Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the country’s national road network is an important catalyst for unlocking economic activities on the platinum highway between Gauteng and North West provinces, as well as between South Africa and neighbouring countries.
He was speaking at the official opening of the R512 Pampoennek road in the North West Province. The opening of the road means that motorists will enjoy a free flow of traffic and there will be a better link to the North West from Gauteng, also ensuring that long distance movements do not interfere with local traffic.
“This road gives expression to the notion that transport is the heartbeat of the South African economy, playing an integral part to the country’s economic growth. Roads are an integral part of the South Africa’s transport system and are important infrastructure to enable economic activity and access to social amenities,” says Mbalula.
As part of its ongoing distinct mandate to finance, improve, manage and maintain the national road network – often referred to as the country’s “economic arteries” – the Pampoennek road demonstrates the South African National Road Agency SOC Limited’s (SANRAL) commitment in investing in road infrastructure; a commitment that is aimed at addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality as well as making roads an impetus to growing the local economy.
Built at a cost of R377 million, the road stretches from the R512 to the west of the Hartbeespoort Dam through Pampoennek, connecting easily to the N4.
SANRAL CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma echoes the sentiments that the completion of this project demonstrates SANRAL’s ongoing commitment in improving the socio-economic conditions of the people that live around it.
“This project demonstrates that it is possible to transform the construction industry through road infrastructure projects and to also have effective community participation in government projects. All of this finds expression in our long-term Horizon 2030 strategy, which enables and ensures that local community members and SMMEs benefit from our projects. Where the road passes, development follows, and we look forward to seeing more development in this area”, says Macozoma.
Through Horizon 2030, SANRAL has a proactive response to create a national road transport system that delivers a better life for citizens that live alongside its projects.
The construction of the Pampoennek route generated 209 permanent jobs for locals with a R27 460 060.65 expenditure till end of July this year. About 180 locals were offered an opportunity to undergo training with an accredited training service provider and a total of R430 855 was allocated to skills development. Twelve sub-contractors were also employed to the project, with R75m allocated to these sub-contractors.
In the North West SANRAL is already working on the N14, N12 as well as the N18 national roads. As the roads agency continues to develop these corridors, it also continues to work with its partners in both the public and private sectors.