THE rebuilding of the bridge across the Sand River is a not a local government responsibility. The R330 road between Humansdorp and St Francis is a provincial road and therefore the rebuilding of the bridge is a provincial responsibility.
When the original bridge washed away on July 7 last year during very heavy rains and flooding, the area was declared a disaster area by Kouga local and Cacadu district municipalities, and the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature.
However to obtain disaster funds one has to apply to national disaster management controlled by the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs. This department refused to recognise the disaster as such, and fund the rebuilding of the bridge and the EIA. On August 25 last year the temporary bridge across the Sand River washed away. So the bridge that was washed away this week was the third bridge.
We also called for a temporary bridge as they use in the army and we were told that the transport to get it here would cost R70000.
Since July 7 the consultants for the EIA have apparently been appointed, after 16 months. It would be great if government did pay attention to the disasters in the Eastern Cape and urgently make funding available to open up access roads to get the economy back to normal again.
Elza van Lingen MP, DA leader, NCOP, Cape Town