SANRAL Project Manager Friedl van der Merwe is currently completing a R60 million upgrade project with three intersections on the N14 between Olifantshoek and Kathu, which is essential for improved mobility and road safety.
Kathu is a relatively small town, but increased mining activity in the region has significantly increased freight traffic, which has to be integrated with the regular traffic volumes. The use of roundabouts has enhanced mobility and traffic flow in the area.
“At the Kathu south circle there is a growing industrial development, with a significant heavy vehicle fleet going through the roundabout every day. We have increased the size of the roundabout to accommodate abnormal load vehicles, which require a wider turning circle than regular traffic,” Van der Merwe said.
The Northern Cape Growth and Development Plan prioritises the province’s industrial agenda, which also responds to the President’s call for infrastructure development to spearhead economic recovery post-COVID. The N14, also referred to as the Industrial Development Corridor, is a critical artery that serves as a foundation for industrial expansion and development across the Northern Cape, with development of the Kathu Industrial Park being central to this. This and other similar economic zones are key to driving the evolving economic landscape, all geared to support the Northern Cape’s vision of being a modern, growing and successful province.
“These road safety upgrades have also had a major economic impact, and to date have yielded approximately 60 local labour opportunities, where jobs and skills transfer for youth and women have been prioritised,” Van der Merwe added.
Transformation is at the core of SANRAL’s operations, and every effort was made to ensure that subcontractors from targeted enterprises were able to participate meaningfully in the project.
Contract manager at Baseline Contractors, Thomas Moolman, said they were able to incorporate 11 subcontractors and seven suppliers at a cost of just over R13 million. “We also provided training to the subcontractors and all their employees,” he added.
One of the subcontractors and Director at Raseroka Projects, Kenny Raseroka, was appointed to do electrical works on the project. “Our scope of work on this project is mainly on excavation. There is another company that lays the cables and does the electrifying. This project has given my company a major economic push and we are now looking at upgrading from a 1CE to a 2CE or even 3CE. This is really one of those projects that came to our region and unlocked opportunities and growth,” he said.
Raseroka acknowledges that they do not work every day, so they have had to plan carefully for the days when teams must work. “When we have more work, we can take on more of the local labour force, which really does make a difference within the community.”
The project is earmarked for completion in January 2024.