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Ndebele: Collapsing Limpopo roads a serious matter

Transport officials will look into reports that several newly-built bridges and roads in Limpopo have been washed away, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Monday in an apparent reference to work carried out by a company owned by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

“It is a serious matter… Roads are the responsibility of the national department of transport and local municipalities,” Ndebele said at an infrastructure ministerial cluster briefing in Cape Town.

“We do have this overall task of ensuring that standards are maintained throughout the country, so that a road should be a road, a bridge should be a bridge, whether it is built by a municipality or a province or national government.

“We will be looking at what has happened there.”

City Press newspaper reported on Sunday that several multi-million rand bridges and roads in Limpopo, built by SGL Engineering Projects, in which Malema has the majority shareholding, had been washed away within weeks of their completion.

It reported that communities affected were demanding that authorities force the company to repair the infrastructure or take legal steps to recoup the money spent.

City Press visited several SGL projects in the past week.

“At Kgapane Township, about 120km east of Polokwane, only a portion of one of the two bridges constructed last year [is] still in place,” the newspaper reported.

“A bridge built at the township’s Meloding Section is effectively a hill of soil covered with pavement. It has no concrete layers.

“Residents said heavy rains in January swept it away just a few weeks after it was finished.”– Sapa

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