Mapping the route to job creation and better lives
Eastern Cape projects surge ahead
ROADBUILDING and repairs worth R1.9-billion are surging ahead in the Eastern Cape. This financial year R897-million is being spent by the provincial department of roads and public works on tarring gravel roads and R981-million, which is R84-million more, will be spent next year (2017-18).
A further R1.12-billion is being spent on maintaining the province’s difficult 78 770km network of roads.
Roads improve life in many ways, said Roads and Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu.
“A road allows people to move, to receive freight and services.
“A road lets you drive to loved ones wherever they are in the province. A road helps whole areas grow socially and culturally. A road makes economic opportunities come alive for people who have been historically disadvantaged,” she said.
In her policy speech to the Bhisho legislature on April 5, the MEC said her department’s roads and infrastructure programme was to provide an “equitable provincial road network”.
She said roads were socioeconomic routes to job creation, improving people’s lives and advancing democracy.
In 2015, Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle called for an intervention to improve rural roads, and Marawu’s department has turned the call into a R600-million allocation for the upgrading of the UmntamvumaBizana road and the Nkantolo road.
Both are progressing well.
Marawu said 140 small and microenterprises had benefited from construction and maintenance work worth R176-million. Multi-year projects on the go include:
● Phase 2 of the T125 – N2 road linking to Siphetu Hospital, which is valued at R250-million; ● Phases 1 and 2 of the R61 from Bizana to Port Edward, which will cost R930-million over three years. The road will connect people to one hospital, six clinics and 28 schools;
● Phases 1 and 2 of the Tombo-MpambaIsilimela Hospital road valued at R314-million, FIFTY students are having their studies supported with bursaries from the Eastern Cape Department of Public Works and Roads.
And 100 youths were given technical vocational training students and a good work experience.
This was confirmed by the department’s MEC, Thandiswa Marawu.
Earlier this year, she told the provincial Legislature R3-million would be spent on disadvantaged learners who enrolled for qualifications which supported the core business of the department.
She also confirmed that her promise of appointing 200 interns during this financial year had been honoured.
“The focus is on young graduates who do not have work experience,” she said. which involves construction of three bridges. The road will connect people to one hospital, two clinics and 28 schools;
● Phase 1 of the dangerous Willowvale-Dwesa Nature Reserve road will see R91-million spent;
● Phase 2 of the upgrade to the DR18045 linking Centane to Qholora, which is expected to be completed next month; and
● Tsolwana Nature Reserve's Zola-Thornhill link roads DR 12723 and DR12733.
There is great excitement over the expected completion in December of an 18km stretch of road from the R61 Sabalele village, where people can visit the birthplace of the late revolutionary leader Chris Hani. This is after R170-million was spent on upgrading district road (DR) 8376.
MEC Marawa explained that the R1.05billion being spent on rehabilitating, resealing, re-gravelling and blacktop patching this year would increase to R1.12-billion in 2017-18.
She said the maintenance programme had already overperformed this year in targets set for re-gravelling.
It only underperformed in blading because of a deliberate decision to do more re-gravelling than blading “as a form of sustainable service on provincial gravel roads”.
This shift in strategy had seen department covering 217 261m² , which is 117% of the 185 739m² target set by the roads programme. According to the MEC, the decision to hand over R218-million to the national roads agency, Sanral, to carry out maintenance of a number of roads in April has paid off.
The roads now under Sanral’s care include the:
● R396 from the R56 in Maclear through Tsolo to the N2;
● R390 from the N10 in Cradock through Hofmeyr to the R56 near Steynsburg;
● R391 from the R56 between Steynsburg and Molteno to the R58 in Burgersdorp; and
● R392, R410 and R58 from the N6 in Queenstown through Lady Frere and Cala to the R56 south of Elliot.
“We are convinced that this approach will yield benefits for the road users and the province at large,” said the MEC.
“Sanral, on behalf of the department of roads and public works, is implementing the Sabalele project which connects people to Chris Hani’s home village,” she added. The project to fix streets fits into the department’s small town revitalization program (STRP). MBSA Consulting Engineers are using contractor Xesibe Construction for a contract value of R44.8-million. The contract commenced on April 13 and ends on February 24 2017. Current expenditure is R12-million and the phase is 44% done. There are 29 local labourers employed and they earned R365 880. Upgrading district road DR08017 Mvenyane: Fourteen kilometres of gravel road will be upgraded to surfaced standard. DR08017 links the R56 close to Matatiele and the N2. This is the middle section of three phases work. The middle section has been chosen as it covers a dangerous mountain section where a tragic accident occurs a few years back. Molemo Consulting Engineers [Pty] Ltd have contracted Xesibe Construction [Pty] Ltd for a contract valued at R128million. It started on July 29 and will run till January 29 2018. So far R6.7-million has been spent and 1.5% of the job is done. Twenty local labourers have been employed and R888 000 has been paid to them. Upgrade DR12732, DR12733 and DR02541 leading to Tsolwana nature reserve, upgrading of streets in Tarkastad and Hofmeyr: This is also a service level service agreement (SLA) with the Tsolwana municipality to assist the municipality to upgrade and maintain its roads. The unemployment rate there is 90% so this is a dedicated labour intensive project and is part of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP). The target is to spend 30% of the project value on local labour, local SMME’s and enterprises.
The first project to be implemented is the upgrading of DR 12732, DR 12722 and DR 02541 which runs 24km from Thornhill to the Tsolwana Nature Reserve. The reserve is also major tourist attraction and at the core of economic development in the area.
The project is divided into five phases:
Phase 1: Upgrading of DR 12732 from Thornhill (12km) is in progress;
Phase 2: Upgrading 8km of Tarkastad’s streets is also in progress;
Phase 3: Upgrading streets on Hofmeyer and Luxoweni township.
Phase 4: Upgrading the DR 12722 on route to Tsolwana Nature Reserve (4 km); and
Phase 5: Upgrading DR 02541 which runs past the Tsolwana reserve (8km)
The consultant for phases: Phase 1 and 2 is Hatch Goba (Pty) Ltd and Unik Civil Engineering (Pty) Ltd is the contractor. The contract value is R241-million.
The contract commenced on June 29, 2015 and will last for two years until June 29 2017.
So far R27 445 has been spent and 80% of Phase 1 is complete and 10% of Phase 2.
R8.9-million has been spent on local subcontractors and enterprises.