SANRAL has been involved in contributing to educational and social aspects of communities and encourages its contractors to do likewise.
Developing and uplifting communities is part of the SANRAL ethos.
The roads agency does not just develop physical infrastructure in the form of roads and bridges – it also ensures that the communities along the country’s roads develop socially and economically as well.
Since its establishment two decades ago, SANRAL has ensured that a significant portion of its work benefits the local labour force, including SMMEs, situated close to the national road network.
SANRAL has also been involved in contributing to educational and social aspects of communities and encourages its contractors to do likewise.
During upgrading of the N1 road between Winburg Interchange and Winburg Station in the Free State, the contractor WBHO Roads & Earthworks (Pty) Ltd, was involved in several community projects.
“A big lesson we learned on the project was that giving back to the community does not always have to be big things – even the small things can put a smile on faces,” said Sarel van der Walt of WBHO.
“We got to know ‘Sweet Revenge’ in Winburg, which is the name of a netball team that did not have any netball gear and played with an old deflated ball.
“We sponsored a netball kit and a new ball. Seeing how happy they were even with such a small act of kindness changed our day more than it changed theirs.”
Another community project that WBHO sponsored was a group of women calling themselves “Ke le mong” who trained women in sewing.
WBHO allowed the women to use their training venue for five months and donated two sewing machines to the group. The women are now making uniforms for a school in Winburg.
When children in the area struggled to get to school during the rainy season as they had to cross an area that was prone to flooding, WBHO built a walkway through the area with culverts.
Another WBHO project was a community water pipeline that pumped water from a borehole west of the N1 to the community on the eastern side.
“The aim of the pipeline was to avoid people crossing the N1 to get water and putting themselves at danger with the moving traffic.
“Strong winds damaged the windmill and we had to replace it, but before replacing it, we got the children of the community to make imprints of their hands on the windmill blades with paint. We hope that it will remain there as a reminder of the unity we had on the project, and what we can achieve when working together,” Van der Walt said.