Ms. Sindisiwe Chikunga, a leader of the National Department of Transport made a noteworthy visit on Monday, 04 March 2024 in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipalityin the Mpumalanga province where she did an oversight visit on the R573 Moloto Road bridge, repaired the potholes, and distributed 455 bicycles to deserving learners.

As part of the #OperationSiyakha campaign, Minister Chikunga took it upon herself to do an oversight inspection of the upgraded R573, Moloto road. The upgrading of the R573 Moloto Road is a key project for SANRAL and the Department of Transport and which will contribute to broader efforts of reviving the country’s economy. The project which traverses three provinces, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo was officially handed over to the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) for upgrading and maintenance.

According to the Minister, SANRAL invested R3.7 billion for the first phase of the R573 Moloto Road in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo sections. Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) benefited to the tune of 30% of the project value. About 12,500 jobs are created throughout the project duration. In line with SANRAL’s Transformation Policy, the inclusion of youth- and women-owned businesses were prioritised.

Minister Chikunga, along with a team of road maintenance and pothole repair officials, also participated in the Vala Zonke pothole repair program in the Municipality. The Vala Zonke programme is an integrated, rigorous and comprehensive plan for provinces, municipalities, the private sector and the public to come together to eradicate the challenge of potholes on all South African roads and SANRAL was appointed as the coordinating agency to drive the campaign.

Chikunga also handed-over 455 bicycles, as part of the Shova Kalulu project, to deserving learners from Sindawonye and Kwakwari Primary as well as Mgudlwa, Mkhephuli, Mbedlwana, Sozilani and Hlomanani Secondary Schools in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality. “We hope that these means will help in them getting to and from school quicker and that it will inspire them to pursue their educational dreams.’ Said the Minister of Transport.

In her closing, Minister Chikunga advised the learners to look after the bicycles and reminded the guardians not to use them, as they are intended solely for the learners’ use.