MEC Marawu hands over recently surfaced R337 to Ikwezi

AUGUST 1, 2014
Eastern Cape MEC for Transport, Roads and Public Works, Honorable Thandiswa Marawu celebrates with Ikwezi Local Municipality Mayor, Sizwe Mngwevu and other Ikwezi Municipality councilors.

The Eastern Cape MEC for Transport, Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu, officially handed over an upgraded and surfaced R337 roadway – which links Jansenville and Klipplaat, to the Ikwezi community on the 6th of May at the Jansenville Rugby field.

The upgrading project, which cost R66 million, entailed the reconstruction of the existing road pavement beginning with clearing and grubbing, excavation and placing of new pipe crossings with headwalls, storm water structures, fencing, guardrails, open cut-off drains and gabions, construction of new pavement layers, sub-base and base course, surfacing and sundry ancillary road works with the road construction.

“Government made it a priority, in 1994, to transform the lives of our people. Electricity, houses and well-paved roads are some of those priorities,” MEC Marawu told Klipplaat and Jansenville residents who joined officials from her department, the Cacadu District and the Ikwezi Local Municipality at the handover.

“Our top priority as the Department of Roads and Public Works is service delivery and it is evident here in Jansenville. The lives of the community of Jansenville have been made easier with this initiative and the department is proud to have done that for the community.”

She said that the R337 upgrading, which was handled ‘in-house’ by her department, was the only project of its kind in the Eastern Cape where local residents directly benefited.

A total number of 212 residents were employed and 62 benefited from an NQF Level 1 - 4 learnership programme run as part of the project. The department also focused on helping the youth and women gain skills, hence 49 youngsters were employed in the learnership programme, while 79 were employed as temporary employees. 18 Women also benefited from learnerships, while 49 were employed as temporary workers.

 “How I wish all the other regions could learn from this example,” said MEC Marawu. “10 Young people trained on this project have found permanent employment throughout the province; one has already been given a bursary to study engineering at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth.

“There are several local subcontractors who received training during the project, while accommodation for some workers on the project was provided by local B&B’s.”

She said that government has also committed to refurbish the R338, which links Klipplaat and Aberdeen. Her department will also ensure that the Ikwezi Local Municipality gets its own plant to maintain local roads and that residents will be skilled for that purpose.

“Having proper infrastructure ensures that investment can occur in our areas. It is a way to boost the local economy here and throughout our province,” explained the MEC.

Other future projects include building a youth-run backpackers and 24-hour shops as an alternative to the infamous Jansenville truck-in.