Potholes are a liability in the First World and in the Third World states. In South Africa they represent a deteriorating route web and in the Mpumalanga Province route web chuckholes have become the seeable symbol of a neglecting route system. There seem to hold evolved a particular instance of the job. distinct in happening. frequence. nature and size. This paper is an effort to look into the implicit in issues behind this flagellum. It purports to offer a comprehensive history of the job. measuring the current and future position of the job. In order to heighten this probe this paper will look at the chuckhole job as a general universe phenomenon. as a South African job and comprehensively as the Mpumalanga Province route web job. This attack is presumptively supposed to take to a diagnosing of kinds and an probe based prescription derived.
1. 1 Potholes as a World Phenomenon
From Mumbai to London and from Lagos to Johannesburg studies of chuckholes are omnipresent. ( Holtam. 2010 ) in one such a study lamented: ‘Britain’s chuckhole jobs continue. In this article he interpreted the awful winter. budget cuts and hapless fixs as the conditions that would perpetuate the job and crumble Britain’s arterias. In the same article governments estimated that automobilists were passing an norm of 220 lbs per twelvemonth on pothole-related auto fixs and a yawning one-year national measure of 3. 7 billion lbs. In Mumbai ( India ) pothole-ridden roads were blamed for the lag of traffic flow that resulted in a figure of international flights being delayed as crew members had tough times acquiring to the airdrome. ( The Times of India. 2002 )
1. 2 The South African Case
Harmonizing to ( Arrive Alive. 2010 ) there has been an addition in concern about chuckholes on South African roads. ( The Sowetan. 2011 ) in a related article grumbled that “The chuckhole job has reached tipping point and must be given attending. ” In South Africa chuckholes are bing automobilists about R50 billion in vehicle fixs and hurts every twelvemonth. ( South African Roads Federation. 2010 ) In a statement the CSIR issued towards the terminal of 2010 the research organ warned of an ‘unprecedented addition in the figure of chuckholes and associated accidents on national. provincial and metropolitan ‘sealed’ roads. ’ It has therefore about go a catastrophe in some parts of the localized roads in the state such that potholes show a classical design of a scarred and shed blooding route web.
1. 2 Mpumalanga Roads: Potholes at the nucleus of conveyance jobs
A random choice of route conveyance related complains within the Mpumalanga Province will place the chuckhole job as the prevailing 1. ( The Mail & A ; Guardian. 2011 ) a local yellow journalism in a sarcastic remark made mention to chuckholes which ‘engulfed full vehicles from a Volkswagen Golf to a metropolis bus’ in Witbank which is one of the major towns in the Mpumalanga Province. Potholes in some studies are considered as the cardinal issue in the complains against service bringing and in one such study the urban and suburban roads are reported as holding become ‘indistinguishable from chuckholes which made driving an escapade as one swerves to avoid lasting harm to one’s vehicle’ ( The Mail & A ; Guardian. 2011 ) The job has seen some persons taking the Mpumalanga authorities to the tribunals in really awkward instances. In one such instance the Mpumalanga Provincial authorities had to repair chuckholes after a tribunal order from the Johannesburg High Court had ruled that the chuckholes on the route between Springs and Witbank be fixed within 72 hours. ( The Citizen. 2011 )
2. The chuckhole job: Towards a holistic attack
A general description for designation intents is that chuckholes are ‘small. bowel-shaped depressions in the paving surface that penetrate all the manner through the HMA to the base class by and large with crisp borders and perpendicular sides near the top of the hole. ( Fig 2. 0 ) ( Robert et Al. 1996 ) For designation intents and layman description intents this definition is significant. It enables us to label the typical Markss such as form. deepness. crisp borders and the perpendicular sides.
