DA and EFF in tug of war over shoddy bridge in Limpopo province

Picture: Twitter.

Picture: Twitter.

Published Mar 27, 2023


Johannesburg - The DA in the Elias Motsoaledi local municipality has lodged a complaint with the Public Protector against the Elias Motsoaledi local municipality over the shoddy bridge, which exposes shoddy workmanship as part of the Kgaphamadi bus route, bridge, and stormwater project in ward 21.

The party said the bridge has incurred a further R12 million cost, which is now needed to complete the project.

The EFF said the same bridge was constructed by a "selfless" EFF councillor, with the party saying it condemns its demolition as it was a selfless community project.

"The bridge was recently built by the selfless EFF councillor in Elias Motsoaledi ward 21, fighter Mpho Maphopha, together with the community of Mountain View and Jerusalem, for school children to be able to cross the river to Phaphama Primary School in an attempt to mitigate challenges that come with the poor road networks in our communities" the EFF in the region said.

However, the DA in the area said it was concerned about this bridge as there was no proper budget allocated to it. The DA councillor in Elias Motsoaledi Municipality, Sipho Mmaboko, has tried to lead a meeting with the municipal manager to resolve the matter.

"It is very concerning that there seems to be no record of the budget for this project. I held a meeting with the municipal manager on June 28, 2022, and have written to the mayor, municipal manager, and director of infrastructure for details on the project and its cost, but to no avail. The DA also raised a question about the project budget during the council sitting that took place on February 28, 2023, and it was not answered."

Mmaboko said the project was supposed to be finished in June last year, which resulted in a new bridge and stormwater controls. Mmaboko said this remains incomplete after many months of delays.

"The bridge is not in good condition, and there are cracks on the bridge. Storm water controls are unable to accommodate the high volumes of water, resulting in rill erosion on the edges of the road that results in huge holes. The road is being damaged due to poor stormwater controls and presents a risk to drivers. Some of the stormwater control system diverts water to community members' yards," Mmaboko added.

The party said the project still needs additional funds, estimated at R12 million, to be completed.

"The bridge is already in use by motorists despite concerns around the conditions of the road, bridge, and stormwater control infrastructure. Residents of Sephaku, Kgaphamadi, Jerusalema, Hlalanikahle, Motse Phiri, Monsterlus, and Mmotwaneng villages are afraid to use the flimsy structure and fear it might be unsafe," the DA said.

The Star