Gauteng Roads and Transport underspends by R774 416 000 while the province’s roads are crumbling

Despite Gauteng’s provincial roads being in a terrible condition and motorists having to fork out extra money to repair their vehicles, the Department of Roads and Transport has once again underspent its budget for the 2021/2022 financial year.

R774 416 000 that was not spent by the department could have been used to fix our roads. This information was revealed in the department’s fourth quarterly report for the 2021/2022 financial year.

It is unacceptable that this department constantly underspends, yet there is a need to fix potholes and re-tar our road surfaces on provincial roads.

This is how this department could have spent the money:

• The strengthening of 258 kilometres of road. Strengthening refers to increasing the structural capacity of pavement through the recycling of existing layers or the addition of new granular layers or structural asphalt layers.
• The improvement of 43 kilometres of road. This would entail improving roads with unacceptable quality services through actions such as the addition of passing lanes, addition of paved shoulders, and improved intersections. Road improvement is often combined with the rehabilitation of pavement.
• Adding 19 kilometres of new road facilities. This would entail improving the capacity to accommodate traffic and expand the road network. Examples of new facilities include: greenfields/brownfields roads (construction of newly surfaced roads where previously no road existed), upgrades from single to dual carriageway, new bridges, and replacement of intersections with interchanges.
• Could have facilitated routine maintenance on 7,744 kilometres of road. This maintenance would have included cleaning drains and culverts, cutting vegetation, repainting road markings, repairing guard rails and signs, and patching and sealing cracks.
• Could have facilitated periodic maintenance of 258 kilometres of road. This would entail scheduled waterproofing of roads by application of surface seals and thin functional asphalt layers.

According to the department, this money was not spent because of delays in procurement, poor project management and litigation. These are internal administrative issues that could have been resolved.

This has a negative impact not only on our roads but also on our residents who use both private and public transport, as well as the transportation of goods and services into our provinces. This places a huge burden on residents who live below the breadline and struggle to afford basic groceries on a monthly basis.

I will be directly engaging with, and tabling questions to, the MEC for Transport, Jacob Mamabolo on this matter. Our residents deserve to live in a province where the roads are properly maintained on a regular basis.

Gauteng roads in atrocious state while residents fork out thousands on vehicle maintenance

It is extremely concerning that our roads are in an atrocious state while the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has underspent by R1.3 billion during the 2020/21 financial year. Residents in the province are forced to spend thousands of rand on vehicle maintenance due to damage by potholes and the general lack of maintenance of roads.

According to the fourth quarterly report of the department, R512 million was underspent for the quarter, bringing the total amount of underspending to R1.3 billion for the previous financial year. Underspending occurred in various programmes and the department has used Covid-19 as a scapegoat. This is unacceptable as this underspending occurred during the fourth quarter while the country is operating as normal with the various Covid-19 protocols in place. This means that by now the department should have these measures in place to ensure that critical programmes do not grind to a halt.

For this quarter, the department has failed to meet its target to visually assess 4,571km of surface road. No gravelled roads were visually assessed, yet a target of 1,359km was set. Furthermore, only 50 out of 100 construction and NMT jobs were created through the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) created, while zero EPWP Rehabilitation Job Opportunities were created against a target of 20. The department says this was not created due to the cancellation of tender P73/1 and Covid-19 national lockdown regulations.

Covid-19 has had far reaching implications on our economy and any more delays in ensuring that programmes within this department that are not only meant to create jobs, but to also ensure that our roads are properly maintained will be detrimental to the province which is also the economic hub of the country. Our roads are littered with potholes, which have not been fixed by this department.

This department should have by the third and fourth quarter of the financial year, adapted their programmes to ensure that the budget is utilized properly. With underspending by such a large amount, the department is at risk of losing additional funding come the next financial year.

Where we govern in the Western Cape our roads are maintained on a regular basis and the allocated budget is spent where it is needed the most. A Democratic Alliance (DA) government will ensure that all the Covid-19 protocols are put in place, so that service delivery can continue uninterrupted.  

