Upgrading of R67 link between Makhanda and Fort Beaufort has concluded

The repair and resurfacing of the R67 between Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) and Fort Beaufort, linking 12 significant intersections in the Eastern Cape, has concluded.

The R67 between Makhanda and Fort Beaufort is located between the District Municipalities of Sarah Baartman and Amathole and are in the Local Municipalities of Makana and Raymond Mhlaba (previously known and Nkonkobe).

The R226 million project, which comprised the surfacing of the gravel shoulders, repair and resurfacing of the R67 Section 2 from the intersection with the N2 in the south (Makhanda) to the intersection with the R63 in the north (Fort Beaufort), provides a regional link between various smaller towns in the middle part of the province.

The road previously fell under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works (ECDRPW) until April 2012 and prior to that received limited asset preservation maintenance.

“The road was repaired where required, resurfaced, gravel shoulders surfaced to widen certain sections to improve safety, and new road markings, signs and road studs were installed,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.

Approximately 70.7 km of the road resurfaced extends northwards from the intersection to the national road N2 near Makhanda (km 0.0 road marker) to the intersection with the national road R63 at Fort Beaufort (km 70.7 road marker).

The roadworks comprised preventative special maintenance and included: surfacing of narrow gravel shoulders to reduce edge break maintenance; construction of a double seal with a S-E1 modified binder; construction of a double seal with a S-E1 modified binder in the Ecca Pass; milling off and replacement of asphalt to bridge decks;  subsoil drains; concrete-lined drains; concrete foot paths and edge beams; earthworks for rest areas, finishing of the road reserve; fencing; road signs; installation of roadside furniture at rest areas; construction of a roadside vendor area and refurbishment of a historical monument along the route.

Some of the significant intersections encountered along the route are:

  • N2 (Km 0 road marker – Grahamstown)
  • Municipal Road (MR0086) (west) to Km 0.2 road marker Grahamstown
  • Link road to Grahamstown (Km1.1 road marker)
  • District Road (DR02039) (east) to Committees Drift (Km9 road marker)
  • District Road DR20396 (east) to Glen Melville Dam (Km 15.4 road marker)
  • District Road DR02043 (west) to Krans Drift and District Road DR02044 (east) to Committees Drift (Km 21.2 road marker)
  • Entrance to Fort Brown police station (Km 22.6 road marker)
  • District Road DR02055 (west) to Douglas Heights (Km 28.2 road marker)
  • District Road DR92044 (west) to Prieel (Km 50.6 road marker)
  • District Road DR02059 (west) to Prieel (Km 50.6 road marker)
  • District Road DR02475 (east) (Km 63.2 road marker)
  • District Road DR024461 (west) (Km 68.8 road marker); and
  • R63 (Km 70.7 road marker).

“Community development was also a key initiative on the project where 29 Targeted Enterprises were employed to work on various parts of the works in order to achieve the targeted enterprise expenditure set by SANRAL,” said Peterson.

Accredited training was provided to 360 people who attended various courses. Training included tendering for construction contracts; fencing; slurry placing; health and safety awareness; environmental awareness; basic first aid; road safety for construction works; use and maintain basic hand tools; use and maintain power hand tools; concrete handling, placing and finishing; basic shuttering; paving; steel fixing; road safety for construction workers; apply health and safety on a construction site; and risk assessment.

Mandisa Zixesha owner of Nema Distributors had a two-year contract working on the project.

“We were initially awarded the contract for clearing bush and erecting a 16 km fence but after we showed great construction skill, performed well and that our staff were willing individuals while finishing everything before the deadline; we were given the opportunity to complete a job which could not be finished by a previous contractor. That is how we landed working on a 4km sub-soil drains contract,” said Zixesha.

Nema Distributors, located in Fort Beaufort, started as a CIDB Level 1 CE and 1 SQ and upgraded to 2 CEPE and 2 SQ.  During the contract she employed 12 people, alternating between seven or eight people per project.

“We gained valuable experience while working on this project. The certificate of completion we received, and experience gained while working on this project will allow us to be more confident when we tender for other projects.

“We are happy the road has been upgraded. In the past the road was bad to drive on and bridges were not up to standard. The road was bumpy and small. The widening of the road has improved the road and it is safer to travel on,” she said.

Some staff also received training in risk assessment, health and safety and basic first aid and received NQF level 2 certificates upon completion.

Mbulelo Kitsili owner of Kitsili Trading was contracted to build furniture and paving for three rest areas over four months. He employed seven people on the project.

Kitsili Trading is based in Grahamstown and started as a CIDB level 1. “Once we receive the certificate of completion, we hope to upgrade to CICB level 3,” said Kitsili.

Kitsili underwent risk assessment training and received an NQF level 2 certificate upon completion.

“Some motorists make use of the rest areas and I believe others will be encouraged to take necessary breaks before heading back on their journey.”

Kitsili added that his goal is to continue working in the civil industry.

“I look forward to other construction tendering opportunities and believe the experience gained and completion certificate will assist when you apply for other tenders,” said Kitsili.