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Status of Swellendam Municipality’s Road network

  • Posted 9 months ago
  • Local Stories
Swellendam

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OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR


Dear Residents of Swellendam
Status of Swellendam Municipality’s Road network

Over the last five years, we have received many queries, concerns, complaints, and criticism about the
status of our road infrastructure. I am writing this open letter to address these issues and concerns
formally, bring residents up to speed on the situation, and provide information on the facts and
background.


The Swellendam Municipal area has 86km of paved road systems, including tar and segmented paving. The estimated replacement value is approximately R260 million, and the average condition is rated as fair and some beyond the designed life expectancy.


The estimated funding backlog in operation and maintenance (maintenance and resurfacing) is around R80 million and escalates yearly. A quarter (25%) of the surfacing and structural component of the system is in poor to deplorable condition.


Our typical roads in Swellendam Municipality have a road surface life of about ten years. To protect the
integrity of a road, a road must be resealed after 8-10 years. However, maintenance must also be
conducted on areas where potholes have formed, burst pipelines have been repaired, and new services
have been installed.


Suppose the resealing of the road is not done at the right time. In that case, it will lead to ‘’surface failure’’
and ‘’structural failure’’, which means the road will have to be rehabilitated (rebuild the road’s foundation
layers. The surface protects the layer and keeps the layer and keeps the layer road’s foundation
waterproof).


From 2013 to 2018, no funds were available for resealing roads. Many of our streets have already reached the ” point of no return ” and will require intensive rehabilitation to re-establish the original design standard.


Our Department of Roads and Stormwater uses the ” RRAMS ” (Rural Road Asset Management System) set up by SMEC Consulting Engineers for Swellendam Municipality to determine the priorities for resealing roads.
For all towns, Swellendam Municipality’s budget allocation toward the road and stormwater repairs and
maintenance from its funds for the last seven years amounted to R22 189 832.
Financial year Total budget
2015/2016 R2 052 500
2016/2017 R2 429 000
2017/2018 R2 836 230
2018/2019 R3 524 178
2019/2020 R3 475 510
2020/2021 R3 978 821
2021/2022 R3 893 593
2022/2023 – Draft budget R4 097 766


Most of the time, balancing the budget over the last seven years removes money from the repairs and
maintenance vote to ensure that essential services continue uninterrupted.
We also receive a yearly conditional grant allocation from MIG (Municipal Infrastructure Grant) of around
R11 million, which must be used to address the backlog in water, sanitation, and electricity services and
stormwater and road infrastructure in previously neglected areas and communities. With some of this
money, we can build roads and install stormwater networks in Railton and Smithville, where gravel roads
have existed since 1994.


When funds are depleted in the budget vote for road repair and maintenance in a particular budget year,
no repairs can occur until savings from budgeted expenditure can be reallocated in an approved
adjustment budget at the end of February each year. If other critical priorities need urgent funds in the
adjustment budget, the probability of the road repair and maintenance receiving any extra money is
unlikely.


If there is no more money in the budget for road repairs (whether resealing, potholes, or planned
maintenance), it will not be possible to spend on these repairs.
With all this as the background, it is clear that road maintenance in Swellendam Municipality is one of our
biggest challenges. With our limited financial and human resources in this department and the legislative
framework, local governments operate, balancing priorities with our available income from rates and taxes is a constant battle.


What is the status of the road repair and maintenance budget vote for the 2021/2022 budget cycle, and what other alternative is employed?

  • All funds approved for road repairs and maintenance are depleted
  • We managed to reallocate R200 000 in the adjustment budget, which was used to purchase
    bitumen (tar) and other necessary materials.
  • We have recently started filling all potholes with a gravel mixture in the interim to provide some
    driving relief.

After the new pipeline and pressure management system installation, when will the roads be fixed?

