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N4 upgrade in Nkomazi progressing well

The project is valued at approximately R340-million and is expected to take 24 months to complete. 

The project is valued at approximately R340-million and is expected to take 24 months to complete.  

There has been significant progress in the upgrade and rehabilitation project between Kaapmuiden and the Kaalrug Intersection in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga.  

The project got off the ground in August this year and five percent of it has already been completed. 

The project, which is being completed by Tau Pele Construction, will see the 15,5km stretch of the carriageway upgraded to four lanes and will also include the rehabilitation of the current road.  

The installation of high mast streetlights at the Kruger Malelane Gate/Jeppes Reef Interchange and a footpath between Stentor and Kaapmuiden Primary School are only some of the specific safety issues raised by the Nkomazi Local Municipality that will be addressed in the project. 

The project is valued at approximately R340-million and is expected to take 24 months to complete.  

Road users are advised that traffic flow will be affected throughout the roadworks as lane reductions and/or deviations will be in effect.  

TRAC would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding at construction zones and assures them of their continued commitment to maintaining the N4 Toll Route on par with world standards. 

BAKWENA ASSISTS LEARNERS THROUGH THE VISION FOR THE FUTURE PROJECT

Over R5,3-million has been spent as part of the project and students are also educated on health and road safety. 

This annual project involves eye testing for all learners along the Platinum Corridor and is carried out by community volunteers who have been equipped and trained through the assistance of Bakwena.  

The Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Limited (Bakwena) “Vision for the Future” project handed over 11 pairs of spectacles to Moedwil Primary and 48 pairs to Moedwil High School on 30 October. 

This project was launched in 2011 and to date has resulted in 54 824 learners along the N1N4 route having had their eyes screened, with 1080 of these learners receiving the necessary prescription spectacles to improve their eyesight. 

This annual project involves eye testing for all learners along the Platinum Corridor and is carried out by community volunteers who have been equipped and trained through the assistance of Bakwena.  

Bakwena holds a 30-year Concession Contract with the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 385km of road. 

Improving their vision 

As part of the initiative, eye tests at reduced fees are conducted by local optometrists on learners who have been pre-identified through the volunteers.  

Hoya SA is a valuable partner in this initiative as they provide the spectacles for the children to Bakwena for a significantly reduced cost. 

The objectives of the project is to provide free eye screening for all learners in schools along the N1N4 Corridor at least once, to get those who failed the eye screening tested to an optometrist and to provide spectacles to those who need them.  

To date, over R5,3-million has been spent as part of the Vision for the Future Project, while also educating students on health and road safety. 

Poor vision dramatically increases the risk of crashes, with SANRAL claiming that nearly half of the deaths that occur on South African roads are pedestrians.  

In remote areas, this percentage may rise considerably closer to the average percentage experienced in other developing countries.  

The eye screening project is carried out in conjunction with hearing screening which was launched in 2016. 

Since September 2016 the eye screening has been done through the Peek Acuity cell phone application supported by the HearX company in South Africa. 

In 2015 Bakwena merged the project with their Integrated School Health Strategy.  

This initiative has produced many positive results, including impressing on learners the importance of observation when using a road. 

Bakwena’s public relations manager, Charmaine van Wyk, said: “Our various programmes have had a meaningful impact on many aspects of the lives of people in the communities around the routes that we operate. We are committed to their road safety and well-being, but we also focus on other initiatives that will bring positive change in their day-to-day lives that will deliver long-term benefits.  

“From informative programmes to educating children on road safety to programmes raising awareness for environmental heritage, we believe that we have the responsibility as a business not only to build, maintain and operate effective highways, but also to improve the lives of the people along these routes”. 

YOUNG PEOPLE MATTER AT SANRAL

The key to a sustainable future for SANRAL is the development of the next generation of civil engineers and the creation of a leadership reserve.   

Heidi Harper, SANRAL’s Corporate Service Executive, said SANRAL’s history is built on a substantial investment into research and education.

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is best known as the builders of South Africa’s roads. However, to SANRAL it’s about the people, not the asphalt.  

With two decades of road building behind us, we’ve re-engineered the strategic direction of the agency to ensure we continue to build South Africa through better roads. 

