Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga participated in the Vala Zonke pothole programme to address pothole challenges in eDumbe Local Municipality with the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) and the local municipality along the P271 road on Saturday,
Chikunga said the Vala Zonke pothole campaign represented “an integrated effort involving different spheres of government, demonstrating a collaborative approach to addressing road infrastructure challenges. The project reflected the government's commitment to addressing access and mobility issues, as well as its dedication to fostering collaboration and integrated solutions between different levels of government.”
Chikunga added that by fixing these roads they were creating opportunities not only for the communities in eDumbe, but for South Africa. “This road promotes economic growth, and it gives us an opportunity to access different sectors of our economy and allows our communities to transport our goods, services and all who use the road – men, women, youth, school learners, farmers and travellers – in a safe and secure environment.”
Chikunga distributed Shova Kalula bicycles to pupils in the eDumbe Local Municipality. “ A total of 550 learners have been identified in eight schools, to receive bicycles. This initiative addresses access and mobility challenges, particularly for learners who travel long distances to school.”
Chikunga said that the Vala Zonke programme was launched by the National Department of Transport on August 8, 2022, in response to the poor condition of roads in the country. “The department also established a Vala Zonke ‘War Room’ in July 2023, which includes a call centre and dedicated teams focused on tracking and tracing reported potholes, investigating delays, and providing support for the acceleration of Operation Vala Zonke sub-projects.”
Chikunga added that Sanral, an entity of the Department of Transport, was tasked with co-ordinating the Vala Zonke programme, working with provincial and municipal authorities to address potholes on their respective networks.