  • The contractor is in the final phase of assembling and replacing a large part of the water pipe network and installing pressure zones and valves to manage and reduce pipe breaks. Only after the completion of the total project will the road be reinstated.
  • The project is currently behind schedule, and the completion date has been moved to the end of June.
  • We have put the consulting engineers and contractor on terms. We will report them to the National and Provincial Treasury and the Department of Water and Sanitation (which made the project funds available) if they don’t finalise and hand over the project within the new timeframe.
  • We all share your frustration in this matter, and we are doing everything possible to guarantee that this
  • project is finished to the correct standard.

So, what is Swellendam Municipality going to do about the challenges we face regarding road repair and maintenance in the long term?

  • The Executive Leadership are currently compiling a 5-year project plan to address the backlog of road repair and maintenance. This entails investigating all options, funding mechanisms and rebalancing priorities to make as much headway in the next 5-years as possible in delivering industry-standard road infrastructure.
  • To grow our tax base and economy and unlock opportunities for all, we are embarking on the intensive upgrading and development of infrastructure to increase capacity to accommodate growth and development. Keep in mind that this will go hand in hand with some disruption and discomfort to all our residents. We endeavour to make this process as painless as possible but cannot guarantee that challenges will not arise during this process.

For Swellendam Municipality to be successful, we need to strengthen our partnership between Council, the Administration, and the Community. We need an active citizenry to overcome the legacy of the past,

address the current challenges, and determine our future for generations to come.

‘’Active citizenship means people getting involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels,

from towns to cities to nationwide activity. Active citizenship can be as small as a campaign to clean up

your street or as big as educating young people about democratic values, skills, and participation. Active

citizenship is one of the most important steps toward healthy societies. ‘’

As Mayor, I will shortly be launching an ‘’I AM … CAMPAIGN’’. This campaign is premised on the fact that all of us have rights as residents, but along with these rights come various responsibilities.

The ‘’I AM SWELLENDAM, I AM BARRYDALE, I AM SUURBRAAK AND BUFFELJAGSRIVIER, and I AM MALGAS, INFANTA and STORMSVLEI’’ is a campaign designed to promote and motivate active and invested citizenry in all our towns. ‘How do you/I become an active citizen?’ By not just asking what the Municipality can do for me, but what can I contribute to the progression and growth of the municipality and its residents, in any small or big way.

Yours in service delivery

Swellendam

Francois du Rand

Executive Mayor

Swellendam

Geagte Inwoners van Swellendam

Status van Swellendam Munisipaliteit se Padnetwerk

Oor die afgelope vyf jaar het ons baie navrae, bekommernisse, klagtes en kritiek oor die status van ons padinfrastruktuur ontvang. Ek skryf hierdie ope brief om hierdie kwessies en bekommernisse formeel aan te spreek, inwoners op hoogte te bring van die situasie, en inligting oor die feite en agtergrond te verskaf.

Die Swellendam Munisipale area het ‘n 86 km paaienetwerk wat insluit teer en gesegmenteerde plaveisel. Die beraamde vervangingswaarde is ongeveer R260 miljoen, en die gemiddelde toestand word as billik beskou en sommige verby die ontwerpte lewensverwagting.
Die beraamde befondsingsagterstand in bedryf en instandhouding (instandhouding en heropbou) is sowat R80 miljoen en eskaleer jaarliks. ’n Kwart (25%) van die oppervlak- en strukturele komponent van die stelsel is in ’n swak tot betreurenswaardige toestand.

Ons tipiese paaie in Swellendam Munisipaliteit het ‘n padoppervlakleeftyd van ongeveer tien jaar. Om die integriteit van ‘n pad te beskerm, moet ‘n pad na 8-10 jaar herseël word. Instandhouding moet egter ook gedoen word op areas waar slaggate gevorm het, gebarste pypleidings herstel is en nuwe dienste geïnstalleer is.

