Notorious Moloto Road to receive R3bn upgrade

File image of a bus being towed following an accident on the Moloto road.
File image of a bus being towed following an accident on the Moloto road.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe / The Times

Transport minister Blade Nzimande has announced a number of construction projects across the country aimed at improving road infrastructure, igniting growth and creating employment.

Among the biggest projects announced by Nzimande on Tuesday will be the upgrading of the notorious R573 Moloto Road that runs through Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Nzimande said R3bn had been set aside to upgrade the Limpopo and Mpumalanga sections the road. The project is expected to yield 12,500 jobs over its five-year period.

“The first phase of the project, which included the construction of temporary bypasses and upgrading the main carriageway between Siyabuswa and Marble Hall in Limpopo, is nearly complete,” Nzimande said.

He added that there was also upgrading of four priority intersections in Mpumalanga.

Three were converted to traffic circles and one to a butterfly intersection.Three more construction work packages for Limpopo and five more for Mpumalanga will be rolled out in the current financial year, Nzimande said.

Moloto Road has been known for a very long time for fatal crashes involving buses. On Monday, four people died and 23 were taken to hospital after a collision involving a Putco bus. One more person died on Tuesday, taking the death toll to five.

Nzimande admitted that other forms of transport could also be considered to deal with the Moloto Road problem.

"It is very clear that we do need [a] Moloto rail. The issue is that government will have to find funds for that…We don’t have enough funds for extending rail. We will have to work at that as we regard rail as the backbone of public transport,” Nzimande said.

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