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Karoo Express
Maintenance project set to improve road safety
Periodic maintenance is improving road safety for pedestrians and motorists who travel on the R67 between Fort Beaufort and Seymour in the Eastern Cape. Photo:Supplied

THE South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has announced periodic maintenance on the R67 between Fort Beaufort and Seymour, aimed at improving road safety for pedestrians and motorists.

The 14-month road maintenance project, valued at R151 million, which commenced last year, is helping to create safer travel experiences for motorists.

This road connects the two towns of Fort Beaufort and Seymour along the route and is a vital link between Fort Beaufort and Komani.

“The installation of guard rails in the high fills, as well as the construction of the Baddaford intersection has helped to improve the safety of the road,” Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region manager said.

“A stretch of the road was also fenced to prevent animals from crossing the road. This has made a significant change and has helped reduce the number of accidents on the road.”

SANRAL took ownership of the R67, stretching from Makhanda to Komani, after it was declared a national road in 2012. As part of its mandate, SANRAL is responsible for maintaining this stretch of road.

Average daily traffic statistics on the R67 range from between approximately 600 and 700 vehicles per day in both the north and south directions, with an average of 12.8% of heavy vehicles utilising the road each day. The maintenance project meant that 30 SMMEs were given work opportunities and 369 jobs were created.

“This was regarded as one of the most important road development projects in the area, having created job opportunities for 369 people from the local communities over three years,” Peterson said.

Nomfundo Maneli, a Seymour resident and worker at Zubra Cleaning Services and General Training, said her role in the project was to erect fencing. She worked on the project for two months and during the same period, she hoped to increase her Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) rating to level two.

“We received training on safety and security before we started with the project,” Maneli said.

Lwando Solani, who lives in Seymour and is a construction worker at Solenzo Trading and Projects CC worked on the project for three months, having received one-week training on the installation of guard rails before starting.

After completing the project Solani’s CIDB level 2 increased to CIDB level 3. Nolady Booi, the managing director at Azakhiwe Trading Enterprise and resident of Seymour was responsible for stone pitching.

“We did the stone pitching in such a way that no water can come through,” Booi said.

She worked on the project for two months in which her CIDB rating increased to level 2.

Training and development

Target enterprises (TEs) or small, medium micro enterprises (SMME’s) who participated in the project had to be registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

SMME’s were provided tender training specific to their respective packages as they pertained to stone pitching, installation of guard rails and erection of fencing and gabions

Training included a five-day intervention on tendering for construction contracts and two additional days were provided for SMME’s that required additional assistance.

“As a requirement for this project, it was important that tender-seekers were familiar with the specification that relates to the transformation of the construction industry and adhered to the policies of reconstruction and development programmes and other similar government initiatives,” Peterson said.

The Target Enterprise management team provided guidance and mentoring to the prospective tenders and an accredited training service provider was organised to provide the necessary training.

The South African Qualifications Authority awarded competency and attendance certificates to participating and competent SMMEs.

Practical training was also organised for Targeted Enterprises and this included a two-day theory and three-day practical skills training programme. – REPORTER

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