Fig. 2. 0 A typical chuckhole
A more proficient description requires us to look into the causes thereof. the development or development of chuckholes and the assortment of these underlying issues. Most chuckholes result from one of the undermentioned causes:
1. Failures at public-service corporation trenches and castings
2. Assorted paving defects and clefts
3. Insufficient thickness on certain roads to back up traffic
4. Poor drainage ( Robert et Al. 1996 )
In some instances chuckholes are ‘the end-result of weariness snap. As fatigue checking becomes severe. the interrelated clefts create little balls of paving which can be dislodged as vehicles drive over them. ( Refer to fig 2. 1 below ) The staying hole is called a chuckhole. ( pavementinteractive. 2009 )
Fig 2. 1 From weariness checking to pothole
It is besides of import to advert what has been referred to as about the ‘cardinal rule’ of chuckhole development that is the presence of traveling traffic and H2O. ( Fig 2. 3 ) Exceptions do non be. ( Robert et Al. 1996 )
Fig 2. 3 The authoritative chuckhole. ( Traffic and Water )
2. 1 A inquiry of Pavement Design
When chuckholes are accompanied by alligator clefts. they indicate a deeper seated job. In most instances the design of the paving may be of concern. Dilutant pavings are more prone to chuckholes that are as a consequence of weariness snap because the paving disintegrates into really little pieces ( Fig 2. 3 ) that traffic can easy free. ( CSIR. 2010 ) In thicker pavings though the paving may check by weariness its internal forces cause the slab distortion to decrease and forestall dislocation into really little pieces. ( Robert et Al. 1996 )
CSIR differentiates pothole formation by the size of the bituminous paving come uping. whether it is asphalt or thin bituminous come uping seal. Where asphalt is used in South Africa it is typically 25-50mm midst and chuckholes originate either by ‘cracking of the asphalt as a consequence of weariness or ripening ( binder shrinking ) that allows H2O to a less permeable interface within the asphalt bed ensuing in the denudation of the asphalt. ( CSIR. 2010 )
It is besides of import to advert that stuff types as a portion of the paving design. public-service corporation trenches and castings are to be considered in a pursuit to turn to the paving issues underlying the chuckhole job particularly where environmental factors seem to be at the head. Robert et Al. 1996 has noted that:
In some instances checking is typically the consequence of hapless support ( unsuitable stuff or inordinate H2O ) while environmental snap can happen due to ultraviolet visible radiation from the Sun. heat or through oxidization. ( CSIR. 2010 )
2. 2 Traffic Loading
The issue of ‘insufficient thickness on certain roads’ ( Robert et Al. 1996 ) may besides intend heavy or more traffic lading ( in surplus of the paving design burden ) which leads to route warps. ( CSIR. 2010 ) It is a really delicate concern since ‘even a few base on ballss by overladen vehicles cause the
route surface to check. leting H2O to flux through these clefts into the sub-base. ’ ( CSIR. 2010 )
Along with this construct is traffic growing and in the US for illustration as noted by Robert et Al. 1996 many of the local roads were ne’er designed or built to manage today’s traffic. From 1960-1980 motor vehicle enrollments increased by 76 million while the population grew by merely 30 million and farther the weight of trucks has changed dramatically. This decidedly has an consequence on the pavement life. Estimates range from a lessening of 10 % in design pavement life on thick pavings to decreases of 90 % on thin pavings. ( Robert et Al. 1996 )
2. 3 Mechanical Damage
Frequently the consequence of either an ‘insufficient thickness’ on certain roads or heavy burden on an improper paving may be a localized loss of come uping ( Fig 2. 3. 1 ) taking to comparatively little chuckholes that may non be developed ( CSIR. 2010 ) Thin bituminous seals ( less than 3mm midst ) can be broken easy. Wear and rupture under traffic consequences in the formation of chuckholes every bit good as localised failings in the basal stuff or building.
