Time for accountability in Mahikeng’s chaotic Nelson Mandela Road Project

Issued by Freddy Sonakile – DA Caucus leader in the North West Provincial Legislature
07 May 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Broadcasters: Please find attached soundbite in English by Freddy Sonakile

The DA demands answers on the never-ending Nelson Mandela Road Project in Mahikeng. A four kilometre stretch of the road, in the middle of Mahikeng, connecting to Botswana, is a critical economic route, but has been the epicentre of chaos.

The original agreement was to upgrade the road within three months.  After an extension period was given, Public Works MEC, Saliva Molapisi and Acting Premier, Nono Maloyi, are both on record stating that the road would be completed by December 2023. Acting Premier Maloyi made further promises in his 2024 State of the Province Address (SOPA), that he would follow up on the progress of the dubious road construction.

The initial budget allocated for this project was R47 million.  However, through a variation order, the amount has now almost doubled to R79 million.  Despite the ballooning figures, the road remains incomplete, with no signs of completion in sight. To make matters worse, workers have recently downed tools for a week because they did not receive payments.

Traffic control on this busy road is a nightmare, and the potholes have increased as motorists attempt daily to navigate between the chaos, most opting to use internal Golfview or CBD roads to avoid congestion, increasing the damage to road surface on those roads that are not made to carry the increased heavy traffic. 

The road is also the main entrance to Mahikeng Mall, which is also undergoing construction, creating even more chaos. The deliberate delays and failure to deliver a proper road have a negative impact on investor confidence in the town. The failure to deliver basic services led to the departure of Clover Company in neighboring Lichtenburg town, leaving hundreds unemployed. One would have thought that ANC comrades would have learned their lesson.

It is now time for accountability. On 8 May at 8 am, we will picket at the traffic light at the main entrance of Mahikeng Mall, to put pressure on Acting Premier Maloyi to provide answers on this project.

We will also approach the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in North West to request in inquiry into the awarding of the contract, the subsequent variation order, and the reason why the construction of the road remains incomplete after a year.  The DA will also request the SIU to investigate the roles of departmental officials, including the HOD, Moss Kgantsi, in this dubious road project.

The ANC government is once again, making it clear that they have no appetite to deliver proper infrastructure in North West. On the 29th of May, residents of Mahikeng will have the opportunity to vote for a DA government that will deliver top-class services on time.