Road infrastructure upgraded to drive economy

2017-03-15 08:20
Upgrade of internal streets in Ugie Town is currently in phase 2. This is a R156.2 million project which is expected to be completed in June this year.

Upgrade of internal streets in Ugie Town is currently in phase 2. This is a R156.2 million project which is expected to be completed in June this year.

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THE Department of Roads and Public Works will continue with a number of roads infrastructure projects in keeping with the belief that road infrastructure is a key driver of the South African economy in the next financial year.

“The road network must be developed and maintained in such a way that it supports the country’s national development objectives,” said MEC Thandiswa Marawu.

“The objectives of the provincial Roads Infrastructure Programme (which are aligned to the NDP priorities) are to provide a balanced and equitable provincial road network, including the upgrade of gravel to surfaced roads, and the construction of new roads, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads, causeways and bridges,” said Marawu.

Among other things, this will provide access to economic and social opportunities to the historically disadvantaged as well as improve the mobility of people, freight and services in the province, improve vehicle accessibility to all the areas in the province and support economic, social, cultural and heritage developmental goals specified in the Provincial Development Plan.

According to Marawu, these objectives are driven in the main through the Construction and Maintenance subprogrammes.

One of the big ongoing projects with which the Department is currently busy is the Mzamba to Magusheni road.

The road project will improve the link between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, which forms part of the coastal route in the province.

Marawu said this dual carriageway has not been resurfaced in the last 25 years and is in need of urgent repair to extend its serviceable life.

The contract is designed to benefit SMMEs and will employ local labour linked to a compulsory skills training programme.

Other multiyear projects continuing in the 2017/18 financial year are:

  • Upgrading Nkantolo Road from gravel to surfaced standard at a contract value of R166.7 million. Construction is progressing well and practical completion is scheduled for June 2018.
  • Upgrading the road to Mlamli hospital from gravel to surfaced standard. Construction is expected to start in June 2017.
  • Upgrading a section of the R72 (Between Port Alfred and Peddie). The application for Environmental Impact Assessment has been submitted with the DEDEA. The procurement for construction will start as soon as the approval is obtained from DEDEA.
  • Upgrading internal streets in the Ugie Town phase 2. This is a R156.2 million project. Construction is on schedule and the project is expected to be completed in June 2017.
  • SLA Tsolwana Phase 2. Upgrading 8.25km internal streets in Tarkastad East and Tarkastad West. The project experienced some delays due to a strike. The challenges that gave rise to the strike have since been resolved and the project is back on track.
  • Reconstruction of Sandriver Bridge at Cape St Francis. The site was handed over to the contractor and the contractor is currently busy providing a bypass.
  • Reconstruction and widening of 4 bridges on DR08032 from Mdumbi Turnoff to Coffee Bay at a contract value of R29.95 million. This project has been completed.
  • Coffee Bay to Zithulele Phase 1 surfacing 2.5 km. The contractor is busy with earthworks, layerworks and drainage.
  • Madwaleni Hospital Road Phase 2 project which involves surfacing 4 km of this road is progressing well.
  • Construction of DR08041 Cofimvaba to Askeaton (Surfacing 2.5 km).
  • N2 to Siphetu Hospital Phase 2 with a contract value of R254 million. The project is expected to be completed by late 2017.
  • Centane to Qholorah Phase 2A. This R118.1 million project was completed in December 2016.
  • Tombo to Isilimela Hospital with a contract value of R222.2 million. The project is expected to be completed by November 2017.
  • R56 to Mvenyane (Phase 1) with a contract value of R127.8 million. The contractor is currently busy with earthworks and the project is expected to be completed by January 2018.

New initiatives planned for 2017

. Upgrade of DR08125: N2 Siphetu Hospital Phase 3.

. Upgrade of DR18045_Centane to Qholora Phase 3. This project is in the planning stage and an amount of R8 million has been made available in 2017/18 financial year.

. R61 at St Barnabas Hospital to Hluleka Nature Reserve (+/-47km). This project is also in the planning stage and an amount of R10 million has been made available in 2017/18 financial year.

. Upgrade of the Elitheni Coal Mine Road is expected to commence in 2017/18 financial year.

Maintenance subprogramme

Rapid response units are now operational to assist with the maintenance of rural roads and provincial roads.

The maintenance budget will increase to R711.7 million and R866.2 million in 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years respectively.

Included in these amounts is R90 million earmarked for the repair of rural roads damaged by the floods experienced in the province over the last 3 to 4 years.

Priority has been given to those roads that link communities to important social infrastructures and other amenities.

The Department continues to use municipalities as implementing agents for certain maintenance projects. In this regard the Department has standing Service Level Agreements with Chris Hani, Joe Gqabi, Nelson Mandela and Enoch Mgijima municipalities.

Working with Sanral

The Department also continues to work very closely with the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), an agency of the national Department of Transport.

SANRAL is implementing the Sabalele project on behalf of the Department of Roads and Public Works. The project is the upgrade of the 18km length of road off the R61 (near St Marks) to the village that is the birthplace of the late revolutionary leader, Chris Hani. This project is expected to be complete by March 2017.

The following road upgrades on the R63 route will be undertaken by SANRAL:

. 5km west of Bedford will commence in February 2018 for an estimated R150 million.

. Fort Beaufort to Alice will commence in October 2017 at an estimated R450 million.

. Bhisho to the N6 intersection will commence in April 2018 at an estimated cost of R400 million.

. From the N6 intersection to N2 intersection (Komga) will also commence in April 2018 at an estimated R380 million.

On the R56 the slope stabilisation between Lady Grey and Barkley East will commence in August 2017 at an estimated value of R60 million. This will be followed by special maintenance between Lady Grey and Barkley East, in September 2017, at an estimated value of R130 million and between Aliwal North and Lady Grey at R150 million.

On the R390 special maintenance from Hofmeyer to R56 started in February 2017 at an estimated cost of R81 million.

On the R391 special maintenance from R56 to Burgersdorp will start in August 2017 at an estimated cost of R80 million.

On the R392 special maintenance from Queenstown to R410 started in February 2017 at an estimated cost of R72 million.

On the R396 the construction of pedestrian facilities along the R396 will commence in March 2017 at an estimated cost of R15 million.

On the R410 resealing from Khiba to Lady Frere via Cala will be completed in April 2017 at a cost of R68 million.

The other strategic routes, around the citrus farms in the Sarah Baartman region, which were gazetted in 2016, are the following:

The R335 route from Motherwell to Addo is planned to be upgraded from October 2017 at an estimated cost of R500m. Special maintenance will be done from Addo to Paterson (R342) at an estimated cost of R200 million from October 2017. The upgrade from Kirkwood to Addo (R336) is, also, planned to start in October 2017 at an estimated cost of R300 million.

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