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85 key vacancies not filled in Gauteng, admits transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo

Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo at a roadblock on the N1. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo at a roadblock on the N1. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 18, 2022

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Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo has admitted that his department has failed to fill 85 key positions despite the fact that all those positions were fully funded posts for the last financial year.

Mamabolo made the confirmation during his written replies to questions in the Gauteng provincial legislature by DA spokesperson on roads and transport Evert du Plessis.

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Du Plessis asked Mamabolo how many funded vacancies there were in the department, and entities that were not filled for 2020/2021. She also wanted to know the reasons for not filling the posts, including whether such failure had an impact on the provision of service delivery to affected communities.

Du Plessis also wanted to find out if any consequence management was executed against the executive officer.

In his reply, Mamabolo confirmed that 85 funded vacancies were not filled, saying the lack of recruitment of the 85 vacancies was due to the organisation review project that was currently under way in his department.

“Capacity constraints in the supply chain management impacted on the delays in the awarding of tenders, appointment of professional service providers. This impacted on the actual service delivery items such as grass cutting on provincial roads, road maintenance and timely completion of infrastructure projects,” Mamabolo said.

He said there were no consequences for the accounting officer, saying “the rational for not implementing consequence management is due to the fact that the organisational structure review process has not yet been completed”.

Despite his written response, Mamabolo over the weekend launched a R500 million grass cutting project which saw 19 companies awarded tenders. A total of 1 000 jobs were created and the initial project began at the R21 Albertina Sisulu Road.

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Du Plessis said Gauteng residents were forced to use roads that were in very poor condition with potholes everywhere, roads that are in dire need of resurfacing and road verges that are not properly maintained.

“This is because there are currently 85 funded vacancies in the department that are yet to be filled.

“The lack of consistent and regular maintenance on our roads puts the lives of our motorists at risk on a daily basis.

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“Road reserves and verges that are not regularly cleared provide the perfect hideout for criminals who take advantage of vulnerable motorists, which could lead to an increase in hijackings on our roads,” she said.

Du Plessis said that now that lockdown restrictions have been eased, maintenance work must begin in earnest to ensure that our roads are always in tip-top shape.

“It is unacceptable that tenders that needed to be awarded were stalled, because of constraints within the Supply Chain Management department.

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“Furthermore, no consequence management for this took place, which again highlights that no political will exists within the Premier (David) Makhura-led administration to ensure that service delivery takes place,” she said.

Du Plessis said if this situation was not remedied as a matter of urgency, then the state of the roads would continue to deteriorate, and the province would see a spike in accidents and fatalities on the roads.

“I will be engaging directly with the MEC for Transport on this matter as we cannot allow this situation to continue,” she said.

Pretoria News

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