The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is concerned that critical road infrastructure projects will not be completed on time because of budget cuts made during the second adjustment budget that was tabled earlier this year.
According to the explanatory memorandum issued by the Gauteng Department of Finance, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport did not achieve their planning and implementation targets at the end of the second quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year and this resulted in the downward adjustment of their infrastructure budget.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a special adjustment budget was tabled in which the department received R1 979 676 for infrastructure projects, which was then adjusted downward to R1 802 129 during the second adjustment budget that was tabled in November.
This budget cut will have a negative impact on the maintenance, rehabilitation and design of new roads in the province, which is the economic hub of the country. It is unacceptable that the department lost funding for key infrastructure because the department did not meet its infrastructure targets for the second quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year. During the first quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year the department also failed to meet its procurement targets due to a lack of transformation in the construction industry.
It is now becoming a norm that this department does not meet it targets set for the year. The Covid-19 pandemic cannot be blamed for this as during the previous financial year, the department also failed to meet some of its infrastructure targets.
The continuous maintenance and design of new roads in the province is extremely important because Gauteng’s roads are used to transport and receive goods from other provinces.
Furthermore, ensuring that the roads are in a good condition will reduce the number of accidents on our province’s roads.
The DA will be tabling follow up questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain exactly how the department intends to remedy the problem of infrastructure targets not being met.