Durban - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters officially opened the Chota Motala Interchange on the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

Peters said the event was a significant milestone in the country's endeavour to improve and develop sustainable transport infrastructure and services.

“The accomplishment of this R442 million, award-winning project was by no means an easy feat to achieve.

“A project of this magnitude, which speaks volumes for itself is a true reflection of our efforts to enhance the social and economic development of our country through a sound and sustainable transportation system,” she said in a speech prepared for delivery.

The road was named after political veteran Dr Mahomed Moosa Motala who fought against apartheid. Moosa passed away on May 20, 2005.

Peters said South Africa had more tarred roads than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa combined and had the tenth largest roads network in the world.

“These assets are worth in excess of over R1 trillion, which is equal to our national budget for a year,” she said.

Peters said close to 1500 km of new roads or lanes had been built in the country in the past 20 years.

She said the country needed to spend R30 billion a year on maintaining roads but could only spend that amount on both maintenance and new construction.

“SA National Roads Agency Limited therefore has a very distinct mandate to finance, improve, manage and maintain the national road network, the economic arteries and backbone of South Africa,” Peters said. - Sapa