However, the key to our sustainable future is the development of the next generation of civil engineers – more specifically, the creation of a leadership reserve. 

Research and education  

SANRAL’s history is built on a substantial investment into research and education. We recognised the need to feed the engineering sector with skilled, qualified and highly engaged engineers, and in understanding the need for a pipeline of human development, learning platforms were created from school scholarships, bursary schemes and university chairs. 

We remain committed to nurturing a pool of talent through mentoring and training and maintain our plans to attract and retain talent.  

Through our endowments of the SANRAL Chair in Transportation at the University of Cape Town, the University of Stellenbosch Chair in Pavement Engineering and the Chair in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at the University of the Free State, we endeavour to increase the country’s pipeline of engineering skills.  

Bridging the divide between graduation and working in the field is a critical transition, and in response to this need for seamless integration into the industry, the SANRAL Technical Excellence Academy (TEA), which is housed in Port Elizabeth, provides dedicated mentorship and practical training in road and bridge design for graduate candidate engineers, who are SANRAL bursary students. 

Looking beyond university 

We also recognise that in making civil engineering more inclusive for young people, we need to look beyond university.  

As such, there is a concerted effort to ensure as many young people as possible benefit from construction projects that pass through their communities.  

Be it the funding of learnership opportunities along with our consulting and contracting partners, or specialised procurement training to capacitate youth-run SMMEs to successfully tender for subcontracts on large-scale projects, we recognise the incredible value that our youth play in building current-day South Africa, not just in someday leading South Africa. 

In our quest to develop South Africa’s knowledge economy, we will continue to invest in research and education to unlock the potential that lies within the road construction industry, with a focus on creating platforms for young South Africans to grow and prosper. 

This is an opinion piece by Heidi Harper, SANRAL’s Corporate Service Executive. 

TEEING OFF FOR CHARITY

Six organisations benefited from Bakwena’s annual golf day. 

Six charities were selected to benefit from this year’s event, namely Thusanang Early Learning Centre, PinkDrive, WheelWell, Cansa, Laudium Cancer Care and Mohau House. 

Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Limited raised R193 600 at its 11th annual charity golf day held at the Centurion Country Club in October.  

To date, the total amount raised by Bakwena for charity sits ajust over R1.8-million.  

Bakwena holds a 30-year Concession Contract with the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 385km of road. 

Six charities were selected to benefit from this year’s event, namely Thusanang Early Learning Centre, PinkDrive, WheelWell, Cansa, Laudium Cancer Care and Mohau House. 

Bakwena’s public relations manager, Charmaine van Wyk, said: “The success of this event is due to the support of our valuable stakeholders, who have generously supported us for the last 11 years. 

“This initiative forms part of our social development programme where we contribute to the health and well-being of communities adjacent to the N1/N4 routes we manage.” 

Bakwena would like to thank the following sponsors and supporters of the 2019 Charity Golf Day: AIIM, Basella Maintenance CC, Big Fleet Media (Pty) Ltd, Bridge Jointing, Evo Motors, G4 Civils (Pty) Ltd, Hatch, Inspecta Car, IPI Development Construction, JG Afrika (Pty) Ltd, Kikuti Events, Leo Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Merchelles Collective (Pty) Ltd, MasterDrive, Mikros Traffic Monitoring (Pty) Ltd, Moonraker Creative Communications, N3TC (Pty) Ltd, Nextec Roads and Highways, Nedgroup Investments, Nedbank Corporate and Investment, Nyeleti Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Pt Operational Services (Pty) Ltd, Roadlab Laboratories, Raubex Construction, SceniVision, SARF, USASA Plant Hire, Veritas, WBHO, Webber Wentzel, VEA Road Maintenance and XFactor Safety. 

BAKWENA CONGRATULATES THE ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST ON ICOET INTERNATIONAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD

The award is presented to agencies or organisations that demonstrate a cooperative effort to maintain or restore ecological function during transportation operations above the regulatory requirements. 

Bakwena holds a 30-year Concession Contract with the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 385km of road. 

The Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Limited congratulates the Endangered Wildlife Trust on being awarded the ICOET International Stewardship Award for their Wildlife and Energy and Wildlife and Transport programmes.

They received this award at the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET) held in the USA recently. 

