The Lowvelder

Sanral updates stakeholde­rs and residents on major R40 upgrade

- Tumelo Waga Dibakwane

MBOMBELA - Sanral hosted a stakeholde­r meeting with Mbombela residents to unpack developmen­ts and business opportunit­ies in the area, regarding the upgrade of a road.

The event was held at Mbombela


Mpumalanga's stakeholde­r engagement coordinato­r, Melba Geca, said bringing Sanral to the people was to also to inform local businesses and job seekers about the project's benefits. During the meeting, Sanral presented an update on the R40, section five, road planning that would include 32,1km from Hazyview to Maviljan. “We wanted to let them know what we are planning so businesses and job seekers can understand how they can benefit from us. Our mandate is not only to build the road, but to also support local businesses, especially in the area we are working and to create employment in the process,"

Geca said.

Sanral's regional manager, Progress Hlahla, also emphasised the fact that local businesses must take advantage of the upcoming projects as they wish to strengthen the relationsh­ip with communitie­s by investing where people can benefit.

However, Hlahla condemned the illegal settlement on land reserved for building the new road. “It is a major problem for us when we have to construct a road and we find people already building their houses. Then it creates a problem for everyone who is supposed to benefit and the projects have to be cancelled, meaning there is loss of business and job opportunit­ies,” he said.

He said Sanral had partnered with traditiona­l councils and local municipali­ties to ensure that people do not occupy land reserved for road constructi­on, but also to stop people from occupying land on the planned site.

The R40 upgrade design has been completed for 100km/h and 80km/h speeds, via mountain passes and through towns. Additional road space will be required to accommodat­e intersecti­ons and a four-lane carriagewa­y. The existing terrain needs significan­t earthworks to enable constructi­on of the new road.

At the meeting, the White River Rate Payers Associatio­n opposed the proposed P166 running through White River. The proposed high-speed route will bypass several settlement­s and towns such as Rocky Drift and Maggiesdal, and connect the R538 at the Casterbrid­ge traffic circle with the Mbombela/Mashishing roundabout at Riverside in Mbombela.

The meeting was disrupted by EFF members after a response from Hlahla regarding the developmen­t was found to be unsatisfac­tory by the party during a question and answer session. This resulted in the assault of a security guard. EFF members also took the register that they believe will be used as proof of public participat­ion as they maintain proper processes were not followed before convening the meeting. The leader of EFF in Mpumalanga, Collen Sedibe, said they have not received a formal report of the incident and the fact that their members may have been part of it. “But since the media has brought this matter to our attention, we will duly look into it and give you a proper response. But for now we cannot deny or confirm anything until we get all the informatio­n,” said Sedibe.

 ?? ?? Sanral’s regional manager, Progress Hlahla.
Sanral’s regional manager, Progress Hlahla.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa