Government continues to make strides in prioritising road infrastructure that affects the livelihood of people, says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. The Minister was recently speaking at the launch of Transport Month at the Mpumalanga Regional Stadium in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal.
Minister Mbalula says the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) is committed to commissioning new road construction, upgrading, rehabilitating old and maintaining existing roads. “The backlog in our road infrastructure remains a source of concern,” Minister Mbalula says.
The Minister noted that the R400 million Hammarsdale Interchange investment has also encouraged and facilitated industrial expansion in the area, which has led to expanded economic activity.
“We chose this venue so we can also celebrate the magnificent Hammarsdale Interchange, recently completed under the expert engineering prowess of our roads agency, SANRAL.”
Apart from improving travel into and out of Hammarsdale, the upgrade saw an increase from two to five lanes.
The project produced jobs for nearly 250 locals and resulted in a wage bill of R46.8 million, which was directly injected into the community.
A further R7.9 million was spent on jobs for women – another key transformation objective in this industry.
“In our quest to create opportunities for black businesses to grow and prosper, contracts to the value of R41.6 million were awarded to 16 local businesses for the provision of plant and materials to the project,”says Minister Mbalula.
Moloto Road upgrades
The Minister also announced that work is on track to upgrade Moloto Road, which is notorious for fatal crashes.
“We listened to the pleas of local communities and road users, and have responded by transferring the totality of Moloto Road across the provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo to SANRAL,” he said, adding that R4.5 billion has been allocated for this project for five years.
The development has already trained 135 small, medium and micro enterprises and 185 non-governmental organisations from Thembisile Hani Local Municipality to improve their chances of participating in the construction industry.
The department will also be embarking on improving the N2 and N3 in KwaZulu-Natal.
The revamp of the N2 will focus on a 55-km stretch from Lovu River on the South Coast to Umdloti on the North Coast, while the N3 will look into an 80-km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.