Premier Road Delivered For Grateful Community
he upgrading, from gravel to tar, of road D1392 in the Sekhukhune District Municipality of Limpopo Province that has been three years in the making is finally complete.
The 36 months project was for the upgrading of a 23.7 kilometres stretch from Ga-Malekane (6.2kms from the intersection with road D2219) to Ga-Mahlakwena at the intersection with road D1296 that links to R37 to Polokwane and R555 to Steelpoort.
The road D1392 passes through the villages of Ga-Mampuru, Ga-Phasha and Tukakgomo.
The road was one of those that required the intervention of the new management of Roads Agency Limpopo that was appointed in 2015 when the Agency was effectively returned from section 100 administration.
The area was volatile and the intervention on the political head of the province, the Honourable Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha was sought to calm upheavals as the Agency focused on the spadework.
And the elated Premier Mathabatha says the turnover of road projects since RAL was effectively returned from section 100 administration in 2015 has been impressive. RAL has delivered 70 road projects since 2015
“This road, in particular, has been one of the prides of the turnaround of the Roads Agency Limpopo,” said Premier Mathabatha.
The event that was planned for October 2018 to officially handover the road to the community was postponed indefinitely. A new suitable
“NO ADDITIONAL CENT WAS SPENT ON THE PROJECT AND IT WAS COMPLETED WITHIN THE ALLOCATED BUDGET”
date for the community to celebrate ownership of this new road will be communicated as soon as it is available.
RAL Project Manager Nick Muthivheli says the official project practical completion date is recorded as 10 August 2018, when all installations such as road markings and signs, sidewalks, and traffic calming measures like speed humps had been installed. The project had only 12 days of approved extension time due to community protests.
However, the road has been open to traffic since January 2018, when vehicles and the community at large started using the road.
“No additional cent was spent on the project and it was completed within the allocated budget even though we faced various challenges such as restricted working area due to narrow road reserves, and intermittent water and electricity services within the available road reserve that have to be relocated,” says Mr Muthivheli.
The road is an economically strategic road as it links to mines in the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality, and the project has also contributed to the socioeconomic development of the area.
RAL ringfences 30% of every project value to the employment (subcontracting) of local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and 10% to the employment of local labourers in areas where it implements its construction projects.
The procurement of SMMEs is limited to the locality of Limpopo Province with preference given in the priority order of, first to SMMEs from affected villages, then to those within the local municipality before exploring the district municipality labour and suppliers’ catchment area.
“The contract also required from the contractor
“THE CONTRACTOR OVERACHIEVED, SPENDING OVER R133 MILLION (158%) ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF SMMES FROM THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES.”
to make use of the available services of SMMEs as subcontractors and suppliers on this project,” says Mr Muthivheli, who also heads RAL’s SMME unit.
The contractor overachieved on its target in this regard, spending R133 247 930.04 (158.43%) on the employment of SMMEs from the local communities. The contractually required amount for the employment of SMMEs, including accredited on-the-job training, supply of materials and subcontracting the construction of stormwater culverts, paving of sidewalks etc., had been set at R84 106 213.21 (30.25% of contact value, excluding VAT & contingencies).
The contractor could only achieve 64% of local labour targets of 10.5% of contract value. In the end, an amount of R19 132 654.77 was spent on the employment of 347 local labourers on the project, 226 of whom are young people and 55 are women.
RAL has overachieved on its audited small business development and labour targets for 2017/18. (Mmileng Q2 2018)
One of the challenges for this project was the shortage of skills in the first catchment area of the villages adjacent to the road.
Samuel Kgaria from Tukakgomo, who had been a roving house-to-house street vendor selling women items such as earrings, nail polishes and doeks (headscarves) before he was employed on the project as the Community Liaison Officer (CLO), said despite this challenge they were still able to achieve a decent equitable balance of labourers across the seven or so adjacent villages whenever the contractor went on a recruitment drive.
“I was able to assist the contractor in getting equal number of required labourers from across all areas, such as Ga-Mampuru, Ga-Phasha, Tukakgomo, Stocking, Longtill and Mahlakwena. Everyone is happy,” said Mr Kgaria.
Other benefits of this road to the public and the community include lower vehicle operating cost, an all-weather, dust free and safer road, and improved access for communities.
Since 2015, Roads Agency Limpopo has successfully completed 70 road projects across five districts. Road D1392 (pictured) in the Sekhukhune District Municipality is one of 12 projects already completed so far this financial year (1 April 2018 to 30 September 2018).
Road D1392 is no longer a Bermuda road. The end-to end tar construction started 6.2kms from the intersection with road D2219 at Ga-Malekane and ended where the road connects to D1296 at Ga-Mahlakwena (above).
Road D1392 between Ga-Malekane and Mahlakwena, that passes through the villages of Ga-Mampuru, Ga-Phasha and Tukakgomo has been open for traffic since January 2018.
Samuel Kgaria (with a spade), from Tukakgomo, was employed on the project. Read more about what Mr Kgaria and other community members have to say about the benefits of the tarred road D1392 in ‘Mintirho ya Vulavula’ on page 23.