Eastern Cape community helps rebuild own roads

The community of Whittlesea are manufacturing their own interlocking block pavers and concrete kerbs to improve their own roads.

Made by them for themselves. The community of Whittlesea doing it for themselves with the help of SANRAL.

More than three million interlocking block pavers and concrete kerbs are being manufactured by the Whittlesea community which will be used to improve road conditions and safety along the R67 national road in the Eastern Cape.

The interlocking block pavers and concrete blocks are manufactured on site.

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) has hired 123 unemployed people to work on the project, which started in November 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in July 2018.

“We hope to leave a legacy in Whittlesea,” said SANRAL project manager Lindelani Tsanwani.

SANRAL is in the process of selecting suitable candidates from the community who will attend further intensive training on how to run a block manufacturing business, Tsanwani added.

The R67 was declared a national road in 2012.

The community development project is one component of a number of projects in Whittlesea. “The interlocking blocks and concrete kerbs will be used to upgrade service roads in Tambo, Brakkloof, and McBride,” said Tsanwani. These service roads will link up with the R67 at different, safer intersections.

Community development

Former security guard Lumka Soxunjwa from Tambo Village spoke about how important the development project was to him. “I dreamt of working in the construction industry. I always wanted to upgrade the roads where we live and create jobs for unemployed people.

Soxunjwa underwent training and in 2015 registered his company in Whittlesea. “SANRAL has taught me so much, now I can work with my hands.”

Thandeka Bobotyani from Brakkloof was thankful for the training received from Inkanyiso Consulting, and the improvements it had brought to his living conditions. “The project is very helpful …. The stipend we receive helped us buy electricity and put food on the table …. The training taught me how to save money and also the importance of having a vision for where I see myself the next five years.”

Nomthunzi Vokwana from Tambo Village was excited – and appreciative – about being part of the project. “I have been in catering for years and I was a cleaner, but I have always wanted to work in the construction industry and SANRAL and Inkanyiso Consulting answered my prayers.”

SANRAL and Inkanyiso Consulting had provided members of the Whittlesea community with business skills, said Mlondozi Swaki from Brakkloof Village. “I can see where my construction career is going because of this project,” Swaki said. “This training has shown us that as small companies we are not forgotten and SANRAL has shown that they really care about us.”

Among the skills taught were how to work out pricing, skills in civil engineering, and how to calculate quantities and compile payment certificates. “I am so grateful to SANRAL and Inkanyiso Consulting for the opportunity: they really equipped us to do a lot of things.”