SANRAL and KSD Local Municipality assess state of R411 Coffee Bay road
Eastern Cape, 11 May 2023 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) and the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) Local Municipality conducted an inter-governmental site assessment of the R411 Viedgesville to Coffee Bay road on Wednesday, 10 May 2023.
A delegation led by a Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) of KSD Local Municipality, Councillor Ziyanda Nokayi, and SANRAL’s Southern Regional Manager, Mr Mbulelo Peterson, embarked on a site assessment to evaluate progress in emergency repairs on the R411 Viedgesville to Coffee Bay road – a major road leading to the popular tourist town.
“Today’s site visit was three-pronged in that we sought to assess progress made in the emergency pothole repair work that commenced last November after our appointment of the contractor, Rainbow Civils,” said Peterson.
“The visit also sought to assess the extent of damage to the three bridges that collapsed along the road from the floods that hit the Coffee Bay area in March this year, and to introduce to the municipality the contractor, Razzmatazz, which was appointed on 5 May 2023.”
Peterson explained that SANRAL had facilitated the site visit to introduce the contractor to the municipality, the local leadership (iNkosi and Ward Councillor) and Project Liaison Committee (PLC) to enable prompt commencement of work to restore the approaches to the bridge structures and, in turn, accessibility for the surrounding communities.
“As KSD Local Municipality, we appreciate that SANRAL has delivered on their promise that the potholes on this road would be attended to with urgency. We are happy with the progress and with SANRAL’s work in this community. We also understand that the bigger project that was announced by the former Transport Minister will be implemented in the next three to four years and look forward to that,” said Councillor Nokayi.
Derrick Mdibaniso, a member of the Mqanduli Taxi Association, who is also a PLC member for the bridge repairs project, commended the difference made by the pothole repairs done thus far along this route, which is also a taxi route, and looks forward to completion of all the repairs, especially towards the second half of the road that is in very bad condition.
The R411 Viedgesville to Coffee Bay road was transferred from a provincial road to SANRAL’s portfolio in August 2022. When SANRAL took over the 75km stretch of road, the first 30km of the road was in a fair condition, with evidence of isolated potholes, and the next 35km in a very bad condition. The road suffered further damage following floods experienced earlier this year, which worsened its poor state and led to the washaway of the approaches to the three bridges.
The emergency repairs, started last year by Rainbow Civils, are focused on pothole repairs, drainage systems, edge build-up removal and construction of edge beams where required, shoulder repairs where high drop offs are encountered, and pavement construction. The repairs have reached their halfway mark and completion is anticipated at the end of August. Four local SMMEs will be subcontracted thus far and more are expected to be engaged. This emergency contract will create up to 45 job opportunities on completion.
Mkhuseli Tofa of Kula Afrika Projects, a local company subcontracted for layer works on the emergency repair contract says this is a great opportunity that will see his company upgrading from a grade 7CE to a grade 8CE in 2024. “I am learning something new every day on this contract, especially with SANRAL’s road construction standards that we must adhere to,” he said.
The bridge repairs contract commenced on 9 May 2023. It is currently in the mobilisation phase and anticipated to conclude within a 12-month period. A minimum of 30 percent of the R80 million contract value will be subcontracted to targeted enterprises.
Councillor Nokayi said that the local leadership and the fully-representative elected PLC structure would ensure that the project is implemented smoothly and that locals benefit and participate meaningfully in the bridge repair work.
“SANRAL must work closely with the municipality to see how best to enhance the deviation road the municipality constructed after the floods, as this will be used in the interim while the Nenga Bridge is being repaired,” she added.
Peterson pointed to a prevailing challenge with bridge structures across the Eastern Cape province that experience clogging by debris and tree logs, leading to flooding and being washed away. He promised that once SANRAL commences working on the bigger project to reconstruct the Coffee Bay Road in the next three to four years, the three bridges would be assessed and be considered for reconstruction, depending on the outcome of the assessment.
Nkosi Ngubendlovu Pali, of Qhugi Village in Coffee Bay where the Nenga Bridge is situated, welcomed the intervention by SANRAL to fix the three bridges. “It’s been difficult for the community that has been using a ladder to cross the road. That has been especially difficult for the elderly. We are grateful for SANRAL’s intervention to repair the bridges for this community,” he said.