Second phase of R139?mln earthworks project set to start

2012-09-26 00:00

RICHARDS Bay Industrial Development Zone will start the second phase of a multi-million-rand earthworks project next week, edging the IDZ a step closer to opening for business.

The 24-month, R139 million contract awarded to Durban-based DevTech Civils will see 24 ha of virgin land raised six metres with the introduction of 879 000 square metre of fill material being brought in from Mtubatuba.

Already 22 ha have been completed in phase one. The total area is 95 ha.

The RBIDZ is under pressure both from the province and national government to turn the state’s investment in the area into jobs and revenue.

At the official site handover yesterday, Joe Muller, specialist planner for RBIDZ, said that in order to develop Phase 1A, mitigation measures had to be undertaken to “mitigate hydrological constraints” by including “wetland offset areas” and bulk earthworks fill to compensate for high water tables.

“The entire phase 1A has to be filled to crest level of approximately six metres above the mean sea level, which has a significant cost implication for the RBIDZ,”he added.

Bulk earthworks must take place before any engineering services such as roads, water sewer and storm water services can be installed.”

The project is expected to meet the employment target of 40% local labour and 40% emerging contractors.

Muller said the fill material would be imported from UCOSP Quarry outside Mtubatuba.

UCOSP general manager Lawrence McGrath said the quarry had “more than enough stock” to meet the demand requirement.

DevTech Civils’ Shaun Coetzer said they would clear the site section by section and would use dust control measures to avoid air pollution in nearby Arboretum suburb.

The RBIDZ has two sites in Richards Bay. 1A is adjacent to the eastern entrance to the port of Richards Bay, while the second site is in the city’s industrial area, Alton. Once the earthworks and then services are completed, the areas will be cordoned off and controlled by Customs Clearing Area (CCA).

It is estimated that once the RBDIZ is ready to take on tenants, more than R3 billion will be invested.

Currently, over 80% of all South African imports and exports are going through either Durban or Richards Bay ports, and KZN roads account for more than R37 billion in revenue for the country.

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