Kouga Municipality looks at new road repair solutions
The Kouga local municipality is looking at innovative ways to tackle its infrastructure backlog and tarring of roads.
Delivering his state of the municipality address on Thursday, Kouga mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality needed about R500m to address the backlog in road maintenance.
However, they needed to think out the box and find innovative ways to tackle the problem.
He said they had partnered with a company, which he would not name, to find new solutions.
In an interview, Hendricks said: “What this company is proposing is an alternative way of making asphalt and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels that are part of making tar.
“They replace asphalt with waste or plastic by making plastic pallets, which are used to supplement asphalt.
“Not only is it cheaper but it is more environmentally friendly,” Hendricks said.
The company will pilot 1km of road in Kouga and if Hendricks as well as the municipal manager are happy with the results, the municipality will continue to use the company.
“We’re having discussions around this on March 4, discussing safety, feasibility and its sustainability.
“If the road is found safe and fit, we are definitely going in that direction,” he said.
In his speech, Hendricks highlighted that Kouga’s on- hand cash had been steadily growing and that 85% of the budget was funded through its own revenue and only 15% came through grants.
“Should all grants stop tomorrow, Kouga will still be a viable municipality and can still deliver services,” he said.
Hendricks said Kouga had a lot of land that was not necessarily for service delivery and their plan was to allocate land for development, commonage land for emerging farmers, churches and schools in order to build up capital for water pipelines and the electricity backlog.
“We need capital to deal with these projects because we can’t depend on the [National] Treasury to give us that money,” Hendricks said.
Touching on the drought facing the embattled municipality, Hendricks said the department of water and sanitation had committed to giving them drought relief funding worth R151m.
So far they had received more than R35m, which had been paid into the municipality’s account.
He also highlighted that Kouga was one of the first municipalities in the country to switch over to the new municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (Mscoa) and to be compliant.
“The switch-over was no easy task and many municipalities were unable to comply fully with the new standards in the 2017/2018 financial year,” Hendricks said.
Mscoa is meant to link all municipalities onto a single IT system that is linked to the national government.