GEORGE NEWS - The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has the biggest roads function in the Western Cape with many projects to be rolled out over the current and next financial year.
GRDM executive manager for roads services John Daniels said the budget of the roads department amounts to over half a billion rand.
"This budget is inclusive of the department's yellow fleet (machinery) that amounts to R386-million, which makes us the biggest roads department in the province."
The Western Cape Government increased the roads services budget from R145-million last year to R160-million for this year. The increase of R15-million could only materialise due to the department's good record of expenditure and stable staff complement.
"All these characteristics personify the roads services function and with everything necessary in place, we plan to spend R200-million again," said Daniels.
Since the roads department is an agency function of the Western Cape Government (WCG), its financial year stretches from the beginning of April to the end of March the following year. The current financial year, therefore, already started in April.
One project planned for the current and next financial year is a R21-million project to be implemented in Slangrivier (Hessequa), which should start in August / September this year. Two other projects include the regravelling and resealing of roads in the entire Garden Route district.
The resealing will amount to R23-million, and R17-million is budgeted for the regravelling project. The road building project in Friemersheim near Mossel Bay is envisaged to be completed by September this year.
The R39-million project in Gwaiing (George), where the road is upgraded from gravel to tar, will be completed in the next financial year and will stretch over a period of 18 months.
Daniels said all these projects are labour intensive and the job opportunities and transfer of skills are main priorities that help to uplift the surrounding communities.
He praised the roads department's staff for their commitment, endurance and work ethic. "We made history by spending R200-million for the year."
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