The International Stewardship Award is presented to agencies or organisations that demonstrate, through the results of their actions, a cooperative effort to maintain or restore ecological function during transportation operations above the regulatory requirements. 

Bakwena’s public relations manager, Charmaine van Wyk, said the award bears testimony to the dedication and incredible work Wendy Collinson and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) have done in establishing and running the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme.

“Wendy and her team oversee numerous research projects that are working to address environmental concerns and challenges, through putting plans in place to implementing mitigation methodologies – incredibly making them one of the first African NGOs to do this.” 

Bakwena holds a 30-year Concession Contract with the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 385km of road. 

A mutually beneficial partnership 

The Wildlife and Transport Programme includes valuable training that is provided by the EWT to Bakwena’s route patrollers on wildlife incident data collection, species identification and mitigation measures.  

By developing wildlife incident data collection and the management thereof, the negative impacts of transport infrastructure on wildlife are reduced. 

Fraser Shilling of the Road Ecology Centre at UC Davis and the main organisers of ICOET said: “The EWT unites industry and wildlife impacts in Africa, working towards shared objectives, expanding knowledge, and understanding how to ultimately minimise threats to wildlife.” 

Road safety is one of Bakwena’s core pillars, which is why this project is so significant. Bakwena has supported various initiatives by the EWT over the past eight years.  

In addition to being a core supporter of the Wildlife and Transport Programme, it has also supported the organisation’s Livestock Guarding Dog Project, part of the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme. 

Van Wyk concluded: “Bakwena is proud to be a partner and supporter of an organisation such as the EWT. Their dedication and commitment in protecting and preserving the country’s precious wildlife is recognised and appreciated.  

“We thank the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Wendy for the exceptional work they are doing to protect one of this country’s greatest resources – its wildlife.” 

TRAVEL CONDITIONS ON THE N3 TOLL ROUTE

Always reduce speed and keep headlights switched on when visibility is affected. This also applies in misty and wet weather conditions. 

Always reduce speed and keep headlights switched on when visibility is affected. This also applies in misty and wet weather conditions.

Although a few drops of rain have been reported since the turn of the season, conditions along most parts of the N3 Toll Route are still very dry and windy.  

Veldfires remain a high risk and can create challenges for drivers. 

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) and N3TC entered into a Concession Contract in 1999, which gave N3TC the responsibility to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the N3 Toll Route for a period of 30 years. 

“Our weather remains unpredictable and can quickly change from a beautiful, clear spring day to high winds or temperatures dropping sharply. It is therefore best to be prepared before you set out on your journeys and to heed warnings,” explained Praveen Sunderlall, manager of N3TC’s road incident management systems (RIMS). 

Always reduce speed and keep headlights switched on when visibility is affected. This also applies in misty and wet weather conditions.  

It is not uncommon to experience strong winds in mountainous areas, such as Van Reenen’s Pass, where the pass can act as funnel for wind.  

High winds can cause sudden gusts making large vehicles or vehicles towing caravans or trailers difficult to control.  

Always reduce your speed and keep both hands on the wheel in these conditions. 

N3TC operates a 24-hour Route Control Centre (RCC) from where any information about the route and travel conditions can be accessed.  

Problems can also be reported to the RCC and emergency assistance obtained.  

Stay in touch with N3TC by contacting the RCC on its helpline number, 0800 63 4357, or via Twitter: @N3Route 

For your convenience, you can now also tune into the N3 Radio app, which has updates on traffic flows and news relevant to motorists on the N3 route. In addition, N3 Radio broadcasts wonderful stories about the region, its people and places. 

Access the app by downloading it on your mobile devices. It is available from both Android and iOS App Stores. 

Upgrading the N3 Toll Route 

Travellers are reminded that major construction work is currently underway along three sections of the N3 Toll Route: 

  • Cedara to Nottingham Road 
  • Van Reenen’s Pass 
  • Warden to Villiers 

N3TC’s commercial manager, Con Roux, said: “Road worksincluding maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrades, are essential to maintain our transport networks, to extend their lifespan and ensure we keep our economy moving. It is a necessary inconvenience that may cause traffic disruptions and frustrations for both construction workers and road users. 