Fig 2. 3. 1 Loss of come uping and non to the full developed chuckholes
But are potholes merely a proficient job which should be left for the applied scientists to work out? Not likely so! As noted in the intelligence articles in the debut about every citizen is affected-motorists. riders. concerns. national and local authoritiess and politicians
2. 4 Potholes: Tendencies in Politics. Business. Finance and Road Safety
2. 4. 1 The Role of Politics and Governance
In the political domains chuckholes are viewed as ‘disservice bringing and the crisis of local authorities. ’ ( The Mail & A ; Guardian. 2011 ) The deduction to a certain degree is that the job is non merely proficient but a concern of the politicians excessively. In higher political echelons determinations are made refering pavement job issues that have stating effects on the eventual route status. The sorry point being that these determinations are made sometimes without audience with the applied scientists on the land. In the US political action demanding decreased local disbursement has caused fiscal cuts foremost in street sections and rising prices has increased care costs 2 to 3 times in the past 10 old ages. ( Robert et Al. 1996 )
In a study published by the Mail & A ; Guardian. 2009. the prostration of substructure and service bringing in Emalahleni ( Mpumalanga ) is attributed to mal-administration. fiscal misdirection. incompetency and in some instances blatant maltreatment of public money. Not taking the allegation to be true we can at least province that the chuckhole job merely like any conveyance job is in some instances an disposal failure. a consequence of incompetent finance and technology forces within the responsible governments. And it is deserving adverting that whilst politicians may fault the flagellum on applied scientists and decision makers. the latter would in bend blame it on the politicians’ determination.
2. 4. 2 Business and Fundss: The tradeoffs
An attack to a threat like this one will evidently imagine one to see it in relation to the benefits and costs of both a well-maintained route and pothole-marred 1. Whilst it is a known fact that roads are at the nucleus of any booming economic system. it is a admiration why concerns. administrations. route governments and politicians are sceptic or loath to put in pavement care but more willing to make so where new roads are to be constructed. Priit Vilba. a senior lector at the University of Applied Science noted the demand for a displacement in focal point and he calculated that investing into infrastructure care like any good planned investing in substructure building consequences in direct benefits-increased GDP. A concern of the European Union for illustration has been that despite the route sector lending Euro 360 billion in financial grosss to the authoritiess of the EU 15 less than 1 % of this value is re-invested back into the route conveyance substructure. ( Vilba. 2011 )
Businesss owe so much to a well-maintained route web and a scarred web is a liability excessively dearly-won. Abu Baker. the adult male who took the Mpumalanga Provincial authorities to tribunal is a man of affairs and portion of his grudge was moved by the inordinate costs he was incurring in his concern. The machinist of his trucks confirmed the increased costs by observing that due to the addition in the frequence of chuckholes and general impairment of roads in the state they were now replacing Surs every three to four months. ( Times. 2011 ) But of more concern is the intensifying cost that comes with a drawn-out neglecting of preventative steps?
( Gary Ronald. 2011 ) noted that it would about be South Africa about R200 billion to make all preventative care in 2011 but in 2001 it would hold cost a sensible R64 billion. In South Africa ‘poor support on pavement care is a job confronting the state as a whole’ ( Ndebele. 2011 ) At municipal and provincial degrees it is the critical issue because governments rely on rates and taxis paid by the populace to keep roads and yet non everyone pays these ( CSIR. 2010 ) To take a lesson from the expression of things the cost of keeping the roads will go on to surge the longer it takes the responsible governments to make the care. And to portion responsibilities the private sector should come on board since they are the major donee of the route web.
A holistic attack as has emerged in modern conveyance jobs will be a coaction of all stakeholders with the aim of incorporating all the resources each stakeholder has to offer from the proficient sections within the responsible governments. the politicians who have the power to change policies refering pavement care and the concern fraternity who reap the greater portion of the net incomes ploughed by the route web. A proficient attack on its ain will miss the political will that is so much needed whilst a streamlined political attack will be deficient of the expertness of route applied scientists which ensures that criterions are maintained thereby protracting pavement life.
