Limpopo flood damage at R300m

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flash floods INLSA File picture: Oupa Mokoena

Polokwane - Limpopo's January floods caused damage estimated at over R300 million, the transport department said on Tuesday.

“The estimated damage to the roads and bridges according to the preliminary inspection is R317m,” spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said.

Minister Ben Martins visited the province on Monday and Tuesday to inspect the areas damaged by the floods.

“Many communities have been affected,” Martins said in a statement.

“The destruction of roads and bridges has exacerbated the infrastructure backlog, considering that many communities still do not have access to adequate transport infrastructure and services.”

According to preliminary reports, 61 bridges and roads were damaged in the Vhembe district, 24 roads and bridges were damaged in Mopani, 12 roads and bridges were damaged on Sekhukhune, and five in the Waterberg, he said.

The affected communities were looking to the government to address their plight, but it could attend to their needs only if public servants were willing, Martins said.

He said the transport department intervention team had made significant progress stabilising the provincial department and its agencies.

The team had introduced various measures to improve governance, financial accountability and service delivery.

Where there was “prima facie evidence of transgressing the law”, it had referred cases to law enforcement.

Martins said disciplinary action was being taken against people who undermined policies and government procedures in the province.

Various vacancies would also be filled.

“Whatever we do should be informed by due processes,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the work of the democratic government since 1994, a lot still needs to be done to address the skewed distribution of resources within and between communities.”

He said it was important that the effort to stabilise the province was sustained even after the intervention team had left. - Sapa


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