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More expertise and funds needed for Free State roads

(Budget debate in Free State Legislature: Police, Roads and Transport)

The decay of the Free State's roads will only be effectively tackled when the Free State government appoints expert contractors and earmark more funds.

On Thursday in his budget speech, the Free State MEC for Police, Roads and Transport, William Bulwane, blamed Jan van Riebeeck for the poor condition of the province's roads.

The reality, however, is that years of poor maintenance and instability in the Department lead to the poor condition of the roads. The Department has only had acting heads of departments for several years and is now under the leadership of its second MEC since 2019.

The ANC government's priorities and policy directions are all wrong.

This Department is supposed to be the biggest source of revenue for the province and the backbone of its economic development, but at present, it is getting just 7% of the total provincial budget of R2,79 billion.

If the province's roads keep deteriorating, all sectors, including the ANC government's priority sectors of education and health, will fail.

The province has lost R107 million in conditional allocations for road infrastructure from the national government for the 2022/2023 financial year, because contractors failed to complete projects. And the Department is currently engaged in several court cases in an attempt to recover the funds from these contractors.

This could have been prevented if the ANC was less obsessed with Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and appointed expert contractors instead.

The ANC simply has no solutions to the problems with the province's roads. The FF Plus will continue to hold the ruling party accountable for the decay of the Free State's roads.

 

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