“At N3TC we carefully plan and manage our construction programmes to limit disruptions, especially during peak periods such as long weekends and holidays. At peak times only essential works are carried out, but lane closures and reduced speed limits may remain in place at existing construction zones. Road users are advised to pay careful attention to temporary yellow warning signs indicating construction zones as well as their cautionary instructions.” 

BAKWENA’S DRAMA FOR CHANGE INITIATIVE A HUGE SUCCESS

This project is in its seventh year and involves learners from 17 schools from communities close to the N1N4 route. 

Bakwena holds a 30-year Concession Contract with the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 385km of road.

Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Limited (Bakwena)’s flagship project, Drama For Change, once again culminated in two final events, which were held on the 5 and 12 October 2019.  

Bakwena holds a 30-year Concession Contract with the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain 385km of road. 

Drama for Change 

This project is in its seventh year and involves learners from 17 schools from communities close to the N1N4 route.  

Powerful social messages, sourced from both the learners’ schools and their communities, are performed through drama. 

The first event saw nine schools from Ramotshere Moiloa area taking part in the final event held on 5 October at the Lehurutshe Civic Centre. 

At the second event held on 12 October, eight schools from Madibeng and Kgetleng Rivier performed their plays at Borolelo Community Hall. 

Bakwena partnered with Monde Mayephu from Rare Arts Productions and CapaSity (Pty) Limited, to train Drama Pioneers from Dinokana and Bapong in drama and peer education, to enable the learners to develop their dramas around social issues affecting the youth of today in their communities. 

Charmaine van Wyk, Public Relations manager at Bakwena said: “The main objective of the campaign is to encourage the youth to make responsible decisions based on the social challenges and risks they are faced in their daytoday lives”. 

The drama themes included road safety, domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, discrimination (physical disability), homophobia, mob justice, community dissent and femicide. 

Adjudicators were an independent documentary professional, a local artist, two senior drama pioneers and a representative from Department of Health, who judged both events and selected the best performances of the day.  

At the Lehurutshe event, Ramatu won best Overall Performance and Ngotwane was the runner-up, while at the Borolelo event, Johane Mokolobetsi walked off with the winning performance and two schools tied for second position, namely Moedwil and St Teresa. 

Van Wyk said all performances from the learners were on a high level and conveyed powerful social messages.  

She said: “The Drama for Change initiative encourages young people to explore the issues that affect them most in a deeply personal way. Through this project we hope to encourage and assist young people to make affirming decisions in their lives. 

“We thank our partners and all the learners, teachers and Drama Pioneers for their dedication and hard work which was evident in the quality and professionalism of both drama events.” 

Belfast-Machado roadworks still on course

Roadworks are expected to take 36 months to complete, and to date, no delays have been experienced according to the contractor, WBHO Construction. 

TRAC prides itself on offering quality road infrastructure which requires regular upgrades, rehabilitation and routine maintenance. 

The extensive upgrade between Belfast and Machadodorp on the N4 Toll Route is progressing well, with 17% already complete. 

The R400-million project commenced earlier this year and will see 30km of Section 5B rehabilitated and upgraded to a four-lane carriageway.  

Roadworks are expected to take 36 months to complete, and to date, no delays have been experienced according to the contractor, WBHO Construction. 

The initiative will not only benefit road users but the local community too.  

In line with an MOU signed between the eMakhazeni Local Municipality, Trans African Concessions (TRAC), SANRAL and WBHO/Motheo JV 21 local small, medium and micro-enterprises have already been appointed while 278 jobs have been created. 

Blasting of the cutting at KM41.0 is progressing well with scheduled blasts occurring every week or biweekly.  

Notifications for blasts can be seen along the route – near the roadworks – and on TRAC’s social media pages. 

Several traffic accommodations have been implemented and will remain in place throughout the construction period, including speed reductions, contraflows and occasional Stop/Go’s.  

Road users are urged to visit our website, www.tracn4.co.zafor regular updates to assist them to plan their trips accordingly. 

TRAC prides itself on offering quality road infrastructure which requires regular upgrades, rehabilitation and routine maintenance.  

Roadworks may at times cause traffic disruptions and therefore TRAC would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding at construction zones.    

