Calls for in­ves­ti­ga­tion into roads is­sue

Northern Eyethu - - NEWS • IZINDABA - Tam­lyn Jolly

AFRIFO­RUM’S Pon­gola branch has re­quested the De­part­ment of Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs’ (COGTA) in­volve­ment in Pon­gola’s un­fin­ished roads is­sue, which is neg­a­tively im­pact­ing the town’s busi­nesses.

COGTA has been asked to in­ves­ti­gate the ten­der process and con­tracts re­lat­ing to the re­pair­ing of Martin and Piet Retief streets.

This af­ter Pon­gola Mu­nic­i­pal­ity al­legedly re­fused to pro­vide Afrifo­rum with an ac­tion plan on how the streets would be re­paired.

The job should have been fin­ished in May, but the sub-con­trac­tor re­port­edly with­drew from the project ow­ing to non­pay­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Mar­ilda Schoombee of Afrifo­rum’s Pon­gola branch man­age­ment, lo­cal busi­nesses are suf­fer­ing ma­jor losses be­cause the roads to and from their busi­nesses are mostly in­ac­ces­si­ble.

‘The un­fin­ished streets are eroded and be­com­ing more dan­ger­ous by the day, and we are wor­ried about the safety of mo­torists and res­i­dents,’ said Schoombee.

‘We of­ten see that con­tracts are awarded to friends of of­fi­cials or to un­fit peo­ple, which re­sults in the use of sub­con­trac­tors,’ said Eu­gene van Aswe­gen, AfriFo­rum’s Pro­vin­cial Co­or­di­na­tor for KZN.

‘This re­sults in mu­nic­i­pal in­fra­struc­ture funds be­ing put un­der pres­sure and op­por­tu­ni­ties for fraud be­ing cre­ated.’

COGTA KZN was con­tacted for com­ment but did not re­spond.

Piet Retief Street in Pon­gola

Martin Street in Pon­gola

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