Gestel die herseël van die pad word nie op die regte tydstip gedoen nie. In daardie geval sal dit lei tot ” oppervlakversaking ” en ” strukturele mislukking ”, wat beteken die pad sal gerehabiliteer moet word (herbou die pad se fondamentlae. Die oppervlak beskerm die laag en hou die laag en hou die laagpad se fondasie waterdig).
Van 2013 tot 2018 was geen fondse beskikbaar vir die herseël van paaie nie. Baie van ons strate het reeds hulle rubicon bereik en sal intensiewe rehabilitasie verg om die oorspronklike ontwerpstandaard te hervestig.
Ons Departement van Paaie en Stormwater gebruik die ” RRAMS ” (Rural Road Asset Management System) wat deur SMEC Raadgewende Ingenieurs vir Swellendam Munisipaliteit opgestel is om die prioriteite vir die herseël van paaie te bepaal.

Vir alle dorpe het Swellendam Munisipaliteit se begrotingstoewysing vir die pad en stormwater herstel en instandhouding uit sy fondse vir die laaste sewe jaar R22 189 832 beloop.

Boekjaar​​​​ Totale begroting
2015/2016​​​ R2 052 500
2016/2017​​​ R2 429 000
2017/2018​​​ R2 836 230
2018/2019​​​ R3 524 178
2019/2020​​​ R3 475 510
2020/2021 ​​​R3 978 821
2021/2022​​​ R3 893 593
2022/2023 – Konsepbegroting​​ R4 097 766

Die balansering van die begroting oor die afgelope sewe jaar word daar geld van herstel- en instandhouding verminder om te verseker dat noodsaaklike dienste ononderbroke voortgaan.

Ons ontvang ook ’n jaarlikse voorwaardelike toekenning van MIG (Munisipale Infrastruktuurtoekenning) van sowat R11 miljoen, wat gebruik moet word om die agterstand in water-, sanitasie- en elektrisiteitsdienste en stormwater- en padinfrastruktuur in voorheen verwaarloosde gebiede en gemeenskappe aan te spreek. Met van hierdie geld kan ons paaie bou en stormwaternetwerke installeer in Railton, Buffeljags, Suurbraak en Smithville, waar grondpaaie sedert 1994 bestaan.

Wanneer fondse uitgeput is in die begroting vir padherstel en instandhouding in ‘n bepaalde begrotingsjaar, kan geen herstelwerk plaasvind totdat besparings uit begrote uitgawes aan die einde van Februarie elke jaar in ‘n goedgekeurde aanpassingsbegroting hertoegewys kan word nie. As ander kritieke prioriteite dringende fondse in die aanpassingsbegroting benodig, is die waarskynlikheid dat die padherstel en instandhouding enige ekstra geld sal ontvang, onwaarskynlik.

As daar nie meer geld in die begroting vir padherstelwerk is nie (hetsy herseël, slaggate of beplande instandhouding), sal dit nie moontlik wees om aan hierdie herstelwerk te bestee nie.

Met dit alles as agtergrond is dit duidelik dat padinstandhouding in Swellendam Munisipaliteit een van ons grootste uitdagings is. Met ons beperkte finansiële en menslike hulpbronne in hierdie departement en die wetgewende raamwerk van plaaslike regerings, balansering van prioriteite met ons beskikbare inkomste uit tariewe en belasting ‘n voortdurende stryd is.

Wat is die status van die padherstel- en instandhoudingsbegrotingstem vir die 2021/2022-begrotingsiklus, en watter ander alternatief word aangewend?

  • Alle fondse wat goedgekeur is vir padherstelwerk en instandhouding is uitgeput
  • Ons het daarin geslaag om R200 000 in die aanpassingsbegroting te hertoewys, wat gebruik is om bitumen (teer) en ander nodige materiaal aan te koop.
  • Ons het onlangs begin om alle slaggate in die tussentyd met ‘n gruismengsel te vul om ‘n bietjie bestuurverligting te bied.

Na die installering van die nuwe pypleiding en drukbestuurstelsel, wanneer sal die paaie reggemaak word?

