The Minister of Transport, Ms. Sindisiwe Chikunga, the board members from the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and other transport officials visited the Mpumalanga Province on 22 May 2024, to inspect the road infrastructure in Nhlazatshe, a town located within the Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality and the Gert Sibande District Municipality.

Upon the visit, the Minister began by inspecting the R191 million restoration of selected pavement areas, and the resurfacing of the N17 section 5 near Oshoek, as well as the R173 million renovation of certain road sections and the resurfacing of the N17 near Chrissiesmeer. The Minister was pleased with the condition of the roads she inspected and established that SANRAL will be adding two new lanes, approximately 10km long, to the road leading to the Oshoek border post, making it a two-lane road in both directions. “This decision was made due to the heavy congestion of trucks on the road, particularly during the easter and festive season, as well as to create new job opportunities for the youth of SA.” Added Chikunga.

Additionally, the Minister also led a team of road maintenance in repairing the potholes on road D2807 in Elukwatini. This was done under the Vala Zonke initiative, a labour intensive programme aiming to fix potholes throughout South Africa.

The Minister later delivered a keynote address at a community engagement session with the community of Elukwatini in Mpumalanga. During her speech, she highlighted several upcoming projects by SANRAL. She further spoke about the career opportunities in the transport sector to leaners and handed a total of 694 Shovakalula Bicycles to six schools within the Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality.

The Minister’s visit to the Mpumalanga province demonstrated the government’s determination to accelerate the development of essential road infrastructure, which is crucial for unlocking economic growth.