By Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works:
The R215 million R310 Vlaeberg and Lynedoch Roads has been completed and was officially opened by the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, and Executive Mayor of the Stellenbosch Municipality, Alderman Conrad Sidego, this morning. The project has covered close to 10kms of road, over a construction period of nearly 24 months, having celebrated various milestones along the way.
“It is always an honour to mark the completion of projects like this one, that showcase our ability as Government, in partnership with various stakeholders, to deliver essential socio-economic infrastructure to the citizens of the Western Cape. This R310 Vlaeberg and Lynedoch Roads project is one such project, where a R215 million investment has made the following possible:
- The dualling of a section of MR168,
- The re-alignment of Vlaeberg Road,
- The construction of Lynedoch access road,
- The elimination of eight level crossings,
- The construction of major structures such as a pedestrian bridge-over-railway line, road-over-rail bridge, river culverts, and 4 cattlecreeps.
“A crucial component of all projects undertaken by the Department of Transport and Public Works is empowerment. This project is an example of our investment in the empowerment of emerging contractors, skills training and transfer, and the employment of local labour over the duration of the project,” said Minister Grant.
The Department of Transport and Public Works’ Contractor Development Programme was successfully implemented on this project. The objectives of the National Contractor Development Programme (NCDP) are to:
- Increase representatively of all categories and grades
- Improve grading status of previously disadvantaged contractors
- Improve the performance of Emerging Contractors
- Improve business and management skills of Emerging Contractors
Allowance was also made for the Mentoring and Training of Emerging Contractors. Their performance was evaluated for inclusion on the existing contractor database and for consideration on future roads projects. For key elements of the project, three emerging contractors were appointed:
- Vlaeberg River Culvert : Ikhampasi Construction cc
- Vlaeberg Road Underpass : Ikhampasi Construction cc
- Sanddrift River Culvert : Ruja Construction
- Vlaeberg Road Underpass : Saclawa Enterprises cc
“These emerging contractors will enjoy the benefit of the training that they received in the duration of this project for many projects to come, having now gained an added advantage through expanding their service offering. A total of R27 million was allocated to targeted previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI) enterprises. R9.5 million was spent on local labour, amounting to a total of 42 419 person days. A total of 343 individual job opportunities were created over the duration of the project,” added Minister Grant.
“With the project having now been completed, the over 14 000 daily commuters, residents, and businesses in this area will look forward to the many benefits that will come their way. I should like to thank the project team and contractors for their dedication and commitment to service delivery excellence, as well as our partners, PRASA/Metrorail and the Stellenbosch Municipality, that have also worked tirelessly to ensure that the project is a success.
“We cannot overstress the importance of roads in this region and in South Africa in general. The obvious benefits encourage us to continue to invest in road planning, construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance. Roads are an integral part of the wider transport system. A road network in any country should be efficient in order to maximise economic and social benefits. Roads play a significant role in achieving national development and contributing to the overall performance and social functioning of the community. It is acknowledged that roads enhance mobility, taking people out of isolation and therefore poverty. For this reason, any nation seeking real development must prioritise transport as the main stimulant for development in other sectors.
“I wish all the users of this improved stretch of our road network well in the use of this facility. May it build the economy, strengthen social and family ties, and open new areas to our people,” added Minister Grant.