Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga inspects R340 million upgrade of R22 in KwaNgwanase Town, Kwazulu-Nata


Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga inspects R340 million upgrade of R22 in
KwaNgwanase Town, Kwazulu-Natal

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga at the official opening of the R22 in KwaNgwanase with iNkosi Tembe of
KwaNgwanase and MEC of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison in KZN

KwaNgwanase Town, 3 May 2024 – Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga officially opened the R340 million upgraded R22 in KwaNgwanase Town in the uMhlabuyalingana Local Municipality, undertaken by the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL).

“Today we are again making history in the most rural part of South Africa, where under normal circumstances there would not be such development. This section of the road through KwaNgwanase Town was upgraded from one lane to two lanes per direction by SANRAL. This construction led to people being employed, skills were developed,SMMEs were given the opportunity to construct the road. With any road that we build as the Department of Transport, it is not only for the transportation of goods and the transportation people, but it is also about the growth of the economy,” said Minister Chikunga.

Minister Chikunga inspected the 3km stretch of the R22 which included a 2.8km bypass road which was completed in June 2023. The work through town includes additional travel lanes and new sidewalks, while the 2.8km IYK bypass road was upgraded to surfaced standard as part of this project. This road will provide improved long-term local access to the community.“This is a state-of-the-art road, the quality is superb and therefore we do not anticipate any potholes in the near future. As we construct roads as SANRAL, we also budget for maintenance and therefore ours is a complete package of construction and maintenance,” added Minister Chikunga.

The Minister added that there will be further construction with the building of two dual lanes coming into and exiting the town creating further jobs for local communities.

Stressing the importance of the R22, Minister Chikunga said: “This is a national road because it now connects South Africa to Mozambique, and today this road is open for transportation of people and goods, and for use for the growth of the economy in the area. This road will also attract tourists to this area as we have the Smangaliso Wetlands here which is one of the largest wetlands in the world.”

Other benefits to the community include the construction of 52 market stalls where some of the informal traders within the R22 road reserve are to be relocated. With regard to the stalls built by SANRAL, Minister Chikunga said that the Agency places much significance on the informal traders as they are the people who are the future of South Africa’s economy. The manner in which these have been built is for the safety of these traders. We know that there are people here and they too deserve better.”

Commenting on opportunities that were created for local communities, the Minister stressed that “R94m was spent on Small Medium and Micro enterprises (SMME), a portion of which has gone to women and persons living with disabilities owned companies. It’s been a comprehensive package that takes into account not only all vulnerable people but also the target groups including young people, women, people living with disabilities.

“It’s not only about construction of roads but about skills development, job opportunities being created, it’s about people who own companies who sometimes join on Grade 1 but by the end of the project they’ve improved on their grades.”

Assessing the progress on the Operation Vala Zonke Pothole Repair Programme in the uMhlabuyalingana Local Municipality, Minister Chikunga said that “not only should roads be trafficable, they should also be free of potholes because they are too costly for road users, leading to vehicle damages and accidents. Therefore, the work that is being done today is to ensure that our roads are trafficable.”

Regarding contracts for local SMMEs and subcontractors, SANRAL CEO Reginald Demana said “434 labour was employed with a total spend of R59m. This project stimulated the local economy. One of the most important aspects of the R22 is that it connects South Africa with Mozambique at the Kosi Bay border post. We need to expand these roads because this area includes the world famous Smangaliso Wetlands which attracts many tourists from within our country and abroad”.

At the public engagement, Minister Chikunga distributed bicycles to learners from surrounding schools as part of the Shova Kalula Bicycle Handover Project.