#RoadTrip: Rehab on Eastern Cape's R410 completed with colourful bus stops

2017-12-15 06:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town -The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has announced the completion of a periodic road maintenance project aimed at rehabilitating some of the Eastern Cape's degraded roads surfaces.

The periodic maintenance project started last year in June, and according to SANRAL, its core focus was the National Route R410 between Lady Frere and Quiba in the Eastern Cape.

SANRAL says the 66,3km road maintenance project - valued at approximately R60 million - started at a road marker near Lady Frere and through Cala, ending at the intersection with the R58. 

“Before the project began, existing roads in the area were showing signs of deterioration in the form of potholes, cracking and stone loss. There was also a need for improved signage and pedestrian safety measures," says Mbulelo Peterson, the SANRAL Southern Region Manager.

"The periodic maintenance of the road has extended the lifespan of the road surface and will improve the safety of motorists, pedestrians and communities living along the road."

“In addition to seals and overlays, existing fences and guardrails were repaired, new gabion boxes and mattresses were constructed, new road signs were installed and existing speed humps and rumble strips were replaced,” says Peterson.
 
Sixteen Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) companies with CIDB gradings ranging from one to five were involved in the project. Half of these SMMEs were majority women-owned enterprises.
   

Working with the community

The labour, according to SANRAL, was sourced from the surrounding areas between Lady Frere and Cala in the Emalahleni and Sakhisizwe local municipalities.

About 800 labourers were employed in the seven-month project, gaining skills in construction work.

“A community involvement initiative which sought to both uplift and inspire ownership of the road added a community collaboration element to this project,” adds Peterson. 

'The beautification of 44 bus stops along the recently rehabilitated route'
 
Added to this, this initiative also saw the repair and beautification of 44 bus stops along the route, as twelve schools along the route participated in a competition to paint the bus stops with their own designs.

The prize money of R2,000 was awarded to the top two bus stop murals.

See winning murals below

Winning murals: Bathandwa Ndondo Senior Secondary School, located in Mnxe Village

“The initiative assisted the community in taking ownership of the facilities they make use of on a daily basis, and will hopefully ensure that the bus stops are not vandalised in the future. The finished bus stops add to the aesthetic of the completed road and beautify the area through which this portion of the R410 runs." 

“A recurring theme among the murals was one of road safety, which is indicative of the impact that such a road has on local communities. It is hoped that the completion of this project, including the safety improvements that were undertaken, will contribute to improved road safety for those that live and work along this section of the National Route R410,” concludes Peterson.

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