CATCH THEM YOUNG – ENGAGE YOUR CHILDREN ON ROAD SAFETY

Increased community involvement, pro-active approaches, and individual responsibility and actions are desperately needed to influence and change behaviours to stem the carnage on our roads. 

SANRAL and N3TC entered into a Concession Contract in 1999, which gave N3TC the responsibility to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the N3 Toll Route for a period of 30-years. 

Use traveling time with your children to teach them about road safety in a fun, interactive way.  

“Young minds are impressionable and the sooner we start educating them about road safety, the better our chances of raising responsible road users and young drivers,” stressed N3TC’s commercial manager, Con Roux. 

SANRAL and N3TC entered into a Concession Contract in 1999, which gave N3TC the responsibility to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the N3 Toll Route for a period of 30-years. 

In 2016 it was estimated that worldwide 1.25-million people die annually due to road crashes and a further 50-million people suffer varying degrees of injuries as a result thereof.  

By 2030, road traffic crashes are expected to become the fifthleading cause of global fatalities. 

“Increased community involvement, pro-active approaches, and individual responsibility and actions are desperately needed to influence and change behaviours to stem the carnage on our roads,” explained Roux. 

Role of parents and caregivers 

Parents and caregivers can help turn this tide by modelling responsible behaviour and using children’s natural curiosity to start teaching them about safety and the rules of the road from a very young age. 

Start by teaching your children the language of road safety by pointing out the various parts that make up roads such as pavements, emergency lanes, right, centre and left lanes, road signs, lighting, solid and broken lines, road and street names and more.  

Also teach them about the different types of vehicles and people working on roads, from construction workers to cleaners, police, ambulances, traffic police and the fire brigade. 

Make it fun by playing “I spy with my little eye” or counting games. 

As children grow older and their knowledge and experience of roads develop, key safety messages can be shared and discussions evolve.  

Even teens, who may think they “know it all” or may feel invincible, can benefit by playing out different scenarios and thinking about the type of actions or interventions they can take to achieve desired outcomes in different situations. 

Roux said: “Remember to always be a good role model to your children, whether you are the driver or passenger in a vehicle, riding a bicycle or a pedestrian. Children imitate adults, most notably their parents or close family members.  

“Let’s teach our children to be good citizens and to take responsibility for their actions. Ultimately, road safety is about stopping fatalities and serious injuries and it is crucial that we start taking it seriously. Your actions always speak louder than your words.” 

Numerous resources are available online, at retail outlets and from community organisations to guide you and your children to be responsible road users.  

Make sure you stay familiar with the rules of the road, what the common risks are and how to prevent these.  

Always consider these when you get in a vehicle or on the road – practice makes perfect. 

Never worry when we blast

Most of the blasting is done to improve the horizontal and vertical alignment along a cutting.   

There is not a lot of blasting on South Africa’s national roads. But, when there is, it is good to know that it is always handled by experts.  

But why blast?  

In technical terms, most of the blasting is done to improve the horizontal and vertical alignment along a cutting.  

More simply, it is necessary when widening a road, smoothing out curves and improving sight distance, all of which are major contributors to better road safety.  

SANRAL does not undertake blasting.  

Rather, the job is handled by a contractor who has a proper blasting licence and uses specialist blasting sub-contractors with safety personnel in attendance.  

Blasting is carefully circumscribed: It is the controlled use of explosives to break rock for excavation and to reduce the rock to a size suitable for use in road construction.  

Before any blasting can commence, the area is cordoned off and all people, livestock and vehicles are moved to a point of safety.  

Barricades are erected and are manned to prevent any movement back into the area. It is then declared safe.  

The police are present to assist, the area is again checked, and sirens are sounded.  

After the blast, qualified personnel go back into the area to make sure all is safe.  

Debris is cleared, barricades and signage removed and only then is the road reopened for all. 

Strict rules for blasting 

Where and when it is necessary to do blasting to upgrade a road, strict rules apply.  

  • People living in the area where blasting will take place, as well as motorists, are warned well in advance.  
  • Nobody is allowed within 500m of the blast and safety personnel ensure that no individuals or vehicles enter the blasting area.  

The most recent blasting took place on the R72 Section 3 (KM 49.24) to Section 4 (KM 16.0) between Birah River and Openshaw Village on Tuesday, 15 October from 3pm – 5pm.