25 Jobs Created Through Labour Intensive Method
A labour intensive construction method recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is being used by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works to create 25 jobs in Suurbraak near Swellendam in the Overberg District.
The R1 million project is part of the Expanded Public Works’ Programme (EPWP).The project started in June 2012 and will be completed in November this year.
Residents are building three kilometre sidewalks through Suurbraak.
The project includes:
- Constructing the layer works of the sidewalks.
- Laying kerbs as well as edge beams.
- Mixing, placing and compacting the surfacing of the sidewalks.
The project is in line with an ILO recommendation that encourages the use of Labour Based Surfacing Asphalt (LBS).
Conventionally, all the materials used for a project like this are mixed at a plant, which is off-site. The materials are prepared and transported to site and then rolled and prepared mechanically thereafter.
With the LBS method however, all raw materials are mixed on-site and the actual surfacing which is colloquially referred to as “tar” is prepared by local people instead.
All raw materials except for the LBS filler can be obtained locally thereby keeping the flow of money within the targeted areas. This also sustains the employment of a team of local workers who produce the surfacing/tar needed.
The application of this type of surfacing is labour intensive because conventionally machines are used to apply the surfacing and compact it. In this instance the surfacing is manually applied, spread, levelled and compacted by a separate team of workers.
On the Suurbraak project, unemployed residents involved in the project were provided with accredited training to apply the LBS method and were taught how to the mix asphalt on-site.
After mixing the asphalt, workers were taught how to bag the mixed asphalt and how to move it to the sidewalks where the surfacing team used the mix to construct the sidewalk.
The purpose of EPWP is to encourage provincial departments and municipalities to create jobs through meeting their core objectives which could include the development of infrastructure, or through environmental or cultural programmes using labour intensive methods.
The Department of Transport and Public Works aims to provide safe and efficient public transport. By building sidewalks, the Department is promoting non-motorised transport because Suurbraak residents will now be able to walk safely.
Another departmental objective is to improve rural transport and this project was tailor made for that objective.