Kouga Municipality to roll out first ‘plastic’ road in Jeffreys

2019-03-14 06:01
Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Councillor Freddy Campher, East Cape MPL Vicky Knoetze and Gareth Nel from MacRebur take a closer look at the pellets that are used in the asphalt mix.                                                             Photos:MONIQUE BASSON

Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks, Kouga Infrastructure and Engineering Councillor Freddy Campher, East Cape MPL Vicky Knoetze and Gareth Nel from MacRebur take a closer look at the pellets that are used in the asphalt mix. Photos:MONIQUE BASSON

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ALSO present were Port Elizabeth-based civil engineering and construction companies SP Excel and Scribante Construction.

“I am delighted with the outcome and that Kouga has agreed to become the first municipality in South Africa and the continent to put the technology to the test, “ Knoetze said.

“Essentially we will be doing what we have done for years and will be doing till the end of days, which is building roads, just in a much more efficient and effective way.”

She said what MacRebur offered, was an enhancement of the asphalt mix traditionally used for the top layer of roads.

“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.

“It is estimated that up to 1,8 million plastic bags can be used in just one kilometre of road.

“The result is a road that is stronger and more durable. Water, the main cause of potholes, does not penetrate it as easily as with traditional asphalt mixes and it is also more heat resistant,” she explained.

She said the plastic road surface was also cheaper and easier to maintain.

Hendricks said Kouga was looking forward to the potential benefits of the trial.

“Poor roads have a devastating impact on communities. It’s not only a danger to motorists, it is also bad for the economy as it scares off potential investors and makes it difficult for existing businesses to ply their trade.”

He said should the trial be successful, the municipality would like to see a factory being established in Kouga to produce the pellets locally.

“In this way it will be a triple win for our people - better roads, less pollution and more job opportunities.”

He said a 1km-stretch of Woltemade and Koraal Streets in Jeffreys Bay has been earmarked for the trial.

“We expect work to start in about a month’s time as the product has to be imported for now.”

He said the trial would be done at no cost to the municipality, with the respective partners set to foot the bill.

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