Sep 26, 2018The completion of community access roads and haul routes are creating a safer route for pedestrian and motorists travelling between two villages in Lusikisiki, the South African National Roads Agency SOC LTd (SANRAL) announced on Wednesday.The completed roads are also connecting two municipal wards and traditional areas managed by two Chiefs.SANRAL’s 24-month project provided training for 11 SMMEs and 11 supervisors of which 73% were youth-owned SMME’s and 36% were women-owned SMME’s.In addition, there were 165 jobs created, and training was given to165 employees who were subsequently awarded NQF Level 2 certificates.“This Project forms part of the SANRAL’s Community Development Programme, which promotes safe movement for all road users, as well as community mobility through infrastructure upgrades and safety improvements.“The new road network (three separate but connected roads) will allow the community to travel safely from the rural areas to the interchange of the future N2 Wild Coast Road,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.Old gravel roads and earth track were upgraded. The scope of work included the construction of 4.5km of cape seal surfaced road with concrete at sections with steep gradient through the communities; building v-drains; manufacturing kerbs and bollards; construction of box culverts and upgrading access and parking area at two schools and an FET College.The road passes two fairly large well-established schools. Access by vehicle as well as safer pedestrian traffic will be offered by the new road and sidewalks.SMMEs with catering businesses also benefitted from the project and the structure that was built for training, is now being used by the community and schools.“The group of trainee contractors are all keen and should develop into future potential contractors,” said Gcobani Socenywa, SANRAL Southern Region project manager.The kerbs and bollards were manufactured on site. The kerbs were tested at Controlab in East London and passed the requirements for the SABS 927-1969. “Passing the SABS requirements is an indication of the training and quality control on site,” Peterson said.“Despite the community’s initial sceptism about the project now that it is completed, they are happy about the roads,” said Peterson.Further to SANRAL’s community development initiatives, former Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans were also employed as security guards on the project.Siphelele Msindwana and Lindiwe Nokhele formed Gandundu Nkungu JV, on the project and worked on 700m section of the road.Msindwana and Nokhele manufactured more than 3000 kerbs and more than 400 bollards which were used on the project. They also built v-drains and two box culverts (small bridges) that connects Mcobotini and Goso villages.“The culverts are built at areas where the river overflows and the overtops the road thus, making it difficult for people to cross, especially the students who have to attend school. We supplied the entire programme with kerbs,” said Msindwana.Msindwana and Nokhele look forward to growing their business.“We complement each other, and our experience will carry us forward. We hope we will upgrade to CIDB level 4 CEPE or CIDB level 5 CEPE.”“We have been tendering for work. The town is busy developing and we hope to be established business owners by then. The main challenge competing with large developed manufacturers,” Msindwana said.Andiswa Joyi and Siyanda Mredlana formed Khubega JV. Joyi said “at first the community did not want us to do the work but now that the work is done, they are happy about the roads”.“Before working on this project I was unemployed. I am happy that I got an opportunity to work on this project. My goal is to work on the N2 Wild Coast project,” said Joyi.Mthobeli Biyela was appointed as a public liaison officer (PLO) on 18 July 2016. He completed his N6 in Management Assistant at the Ingwe TVET College.“Before working on this project I was unemployed and today I own a car and I can provide for my family. We used to depend on my mother’s pension and child grant, today I am able to provide for my family. As the PLO I was appointed to work with Chiefs, Councillors, SMMEs and communities to talk about the project and the work being done on the community access road being built in Lusikisiki,” Biyela said.Additional trainingIt was not easy to find a locally qualified safety officer in Lusikisiki. SANRAL eventually found someone who ran her own safety officer business locally although not registered.“We assisted her in completing her application to be a registered health and safety officer to the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP). We also registered her with South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH) as a technical member, this gives her access to further training, information and updates and other opportunities.”During the project she worked on site as the safety officer under the guidance of the Safety Manager (Construction Manager on site). Four other residents also received training for health and safety.“The additional aim of the project was to deliver the outcomes in such a way that as much as possible of the total economic spend on the project remained within the community; and the input as many skills as possible onto the community,” Peterson said.On Tuesday, SANRAL alsoannounced the completion of access roads near Port St Johns.Main image: SAFER ROADS: Gcobani Socenywa, SANRAL Southern Region Project Manager and Dale Bickell, project site mentor inspect a culvert that was built so it would be safer for pedestrians and motorists to cross a river in Lusikisiki.Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.