5. The South African Dilemma: Divers Road Authorities
Is there anything alone about the South African chuckhole job? The South African quandary is a roads’ authorities’ composite. In a state where 278 municipalities and 9 provincial governments are responsible for the roads in the communities of their legal power. there is bound to be diverse challenges that are foreign to a centrally controlled route web. The job is likely to show itself in an uneven nature. degree and signifier. The repair of chuckholes is a duty of the route proprietors viz. SANRAL. the 278 Municipal governments and the 9 provincial governments. ( CSIR. 2010 ) SANRAL is responsible for all national roads which are the major main roads associating the major metropoliss. These are comparatively unvarying in design and hence suffer the same care challenges. Administratively they are run by a individual authorization which is likely to be non-partial and more nonsubjective. These are at an advantage compared to the remainder run by some legion local authoritiess confronting different challenges and largely under-resourced.
SANRAL ‘has effectual care contracts in topographic point ( CSIR ) for every kilometer that it manages. The municipal governments and provincial governments on the other manus can non hold such contracts in topographic point because of budget restraints and a deficiency of adequate applied scientists. Further their operations have been crippled by an hegira of professional roads applied scientists in the public sectors particularly since 2000. States had merely 1/5 of their needed complement of applied scientists. ( Ronald. 2011 ) “The brunt of the chuckhole job is on most provincial roads. Budget constrains frequently lead to reactive and hapless care of roads” ( SANRAL. 2010 ) A critical concern is the opposite of investing in route building vis-a-vis care. Harmonizing to the Minister of Transport Mr Sbusiso Ndebele the international benchmark of 60/40 for care and building have non been implemented in South Africa. in fact the contrary has been true. ( Ndebele. 2011 ) Is the authorities making anything to turn to these challenges?
6. The S’hamba Sonke Programme
It has been described as a ‘massive chuckhole hodgepodge programme” . aimed at collaring the diminution of the route substructure. It attempts to turn to four cardinal issues in route care. the budget constrains within municipalities and provincial roads sections. the deficit of roads applied scientists within the public sector. the procurance procedure and the usage of alternate engineerings for the patching of chuckholes. ( S’hamba Sonke. 2011 ) Supported to the melody of R6. 4 billion in its first phase for the 2011/12 fiscal twelvemonth and 7. 5 billion in 2012/13. this programme is fancied to collar the diminution of the secondary substructure. ( Ndebele. S 2011 ) Harmonizing to the design of the S’hamba Sonke programme. route applied scientists and overseers will be deployed to turn to chuckholes with an option to research alternate engineerings for the patching of chuckholes. The programme will besides see the neutering of the procurance procedure to guarantee that necessary accomplishments and inputs are sourced. ( S’hamba Sonke. 2011 )
The programme though it marks a important displacement by authorities from the historical investing chiefly in building vis-a-vis care. the sum is still excessively little sing the distressing conditions of some of the municipal and provincial roads. It is besides of import to observe that the programme seem to concentrate more on chuckholes where other preventative steps are much better options such as slurry seals to water-proof the pavings or crack-sealing for the same terminal. Sing the allegations of fiscal misdirection and corruptness within the municipal and provincial constructions. it is yet to be seen whether all the financess will be used for their allotted undertakings.
5. The Mpumalanga Province Pothole Problems
The MDRT is responsible for around 7000km paved roads. of which 25 % is in hapless condition-surfacing is old and requires resealing to forestall wet immersion and farther impairment. ( MFTDB. 2006 ) While this is true of the roads in 2004 the state of affairs 6 old ages after this study was done. conditions of the roads have deteriorated further. Of the three administrative parts Gerte Sibande and Nkangala are both fighting to collar route impairment in peculiar chuckholes on their roads.
5. 1 Behind the Pothole Scars: Coal Draw
Though a figure of factors can be sited for the general impairment of roads in the state coal draw should bear the lion’s portion of the duties. There has been a dramatic addition in coal draw largely in the Gert Sibande part stimulated by a comparatively distant factor-rapid addition in electricity demand in South Africa. which in bend increased the tunnage of coal to be ferried through these roads to Eskom’s power Stationss around the state. ( MDRT. 2005/6 ) Harmonizing to the same beginning this has seen the neglecting of the provincial route web where basic preventive care and saving is non done due to miss of funding ensuing in premature failures of most roads. In the Gert Sibande part some roads have broken up wholly particularly those serving the Majuba Power Stations.
