The Maseru City Council (MCC) has agreed to collaborate with a local businessman who has committed money amounting to M40 000 and personal equipment in to patching-up the Abia road.
This is after businessman and local resident of Ha-Abia in Maseru, Thuso Jacob Makhalanyane was told it was MCC’s responsibility to fix roads when he took it upon himself to repair the dilapidated road in the area.
Numerous roads around Ha-Abia, Ha-Tsolo, Ha-Ts’osane and Ts’enola have been left unattended for years now by the contractors who were given tenders to upgrade and maintain the access roads.
Makhalanyane said he was told that no one can attempt to repair a road without permission from the responsible authorities.
Speaking to Newsday, Makhalanyane said few weeks ago he was stopped by MCC officials telling him to stop upgrading and maintaining the access roads at Ha-Abia before consulting them.
He however, said he later had a meeting with MCC management who told him they will collaborate towards the maintenance and upgrading of the roads in Ha-Abia.
Makhalanyane said in their agreement with the MCC, he has committed both equipment including tipper trucks and finances amounting to M40 000 while MCC committed to providing extra equipment (yellow plant) and offering technical expertise and supervision.
Speaking to this paper, MCC’s Deputy Public Relations Officer Khotso Makamo, said no one can be denied permission of helping their community by fixing roads however such people need MCC’s supervision.
“Such people need supervision as well as guidance in following the right procedures so that they do not cause more damages while attempting a noble act,” Makamo said.
He said with an untrained eye one might affect other developments such as water systems networks as well as communication and electricity cabling.
Makamo further told this paper that MCC is working towards maintaining and upgrading roads belonging to their jurisdiction which includes all access roads, linking roads as well as the Mpilo Road.
He said MCC is on its final stage to finalise the beginning of the upgrading of the 7killometer Mpilo Road which has been granted funds but they are yet to find the suitable contractors for the task.
“MCC is waiting for the funds in order to start the process of constructing the second main road which will start close to Central Bank Lesotho (CBL) on Moshoeshoe Road through Maqalika dam which will link the Main North 1 road at Khubetsoana.”
According to the Minister of Finance, Thabo Sophonea, last year, the government of Lesotho had engaged contractors for routine maintenance of roads.
He said the recent country’s economic status warrants a reconsideration of the approach.
“The government will reinstitute labour-based system for routine maintenance and there will be an upgrading of a 7kilometer Mpilo Road which will start this financial year.”
On the other hand, the 2022/2023 budget speech report highlighted that, the capital expenditure is M6.8billion which will focus on the development of roads, bridges and buildings among others. It also notes that, a larger portion of the budget is for continuation of transport and connectivity infrastructure projects such as construction of eight footbridges which were delayed due to Covid-19 in Mafeteng, Leribe and Quthing.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Finance through the Ministry of Public Works has allocated the Roads Directorate department with M44omillion of which M300million is an Exim-loan towards the Mpiti to Sehlaba-Thebe road. Also, Roads Directorate’s budget allocation from Road Fund has increased to M110million and the budget from TICP is M84million which is all going to be used by Roads Directorate for the upgrading and maintenance of the high way roads across the country.
Lesotho has lost over M40billion worth of its national roads network infrastructure as a result of neglect and disrepair to one of the country’s most priced assets in less than 10 years, the Roads Directorate has revealed. According to the Directorate’s Acting Director General Khasapane Kikine, the country’s national roads network’s value plummeted in value from M60billion in 2010 to about M20billion in 2019 a decline which has happened among others, as a result of poor maintenance, lack of integrated planning, unregulated construction, lack of financing strategies and maintenance backlog to mention but a few.