MEC Bulwane heads up for Pothole-patching campaign

State of roads in the Free State province is appalling, with municipal and provincial roads riddled with potholes, while the tar surface is crumbling and deteriorating day-to-day.

For the period of 2021/22, over 100 accidents were reported in Free State roads with causalities.

Recently, five children were killed in a horrific head-on-collision, when their bakkie collided with a truck in Vredefort on the R721 last month, July 31.

Read more: Cops seek families, after five children die in ‘horrific’ car accident

This year, an accident-prone R30 road that connects Allanridge, Bothaville, Odendaalsrus and Welkom, was closed due to rapid accidents occurring on the road.

Since January this year, 15 lives were lost in R30 road and the department tagged the road as a high accident zone.

The road has been flooded several times during last year’s heavy rains and despite repairs done, fatal accidents continued.

On Monday, August 8, the department’s MEC Bulwane will lead a programme launch, called Operation Vala Zonke, to patch potholes in the deadly intersection between the the R501 and R59 between Viljoenskroon and Potchefstroom.

Bulwane said this is part of the department’s leading sting operation to close down potholes across the province to ensure road safety for motorists.

“The programme will cover various roads across the Free State Province and aims at eradicating potholes on these roads to ensure motorists can travel safely and without fear of damaging their vehicles.

“MEC Bulwane wants to make sure that potholes are fixed in the FS Province within the next six months,” said the department spokesperson Hillary Mophethe.

Mophethe said the department will start work as from Monday and will move from district to district to ensure that roads in all corners of the province are patched.

“Any pothole deeper than 100 mm will first be filled with modified gravel up to 30 mm, depending on the material that is on the ground, the top three centimeters will then be filled with hot asphalt or cold mix to close all gaps so water cannot penetrate into the area,’ she said.

She further added that at this stage, the department has a total paved network in excess of 6 696 km, including an identified strategic network of 3 837 km.

“Furthermore, the department maintains a gravel network of unpaved roads in excess of 22 054 km on secondary roads.

“The Department will work together with municipalities and other relevant stakeholders to ensure all affected roads are identified and repaired,” she added.

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