Eastern Cape, 24 October 2021 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) notes with disappointment the electioneering stunt by the Democratic Alliance (DA). In their attempt to garner votes, the DA made a misleading comparison between the R62/Langkloof Road in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape provincial boundary.

“Comparing the road surface at the boundary point, without context or accurate content, is mischievous and ill-informed at best, but disingenuous and malicious at worst. Creating the impression that the Western Cape Government delivers good roads while SANRAL ignores its road safety engineering mandate is simply devoid of any truth. On the contrary, the International Road Federation (IRF) in 2020 officially recognised SANRAL’s road safety engineering efforts when it bestowed on the agency the 2020 IRF ‘Find a Way’ Global Road Safety Award.

“Furthermore, the deliberate distortion that the colouration of the seal depicts poor or good quality roads must also be rejected. This simply speaks to the colour of the aggregate and the material used. The DA would do well to not make everything about colour,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.

While the R62 is largely a provincial road, the Eastern Cape section was transferred to SANRAL by the provincial government in 2012. Taking into account the primary mandate of developing and maintaining the national road network, as well as the available budget, SANRAL took a decision to start the upgrade and rehabilitation of the R62 from the Humansdorp side, working towards the Western Cape Border.

SANRAL completed the first 33km of the upgrade in 2018, at a cost of R98 million and provided economic opportunities for 22 SMMEs (20 grade 1 CE, 1 Grade 3 CE and 1 grade 5 CE), with a wage bill of R9 059 207.12 for local labour. The works involved milling out of sections of the pavement layers, widening the road and then applying an appropriate seal. Guard rails and signage installation also formed part of the scope of works.

There are three more sections that are due to be resealed. Two of the three sections are in design stage and implementation of these projects are scheduled as follows:

  • R62 Section 6 from the WC/EC Boundary to Louterwater – the construction tender will be advertised by June 2022
  • R62 Section 7 from Joubertina to Kareedouw – the construction tender will be advertised by March 2023
  • R62 Section 6 from Louterwater to Joubertina – the construction tender will be advertised by September 2023

The implementation of these projects is staggered to minimise the inconvenience to road users as a result of traffic accommodation imperatives.

Since the start of the financial year in April, SANRAL has created economic opportunities for nearly1 000 SMMEs in the road construction sector across South Africa where our national roads are located, despite the COVID-19 constraints. Furthermore, in the last six months alone, SANRAL has created 13 293 job opportunities on projects across South Africa, on the national road network.

“SANRAL remains at the forefront of public sector infrastructure upgrades in South Africa’s economic recovery plan post COVID. We take our mandate to develop, finance and maintain the national road network very seriously and will continue to build South Africa through better roads,” concluded Peterson.