The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC for Roads and Transport, Jacob Mamabolo to ensure that the targets which were not met for this past financial year and which rolled over into the current financial year, are met. The only people who are on the losing end are the residents who are already cashed-strapped and cannot afford to spend the little they have on additional maintenance on vehicles or on increased public transport costs. It is unacceptable that our residents who are unemployed are not being given a fair opportunity to earn a living simply because government is unable to implement proper Covid-19 protocols.

Gauteng Roads and Transport fails to meet targets for road designs

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport is struggling to meet its targets set for a number of Transport Infrastructure projects.

This was revealed in the department’s annual report for the 2018/2019 financial year. According to the report a target of nine designs had to be completed but only two road designs were completed.

The following road designs were not completed:

  • PW15- Eastern Corridor
  • K170- N1 and Golden Highway: Access to Evaton and Sebokeng
  • K11- Construction of Randfontein bypass Mogale City to Western area from K198 to Mohlakeng
  • K16- Between Waltloo and Mamelodi
  • K105- Upgrading of dual carriageway from K60 Tembisa to Kempton Park
  • K122- Klip Valley Road to Vereeniging
  • K60- Tembisa to Kempton Park

Some of the reasons given for the targets not being met include consultants not adhering to timelines and poor contractor performance.

This shows that the department lacks the necessary project management skills to manage such infrastructure projects. These delays are hindering the department from completing critical road infrastructure that is needed to keep our roads in a good condition and motorists safe.

The DA will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain what measures are being put in place to ensure that these road designs are completed.

Gauteng roads are not safe at night

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that there are no Gauteng Traffic Police to monitor and ensure the safety of motorists on Gauteng roads during the night.

This was revealed to me by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko while responding to my oral questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The Gauteng Traffic Police do not work night shift but only work up to 22h00.

The Gauteng Traffic Police shifts are as follows; 06h00 to 14h00 and 14h00 to 22h00. The High-Speed Unit shift is from 09h00 to 17h00 and 14h00 to 22h00, the Saturation Unit shift starts from 10h00 to 18h00 and 04h00 to 12h00 and the Gauteng Freeway Patrol Unit starts at 06h00 to 14h00 and 10h00 to 18h00.

The ongoing labour dispute between the union and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is delaying the process of declaring the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service.

By declaring Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service, it means that they will be able to provide 24-hour road safety services to the citizens of Gauteng.

In most instances, accidents and incidents of crime happens during the night and there is a need for 24-hour monitoring of Gauteng freeways.

Declaring the Gauteng Traffic Police an essential service will reduce the excessive expenditure on overtime, improve working conditions and increase benefits for the traffic police. This will also have a positive impact on reducing crime and increasing road safety.

We call on MEC Mazibuko to prioritise road user’s safety by intervening in order to speed up the process of resolving this labour dispute.

Was Freedom Day Weekend The Tipping Point?

Slaughter on South African Roads

While KZN registered the highest number of over 330 deaths, Gauteng was shamefully a close second.

Is it too much to expect that the national Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, and the Provincial authorities have finally been prompted to action by last weekend’s unprecedented slaughter on South African roads?

Over a month ago, after the annual Easter road carnage, Minister Dipuo Peters, surprised everyone by proposing a “name and shame” campaign to improve motorist behaviour.

The irony is that this government stopped an identical and significantly successful campaign in the Western Cape.

She is also reported to have undertaken to investigate the possibility of meaningful mandatory penalties, including prison, for serial road offenders.

Road Motor Traffic Corporation

Unfortunately, while the principle is sound and the DA has consistently been urging serious consequences for dangerous driving, the Minister will in all likelihood leave the matter in the hands of the Road Motor Traffic Corporation, notorious for its inaction and chaotic management.

Very little is likely to be achieved when there is no sense that the present crisis situation calls for bold and no doubt unpopular measures.

Provinces can help to spark action, in particular Gauteng, with the country’s biggest vehicle population.