5. 2 The Intricacies in Coal Haulage
Coal draw is non a job by itself and where it has turned to be a job it is likely to be circumstantial. Blind flower stalk goating is non what we should vouch for and in the initial roots of this job the provincial section can be exonerated given that the addition was unforeseen. Yet the reverberations could hold been mitigated. The inquiry we should inquire today is what the provincial section did or didn’t do. what is the same section making now and non making to decrease the harm on its roads?
5. 2. 3 Safeguarding Provincial Roads
It is a admiration that technically sound technicians would allow heavily-loaded trucks tramp on inadequately designed pavings or allow inadequately designed roads be trampled upon. It is a fact acknowledged by the section itself that most of the provincial web merely has 2 major structural beds. These are non equal for the high frequence of heavy coal trucks in the Gert Sibande part ( tantamount to some of the most to a great extent trafficked cargo paths in South Africa such as the N3 to Durban Harbour ) Heavy trucks requires 3 to 4 structural sheathings along with lasting surfacing. ( MDRT. 2005/6 ) The provincial fright that the roads will farther deteriorate is but a clip bomb for clip is clicking off.
The Road Traffic Act. 1996 Regulation 240 is chiefly concerned with the maximal mass that the route paving ( asphalt or concrete surface plus the implicit in beds ) can transport. ( MFLF. 2006 ) In South Africa heavy vehicle is a major job where it is estimated that 60 % of the harm to roads is caused by overladen vehicles. ( MDRT. 2005/6 ) In the Nkangala and Gert Sibande parts it is evident that the commissariats of this act were non efficaciously enforced. If they were or if they are we would non be holding trucks on most of the provincial roads. In fact the Nkangala part crisis has been exacerbated by high toll charges along the N4 corridor which has seen many cargo companies traveling their operations to take down category and lesser equipped provincial and local roads. ( MDRT. 2005/6 )
5. 2. 4 Other Departmental Challenges
Road cargo has non as yet escaped the tormenting trampling by the heavy trucks though attempts have been put in topographic point to collar the state of affairs. The Department admits that route conveyance will even come under increasing force per unit area in the medium to hanker term-a state of affairs that is unsustainable. ( MFTDB. 2006 ) The Department is staggering under a loss of technology forces to the private sector. Though attempts to retain them are afoot it is still to be seen whether these will entice them to remain. It is no admiration this could hold led to the carelessness that was a proficient failure on leting trucks to have on away whole paving constructions in some instances. ( MDRT. 2005/6 )
Further like most provincial roads sections in the state. the Department is fighting with a backlog of preventive care worsened by meager budgets. The consequence of these two factors harmonizing to the Report of 2006 is an helpless operation. ‘The Department can non implement a sustainable and good balanced disbursement program to continue and consistently upgrade the route substructure in the state. ( MFTDB. 2006 )
Of late there has been a list of long term schemes that has been implemented though it is hard to mensurate their successes given the wide-spreading of the roads’ cicatrixs. The Coal Network Grid remains a grapevine undertaking 3 old ages after it was suggested as a possible mitigating undertaking. ( MFTDB. 2006 ) There has been a singular betterment in the vehicle overload control but it turns to be of small significance given that it does non turn to the paving design inquiry at the bosom of the job. The other long term programme that was dimmed to collar the job was the increasing of investing in an alternate coal theodolite ( rail ) but practically talking against the scarce fiscal resources. this remains unrealistic.
In an informative appraisal of the pending scenarios the supra referred to describe justly ends by keening that ‘movement of the route cargo will come under increasing force per unit area in the medium to long term. ’ As celebrated therein what is needed is a conjunct attempt by all stakeholders to understate the impact of overloading on roads to avoid debasement.
