South Africa

Bitumen shortage hampers SA service delivery

BitumenJOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) -THE ongoing shortage of bitumen could stunt South Africa’s economic growth, a Johannesburg councilor has warned.

Democratic Alliance Shadow Member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport, Nico De Jager, said failure to produce bitumen for pothole and general maintenance had a negative ripple effect which impacted on the economic growth and investment in the country.

“This can be prevented,” said Jager.

Jager believes that this is an incentive for the South African market to seriously investigate the feasibility of alternatives such as the use of bioasphalt made from non-petroleum based renewable resources such as sugar, molasses and rice, corn and potato starches, natural tree and gum resins, natural latex rubber and vegetable oils.

Further alternatives can be the use of concrete and recycled plastic as an alternative to refined bitumen.

It has been a fortnight since producers announced the latest shortage of bitumen.

Manufacturers are currently producing about 60-70 tons of bitumen per day while the roads industry requires about 1 000 tons per day.

The current shortage can be attributed to maintenance happening at the bitumen producing plants.

A shortage in refined bitumen was last reported in 2012 and at that time the shortage continued for almost two months.

This was reported to be the worst in 30 years.

CAJ News

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