We call on Premier David Makhura and the Transport MEC, Ismail Vadi, to claim the initiative and begin the process to overhaul Provincial legislation and criminal procedure processes and to demonstrate real intent to stop this anarchy on our roads to the nation.


Media Enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

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Gauteng Road Death Toll: Simple Solutions Evade Government

Despite a road safety awareness campaign launched by the Gauteng Legislature’s Roads and Transport Portfolio Committee in the last quarter of 2015, carnage on the provinces roads over the festive season continued unabated.

All that has changed is the upward trend in road fatalities while the hand-wringing continues.

The DA has on numerous occasions highlighted that tough measures will have to be taken against offending road users as there have to be consequences for deliberately and repeatedly placing lives in danger.

Placing road traffic law enforcement under the MEC for Transport, rather than under the Community Safety Department would be a step in the right direction

Following this, law enforcement agencies should revoke licences and impound the vehicles of motorists who demonstrate reckless road behaviour.

The public is fed up with empty conversations and an escalating death toll.

Gauteng has the country’s highest concentration of vehicles and roads. The Provincial Government must implement legislative reforms to ensure the safety of all road users.

If not, it is likely we will be listening to the same litany of excuses in January 2017.


Media Enquiries:

Justus de Goede MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation

060 558 8305

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Gauteng Transport Department Powerless Against Corrupt Officials

The CEO for the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRAT), Mr Roland Swartz, has admitted to the Gauteng Legislature’s committee of inquiry in to taxi licensing that the department has had no capability to investigate or prosecute corrupt officials.

Swartz stated to me that his department had been unable to prosecute or convict any official in the Department’s Transport Operating License Administration Bodies (TOLABs) – the organ for controlling taxi routes and operating licenses – despite acknowledging that the TOLABs are rife with fraud and corruption.

He stated that recently a fraud and corruption unit had been established, but that it had yet to secure any convictions.

The department has relied purely on whistle-blowers to identify corrupt officials, but when individuals did report instances of corruption – at much risk to themselves, reported cases had not resulted in any prosecutions.

Swartz admitted that the systems his department has to rely on, which are run by the National Department of Transport, are woefully slow, inadequate and unable to effectively deal with the flow of applications in Gauteng.

The Auditor-General has often commented on the inadequacy of these systems.

Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi must engage with National Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, to ensure that the systems are fully operational and responsive.

If left unchecked, corruption in this department will continue unabated.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

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Bungled legal processes keep Gauteng’s roads in the dark

A service level agreement, to be signed in December 2014, ensuring the lights on Gauteng’s freeways would be adequately maintained has still not been ratified by the South African Roads Agency (SANRAL) and the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport (GDRAT).Gersbach-Graham1


This was revealed in a Roads and Transport committee meeting held at the Provincial Legislature.


This agreement would ensure that SANRAL would repair and maintain lights on Provincial Roads including the R24 (Albertina Sisulu freeway) from Johannesburg to O.R Tambo International Airport and the Atlas Road off-ramp from the R21.


The lights on the R24 have not been working for close on a year now, and according to residents the lights on the Provincial section of the Atlas Road off-ramp been a problem for over 6 years.


Reasons given for the delay include:


  • The agreements have been referred back to both the Legal Departments of the Gauteng Provincial Government and SANRAL for further negotiation;
  • The “as built drawings” for the design of the Atlas Road off-ramp when the R21 was handed over by GDRAT to SANRAL were outdated and did not reflect the current configuration of this off ramp;
  • Sections of road inclusive of the P40 and the section to where the lighting type changes should have initially been handed over to SANRAL.


In the meantime, whilst GDRT and SANRAL sort out their past mistakes, and the legal departments are sitting on the draft agreement, no maintenance and repairs are being done to any lighting on provincial roads across Gauteng.


Residents therefore are at risk of motor vehicle accidents due to poor lighting – while crimes at off ramps like Atlas Road continue to escalate.
Media enquiries:
Graham Gersbach MPL
DA Spokesperson on Roads
060 556 4346