Die kontrakteur is in die finale fase om ‘n groot deel van die waterpypnetwerk te vervang en druksones en kleppe te installeer om pypbreuke te bestuur en te verminder. Eers na die voltooiing van die totale projek sal die pad herstel word. Die projek is tans agter skedule, en die voltooiingsdatum is na die einde van Junie verskuif.

Ons het die raadgewende ingenieurs en kontrakteur op terme geplaasl. Ons sal hulle by die Nasionale en Provinsiale Tesourie en die Departement van Water en Sanitasie (wat die projekfondse beskikbaar gestel het) rapporteer as hulle nie die projek binne die nuwe tydsraamwerk finaliseer en oorhandig nie. Dit sal vereikende gevolge hê vir beide ingenieurs en kontrakteur.

Ons deel almal u frustrasie in hierdie saak, en ons doen alles moontlik om te verseker dat hierdie projek op die regte standaard afgehandel is.

So, wat gaan Swellendam Munisipaliteit doen oor die uitdagings wat ons in die gesig staar ten opsigte van padherstel en instandhouding op die lang termyn?

Die Uitvoerende Leierskap stel tans ‘n 5-jaar projekplan saam om die agterstand van padherstel en instandhouding aan te spreek. Dit behels die ondersoek van alle opsies, befondsingsmeganismes en herbalansering van prioriteite om soveel vordering in die volgende 5 jaar as moontlik te maak in die lewering van industriestandaard padinfrastruktuur.

Om ons belastingbasis en ekonomie te laat groei en geleenthede vir almal te ontsluit, het ons reeds begin met die intensiewe opgradering en ontwikkeling van infrastruktuur om kapasiteit te verhoog om groei en ontwikkeling te akkommodeer. Hou in gedagte dat dit hand aan hand sal gaan met ‘n mate van ontwrigting en ongemak vir al ons inwoners. Ons poog om hierdie proses so pynloos moontlik te maak, maar kan nie waarborg dat uitdagings nie tydens hierdie proses sal ontstaan ​​nie.

Vir Swellendam Munisipaliteit om suksesvol te wees, moet ons ons vennootskap tussen die Raad, die Administrasie en die Gemeenskap versterk. Ons het ‘n aktiewe burgery nodig om die nalatenskap van die verlede te oorkom, die huidige uitdagings aan te spreek en ons toekoms vir toekomstige geslagte te bepaal.

” Aktiewe burgerskap beteken dat mense betrokke raak by hul plaaslike gemeenskappe en demokrasie op alle vlakke, van dorpe tot stede tot landwye aktiwiteite. Aktiewe burgerskap kan so klein wees soos ‘n veldtog om jou straat skoon te maak of so groot soos om jongmense op te voed oor demokratiese waardes, vaardighede en deelname. Aktiewe burgerskap is een van die belangrikste stappe in die rigting van gesonde samelewings. ”

As burgemeester gaan ek binnekort ‘n ”EK IS …-VELDTOG” loods. Hierdie veldtog is gegrond op die feit dat almal van ons regte as inwoners het, maar saam met hierdie regte kom verskeie verantwoordelikhede.

Die ‘’EK IS SWELLENDAM, EK IS BARRYDALE, EK IS SUURBRAAK EN BUFFELJAGSRIVIER, en EK IS MALGAS, INFANTA en STORMSVLEI’’ is ‘n veldtog wat ontwerp is om aktiewe en geïnvesteerde burgerskap in al ons dorpe te bevorder en te motiveer. ‘Hoe word ek/jy ‘n aktiewe burger?’ Deur nie net te vra wat die Munisipaliteit vir my kan doen nie, maar wat kan ek bydra tot die vooruitgang en groei van die Munisipaliteit en sy inwoners, in enige klein of groot manier.

Die uwe in dienslewering

Swellendam

Francois du Rand
Uitvoerende Burgemeester

Swellendam

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