Gauteng roads to get a R5bn upgrade

About R5,5-billion has been committed towards the construction and upgrading of roads in Gauteng, the provincial department of roads and transport said on Wednesday.

Provincial Minister Bheki Nkosi said in a statement that his department had entered into a partnership with its private sector partners, in which the money was committed to road works over the next five years.

“This plan will yield the construction and maintenance of 1 500km of provincial roads,” he said.

By the end of this financial year, the department would have upgraded 80km of roads in Sharpeville, Refiloe, Mamelodi, Atteridgeville, Kagiso, Katlehong, Mohlakeng and Orlando.

The roads in these areas had been upgraded from gravel to tar, with the installation of storm water drainage systems.

Nkosi said the department will also construct sidewalks on high volume pedestrian roads within the 20 prioritised townships.

The department also intended ensuring that at least 200 000 vehicles have the new aluminium number plates with security features by the end of October 2010.

This would partly involve a roll call of all vehicles in Gauteng to ensure that they were properly registered and licensed.

Nkosi said plans to root out corruption in driver’s license testing centres were also underway with the installation of high-tech testing systems across Gauteng to reduce the dominance of human factors in test outcomes.

The department also planned to expand its centres for service delivery by entering into service level agreements with the South African Post Office on driver’s license renewal sites.

Meanwhile, Nkosi said the key strategic road network for smooth travel during the 2010 Fifa World Cup would be ready by the end of April.

These roads included the K29 Malibongwe Drive upgrade, which was an essential link between the Lanseria Airport and Johannesburg and Tshwane.

The upgrading of the Albertina Sisulu highway would also be completed by the end of April 2010.

This is a crucial gateway into Gauteng from OR Tambo International Airport and an important route for the Fifa World Cup.

Nkosi said the department would complete the beautification of this route at the same time as the upgrading.

He also mentioned that the Gautrain project’s phase one, which is the link between Sandton and the OR Tambo International Airport, was expected to be completed by June 2010.

“This presentation becomes our 2010/11 service delivery map for each of the programmes highlighted by the premier during her state of the province address on Monday,” Nkosi said. — Sapa

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