NORTH WEST HOLIDAY TRAVELLERS CAN EXPECT A SMOOTH RIDE, THANKS TO SANRAL AND OPERATION VALA ZONKE
North West, 21 December 2022 – Holidaymakers travelling in the North West province this month can expect a smooth ride according to the South African National Roads Agency Limited SOC Limited (SANRAL).
The roads agency, together with the North West Department of Public Works and Roads, has halted construction work on all major routes in the province to ease traffic congestion during the festive rush.
Thousands of travellers are expected to take to major routes in the North West such as the N12 and N14 as they make their way home or to holiday destinations.
Road users will also feel the benefits of Operation Vala Zonke, the national Department of Transport’s pothole fixing campaign, which is being driven by SANRAL.
The aim of the initiative is to repair all potholes across the country by February next year, in conjunction with provincial governments and district and local municipalities.
The North West set itself a pothole repair target of 61 000m² over four districts and has made significant progress in fixing roads in the province.
Madoda Mthembu, operations and maintenance manager for SANRAL’s Northern Region road network – which spans the provinces of Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga – assured motorists that there were no major road construction projects in the North West from the borders of Gauteng to the Northern Cape or through to Botswana.
“There will be slight routine road maintenance activities to patch emergency potholes on the N12 and N14, but there are no stop-and-go disruptions.
“The pothole repair teams will only be there for a day or two, for real emergencies.
“Meanwhile, on the R504 between Wolmaransstad and Leeudoringstad, there is some road construction that could cause some stop-and-go situations, if the contractor does not provide bypasses. But the roads should generally be quite open,” Mthembu said.
SANRAL started its preparations months ahead of the festive road frenzy, responding to urgent calls such as one for the resurfacing and repair of the R504 between Wolmaransstad and Schweizer-Reneke.
The R504 is a major provincial road that connects the agricultural towns of Leeudoringstad, Wolmaransstad, Schweizer-Reneke and Greater-Taung in the North West to the agricultural hub of Bothaville in the Free State, as well as the iron-ore mining operations in Kuruman, Kathu and Postmasburg in the Northern Cape.
Long stretches of the busy road, that bears the transit burden of thousands of vehicles a month – mainly heavy freight, impacted on the condition of the road.
The current construction work being undertaken by SANRAL will address the condition of the road and lead to improved riding quality for the drivers. This will ultimately improve road safety in line with SANRAL’s strategic objectives for the national road network.
Following Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s call for intervention on the N12, SANRAL mobilised a rapid response team to deal with the identified issues on the national route.
The agency also mobilised its routine road maintenance teams and the existing contractors in the vicinity of the N12 to assist.
As part of the Provincial Accelerated Service Delivery Plan to rid the province of the scourge of recurring potholes, the North West provincial government, through its Department of Public Works and Roads, launched a Zero Tolerance Drive Against Potholes in July.
Over R120 million had been set aside for the project, which is currently in full swing across the North West province.
Holidaymakers heading to Sun City outside Rustenburg do not have to worry about their tyres after a public-private partnership in July resulted in the repair of numerous potholes along the 75km stretch of the R556 which leads to the internationally popular resort.
Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, which manages the N1 between Pretoria and Bela Bela in Limpopo, and the N4 going west from Pretoria to the Botswana border, has assured motorists that they are working tirelessly to keep delays on the ongoing 18-month N4 rehabilitation to a minimum.
Work is taking place between Majakaneng and Bapong, and Bakwena has pledged to return the road to full capacity as soon as possible.
“Road safety remains, as always, our top priority. In order to ensure this, we request that you partner with us and adhere to road signs, obey speed regulations and exercise caution,” said Solomon Kganyago, chief operating officer at Bakwena.