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  • Writer's pictureMBF

Roads in the Free State remain dangerous - R45.2 million grant taken away.

On 18 March 2022, two accidents occurred on the R26 between Frankfort and Tweeling. It was reported that there was also a third accident for that day on the road, between Tweeling and Reitz in the afternoon. Many people may attribute this to a lack of driving skills, but Mafube Business Forum (MBF) believes the problem lies deeper. The roads in Mafube are getting worse and worse, even though farmers, residents and the taxi association of Mafube have put in an effort with privately funded maintenance, to try and stop the problem locally.

It is also clear from the number of accidents that the temporary driving surface provided is not safe.

A shocking revelation is that a maintenance grant of R45.2-million intended for Free State roads was not allocated to the Free State by the national treasury. The reason for the Finance Minister's decision is probably because the province did not have the right management measures in place, and thus did not meet its obligations. According to Treasury notice no. 1794 these funds were reallocated to other provinces under the Revenue Distribution Act.

Mr. Francois Wilken, president of Free State Agriculture (FSA), says that the decision is reckless and totally unacceptable. "Floods during the rainy season for 2021/2022 have not only destroyed farmers' crops, but also the Free State's road infrastructure." It is now demanded that the minister announce what prompted him to stop paying infrastructure grants to the Free State Roads department. This could very well shed light on incompetence / irregularities at the department which officials and politicians should be held accountable for.

Some other problems that Mr. Wilken higlighted is the ignorance, inability and lack of accountability among provincial officials. There is a lack of supervision over poorly trained workers and operators, who are unable to do maintenance properly. Despite this, salaries make up 80% of the Free State Roads Department's annual budget; so there is very little left to do the necessary work.

As has been repeatedly reported by Mafube Business Forum (MBF), good road infrastructure is absolutely essential to get our economy back on track.

MBF remains committed to assisting the community. Strengthen our hands in this struggle and join us.

Visit our offices at 18A Church Street during business hours, on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays from 08h00 to 12h30, or contact Marina on WhatsApp at 079 145 4295 or send an email to #mafube #mbf #mafubebusinessforum #mafubebesigheidsforum #frankfort #tweeling #reitz #r26 #paaie #padwerke #vrystaat #freestate

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