6. 0 A Proposal That May Work
One should acknowledge that the nature and visual aspect of the route scars on the provincial roads is a dashing undertaking. There are hints of proficient mistake in the narrative of chuckholes within the Department. perennial fiscal challenges. a comparatively deficient jurisprudence enforcement squad and sound long and short term programmes to deliver the decomposition web. Further there has been a deficiency of national and provincial political engagement as portion of the solution to the job. At most lobbying at both degrees has been minimal which has non helped to beginning financess in a state that is bring forthing approximately 96 % of the country’s electricity. which electricity is portion of the issues at the argument of the causes. It is imperative to admit the demand for a conjunct attempt for everyone can acknowledge that the job has been aggravated by a figure of factors.
6. 1 Road Infrastructure Strategic Management
Harmonizing to the National Department of Transport. the Mpumalanga Department of Roads and Transport is amongst the many provincial sections whose acceptance of the strategic direction is dawdling behind. For the old ages 1997-2002 the section merely managed to give Visual Condition Index for 1999. Telephone treatments harmonizing to the same beginning with provincial functionaries indicate that no other studies of similar nature has been done. ( NDT. 2005 )
The demand for such a strategic direction of the provincial assets particularly roads is imperative sing the urgency of the demand to turn to the deteriorating roads’ status in the state. As propounded in the model of this scheme there is demand for an auditing of the provincial route web followed by a drawing of direction systems every bit good as plus monitoring systems. This will enable an rating of the fiscal sum of the sum needed to taste the whole web. This will be in line with the demand to implement and keep appropriate information to influence and concept determination support systems within the section.
The usage of more scientific steps will supply a clear image of the looming crisis. Performance Indicators which step sustainability will reflect on the ability of conveyance installations and services to run into the travel demands of the present without consisting future coevalss in footings of impacts. ( RISF. 2 ) RME for illustration enables the section to supervise the cost effectivity of care maps undertaken by route governments while the Visual Condition Index ( VCI ) which reflects the alterations in route status over clip will be an oculus opener to the unacceptable degree of impairment on the departmental roads.
From the national Road Infrastructure Strategic Framework the provincial section should follow a provincial scheme that is developed from the worlds of the state. From this scheme direction systems should germinate with the purpose of turn toing the administrative challenges confronting the state. It should besides explicate sound short and long term schemes to restrict specific issues that are prolonging the chuckhole job.
6. 2 The function of Eskom. the Mining and Forestry Industries
It is a fact that Eskom. the Mining and Forestry Industries have a moral duty to take portion in the fix. care. Reconstruction and direction of the route web in the state since it is through their operations that chuckholes have become unmanageable.
It is promoting that Eskom already has on its long term coal supply scheme a proposal to put in low cost. flexible coal conveyance substructure. ( Eskom Report. 2011 ) Their focal point on this scheme is to underscore on ‘investigating. designing and implementing efficient solutions to cut down the figure of coal trucks on the roads’ ( Eskom Report. 2011 ) Mkwana. M the National Chairman of the power public-service corporation company in his study for the twelvemonth stoping 2011 reiterated the committedness of the company to sustainable operations locating the street in Ermelo ( one of the most affected countries in the state ) which Eskom sponsored to the melody of R47. 7 million. A farther R106. 5 million was besides spend in repairing chuckholes from the same company. ( Eskom Report. 2011 ) Though this is plausible. there is still more that the company can make in concurrence with the truck companies and the coal excavation companies. They like their client must come on board to deliver the arterias that give life to their concerns.
The Forestry industry has their portion of duty excessively in the devastation of the roads since their trucks ply these paths. Their duty may be minimum as compared to the former but owing to the fact that most chuckholes in the state and route impairment is caused by wear and rupture particularly due to the heavy trucks they should take a portion in the resuscitation of the roads.
When these three industries are brought on board the perennial fiscal challenges confronting the state may be abridged.
The probe though it gives a general position of the chuckhole job on provincial roads it has non given a entire solution proposal because of a deficiency of information available either on the public sphere or the responsible authorization. It nevertheless manages to capture the salient issues environing the job and may be utile in farther probes into the chuckhole job on the Mpumalanga Departmental Roads. Further probes may be needed into the chuckhole jobs in cardinal and suburban streets which are run by municipalities.
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