw only three vehicles over a period of two hours‚ one of which was delivering produce to a farmer.

Stock farmer Anthony Gowar‚ whose farm runs adjacent to the road‚ described it as an absolute waste of money as the gravel road was “perfectly” fine to travel on.

Gowar said the money used could have been used elsewhere or tarred a different section of the road which was used frequently.

“The unnecessariness of this road is unbelievable …. This money wasn’t spent by the roads department‚ it was spent by the rural development department which makes me [angry] because rural affairs is supposed to be buying farms from farmers and giving them to black people.

“The road starts in the middle of nowhere and ends in the middle of nowhere‚” he said.

Rural development and land reform spokesperson Linda Page said the road was parallel to the technical training division of the police in Zuurberg Road and that townships closer to the road would have an easier route to Somerset East.

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