More potholes for SA’s roads, says CSIR

Motorists should brace themselves for more potholes this coming rainy season due to lack of maintenance on many South African roads, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said on Thursday.

With the current road-maintenance backlog standing at R100-billion, the council’s Hans Ittmann told reporters in Pretoria the focus needed to be shifted from developing more roads to maintaining existing ones.

Secondary (provincial) roads and those maintained by municipalities were the main problem.

Budget constraints in provinces often led to reactive and poor road maintenance.

The council’s Phil Page-Green said municipal authorities used rates and taxes paid by the public to maintain roads, but not everybody paid these.

“Financial constraints are a reality.”

The CSIR compiled guidelines for engineers and municipalities to give comprehensive and practical information on the appropriate repair of different categories of potholes.

Ittmann said the CSIR’s document should be distributed for free as it presents mechanisms for quality control of pothole repairs, amongst others.

A recent study by the South African Road Federation indicates potholes cost motorists R50-billion in vehicle repairs and injuries every year. — Sapa

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