Official opening of the Franschhoek Pass
Statement by Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela during the official opening of the Franschhoek Pass
It is a great relief to mark the completion of the work on the Franschhoek Pass following a massive rock fall in June and July.
The Pass had to be closed for safety reasons on 22 June after a rock fall which damaged a passing vehicle. The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries.
Two weeks later, another rock fall occurred in the area on 3 July.
My Department together with the Cape Winelands District Municipality attended to the disaster on the same day. After an assessment by the Chief Structures Engineer, the site was closed and work had to be stopped to protect staff from potential dangers should another rock fall occur.
Our consultants conducted a thorough investigation and advised that the pass remain closed until a preliminary investigation is completed. No staff were allowed on site except under extreme monitored conditions. The geotechnical investigation commenced immediately thereafter to determine the extent and nature of the damage.
The final geotechnical report received on 25 July advised that loose material had to be removed from the affected area to prevent further rock falls. Additionally, the report suggested that the pass be monitored in future until a permanent solution is determined.
The Department of Transport and Public Works adopted a phased approach to make the pass safe for traffic. So far, the Department has spent over R371 000 on a contract for rock barring and other remedial work.
The pass was reopened for traffic on Friday 6 September. Further repairs will continue while the pass is being used.
I would like to thank our staff, staff members from the Cape Winelands District Municipality, consultants and contractors and everyone who played a role in the successful completion of this project.