In a bid to accelerate service delivery and speed up repairs of infrastructure damaged during the KwaZulu-Natal floods, eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda has unveiled 127 new vehicles to enhance the roads and storm water management fleet.
This follows the City’s investment of R270 million to replace the fleet of heavy commercial vehicles and yellow plant vehicles.
Speaking at the unveiling of the new fleet at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Kaunda said road infrastructure is critical in facilitating development and economic growth in the city, which is why “we took the decision to invest in this fleet”.
The new fleet will help the city speed up the process of rehabilitating infrastructure that was damaged during the April floods.
The move to invest in resources is in line with the commitment made by the city three years ago to invest in infrastructure to improve service delivery in eThekwini.
“Recently, we launched the Cleansing and Solid Waste fleet to improve waste management in the City. Over a period of five years, we plan to spend about R500 million on waste management infrastructure.
“We also recently unveiled the R380 million new bus fleet to provide safe affordable and reliable transport to commuters, particularly the poor and the working class,” Kaunda highlighted.
The new fleet consists of super pothole units, road patchers, high pressure jetting units, construction water tankers, ten cubic meter tippers, a combination jetting vacuum truck, crane tipper, graders, as well as a lines and signs units.
Kaunda said that currently, the city has 320 vehicles, which have exceeded the optimum life span of 12 years, and already require major refurbishment. This includes three vehicles that were damaged in the recent floods, which need to be replaced immediately.
“One of the benefits of this new fleet is that it does not require major maintenance and repairs. Therefore, people will see more of our yellow fleet in their communities maintaining and building new infrastructure.”
During the floods, 60% of eThekwini areas were left damaged with inaccessible public transport as some roads and bridges were washed away.
These included amongst others Molweni, Tshelimnyama, Umzinyathi, Mpola and KwaNdengezi areas.
The fleet of vehicles will assist to speed up the repairs and clearing of road infrastructure in these areas.
“With this fleet, we will also be able to accelerate road maintenance across the City and eradicate potholes. Some of the equipment will be used to maintain our storm water drainage system [and] this is critical as we are approaching the rainy season,” he said.
The mayor also encouraged communities to use demarcated areas to clear out waste to avoid blocking the drainage system.
Source: South African Government News Agency