Reconstructed R46 Provides Much-needed Economic Injection
The reconstruction of Route 46 (R46) near Wolseley in the Western Cape did not only create much-needed jobs for the people of the province but it will also provide economic injections, especially for fruit farmers and tourism in the region.
The reconstructed road was completed in April 2013 and will be officially opened by Robin Carlisle, Minister of Transport and Public Works on 4 June 2013.
Other economic benefits will flow from the improvement in the transport corridor from the West Coast to the Southern Cape. Safety is also improved through the improved road width and safer intersections.
The R46 was reconstructed over a distance of 16 km from the Eastern end of the Nuwekloof Pass to the turn-off to Wolseley. The reconstruction cost was R226.8 million and the project period was 24 months.
Work started in February 2011 and the R46 was opened for normal traffic at the end of April 2013. Inclement weather and the farm workers' strike in 2012 were some of the reasons for the few months' delay in completion.
The access road to Wolseley, including the main road through the town, was also reconstructed over a distance of 2.4 km. The upgrading of these roads was done to a Class One Standard, which includes surfaced shoulders, climbing lanes and turning lanes at the major intersections towards Tulbagh and Wolseley.
The creation of job opportunities and business opportunities for local workers and subcontractors was a high priority. Job opportunities in excess of 70 000 person-days were created for local workers and the number of workers employed at any one time peaked at 216.
Approximately R8.8 million was paid in wages to local workers. An amount of R59.8 million was paid to Black Business Enterprises for services provided. Twelve of the companies that benefited were from the nearby towns and they earned an amount of R5.2 million.
Apart from the conventional engineering skills training of the workers, a special effort was put into a Learnership Programme to develop the youth in the surrounding local communities. Sixteen mathematics and physical science learners were selected for the programme, of which five completed it successfully. The programme was run by the Academy for Construction Skills (ACS) and an amount of R417 000 was expended on this effort.
“This is one of the ways we practically link our skills development efforts with real work on the coalface,” said Robin Carlisle, Minister of Transport and Public Works.
The design of the road and construction administration was done by AECOM (formerly BKS) Consulting Engineers. The construction done by Boland JV, a joint venture consisting of Haw & Inglis Civil Engineering, Loyiso Civil Construction and RJ Mullins cc.
“The completion of this road and others like it is a demonstration of our commitment to enable economic development and road Safety,” added Minister Carlisle.