An 18 km stretch of the R511 road from the M26 to the border of North West in the Erasmia area was officially opened by the Gauteng MEC of Transport and Roads Ismail Vadi, on Monday.
The project has been completed under budget and almost two months ahead of schedule. The road passes through Erasmia and connects Sandton and Hartbeespoortdam in North West.
Gauteng Transport and Roads MEC, Ishmail Vadi, says the upgraded road will unlock new economic opportunities for the area and local communities.
“First we’ve had a 197 people working on this project. It’s subcontractors who’ve been involved for the last 18 months of the project. So there were very specific benefits for them. But I think for the wider community, it’s a high quality road, it will have a lifespan of 20 years. So there will be ease of mobility; and then from Gauteng to North West this is a key connector road. It is important for economic activities and trade between our two provinces, particularly the freight industry and the agricultural sector.”
R511 to Hartebeespoort Dam & North-West Province officially opened: project completed on time and within budget! pic.twitter.com/Jqgu81fxNs
— Ismail Vadi (@ismailvadi) October 22, 2018
Community members are especially excited about the safety features on the R147 million rand upgraded road.
Community members — who were sub-contractors on the project — received certificates indicating their newly acquired skills. Vadi says the project should serve as an example of how a contract should be managed.
“It was certainly within budget and within the time frames, in fact the contractor completed the project almost two months before time. We’re very proud of that unfortunately other projects get delayed for any number of reasons, contractor problems, labour problems, community protest and projects get delayed but this one is a real success story.”
One such project is the other half of the R511 road that leads past Diepsloot. That project is over its extended deadline and has recently been delayed even further.
“There are huge problems. I think the major reason is that the contractor, Liber Construction, has had financial problems. That project was valued at almost R500 million and one of the biggest contracts in the Gauteng Transport Department. So there was financial problems and we were lead to believe that the company has asked for business rescue, and we extended the deadlines for almost three times, but the contractor unfortunately couldn’t finish the contract and we are at a point now where the project has stalled. As far as I know he has left the site altogether and we had no choice to take him off the contract.”
Vadi says they are in the process of advertising for a new contractor.