Category: Roads Services

Notification of essential re-gravel and drainage repair work along the Southern section of the Swartberg Pass

Roadworks: Notification of essential re-gravel and drainage repair work along the Southern section of the Swartberg Pass
Immediate Release
17 July 2020

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) will perform essential re-gravel and drainage repair works on the Swartberg Pass between sections 14.40km and 23.24km (R328 / P0369).

The project will stretch over an eight month period.

Details include: 

Period: 20 July 2020 till 31 March 2021
Mondays to Thursdays: 08h30 to 16h00
Fridays: 08h30 to 13h00

During above mentioned time-frames construction vehicles will be active on narrow road sections. Motorists will experience stop-and-go with delays of up to one hour or more. Road users are therefore requested to plan their trips with the above in mind. An alternate route via Meiringspoort on trunk road 33/4 can be used.

Approach roadworks cautiously

Equally important is the safety of road users. Flag operators in our road maintenance teams are tasked with helping traffic flow smoothly and safely around the affected area.  At times where there are no flag operators, road users must obey the traffic signs.

  1. Approach the construction zone with caution especially under wet and dark conditions.
  2. If you are approaching a stop/go control, obey the flag operator. He or she will use hand signals and flags to show if when is your turn to stop and when you can go.
  3. When vehicles are in front of you as you approach the construction site, slow down, stop if necessary, and remain cautious and observant.
  4. Obey temporary speed limits at roadwork sites.
  5. The lane width may be narrower than usual and therefore more hazardous. Road shoulders may be particularly narrow. Be extra careful. Stay in your lane. Do not straddle the lines.
  6. When moving through a construction site, keep your attention on driving and on other traffic. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by construction activities. This is dangerous and can slow down traffic unnecessarily.
  7. Watch out for construction equipment, workers, obstacles and debris.

Report potholes and road-related issues

 Road users can report potholes and road-related issues to info@gardenroute.gov.za.

Please include your name, contact number and location of the pothole in your e-mail. The exact location is very important because this will save us time in finding the pothole and to do the repairs as soon as we can.

For more information

Project enquiries: Mr. Lionel Coetzee
Cell: 082 883 2140
Email: LionelC@gardenroute.gov.za

News Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

News Release
For Immediate Release
23 June 2020

On an annual basis, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) provides fencing subsidies for a selected number of landowners on neighbouring provincial rural roads with fencing of their properties.

This is subject to a budget as received from the Western Cape Government.

The funding is only applicable on a subsidy basis, meaning that a 60% subsidy will be contributed towards a landowner’s material costs for fencing. The subsidy will therefore be determined by an average cost for material. The material is deemed as 60% of total cost. Labour cost is deemed as 40% of the total cost and must be carried by the applicant. All initial costs must be carried by the applicant and a subsidy will be paid out to successful applicant after the completion of the fence. For more information refer to the Fencing Subsidy Policy of GRDM.

The new fences must adhere to the specifications of the Western Cape Government Roads Infrastructure Department. Minimum specifications will be made available to successful applicants.

Application process

  1. Application forms can be obtained from Mr Qamani Nkebana at the Roads Transport & Planning Department. Contact numbers at the office is 044 803 1500 or 1506 or email qamani@gardenroute.gov.za.
  2. Application period: 24 June 2020 to 10 July 2020.
  3. Applications will be audited and evaluated according to risk analysis by a panel. Risk factors include the following: status of road, traffic count, operating speed of vehicles, type of farming, condition of current fence, etc.
  4. The panel outcome will be decided by 14 August 2020. All applicants will be informed. A fencing subsidy contract will be signed with successful applicants. Unsuccessful applicants can apply again in the next financial year.
  5. All fences must be fully completed by 11 December 2021 for payment before 28 February 2021.
  6. Payment will be done after an inspection and an approval for the fence has been made.

Relevant Documents 

Road Closure: Swartberg Pass

Due to rockfalls the Swartberg Pass will remain closed for the weekend. A huge boulder can be seen in the pictures, which is close to Eerstewater, smaller rocks and sand also spread out sround the area. More damage to the road adjacent to Tweedewater and just past the Malvadraai.

Road users would need to make use of alternative routes.

Pictures by Arno Botha

Knysna Road roadworks and road closure – 20 February 2020

Knysna Road will be temporarily closed at the Mission Street intersection from 09:00 until 16:00 on Thursday, 20 February 2020 due to construction work.

Road repairs and resurfacing in Knysna Road, from First to Fourth Streets, are continuing as part of the road resurfacing project in Knysna Road George.

The general public is urged to make use of alternative routes. Meyer, Stander, Sauer, Gelderblom and Third Streets can be considered for alternative access to areas. Site access will be managed and communicated with residents and businesses to ensure that minimum disruption is caused.

There will be height differences occurring in the road where repairs are being constructed. Caution will be required when driving or walking in the area, especially under wet and dark conditions. Low profile vehicles and motorcycles are to take extra care. The George municipality apologises for the inconvenience and appeals to road users to be patient and exercise caution during the upgrade. Please look out for and adhere to temporary road signage and roadworks personnel.

We want to assure the general public that all businesses in Knysna Road are open for business and are accessible at all times during the construction process.

PROJECT ENQUIRIES: iX Engineers Representative – 082 944 3654

Issued by George Municipality

Notification of Essential Maintenance work planned for Swartberg Pass

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) will perform essential maintenance work on the Swartberg Pass (R328 / P0369) for seven (7) weekdays from 27 November till 5 December 2019. Maintenance work will be performed between 09h00 and 15h30.  A stop-and-go with delays of up to one hour can be expected. For this reason, road users are requested to plan their trips with the above in mind.

Road users can make use of an alternative route between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert via Meiringspoort (N12).

Approach roadworks cautiously

Equally important is the safety of road users. Flag operators in our road maintenance teams are tasked with helping traffic flow smoothly and safely around the affected area. At times where there are no flag operators, road users must obey the traffic signs.

A few guidelines

1. Approach the construction zone with caution.
2. If you are approaching a stop/go control, obey the flag operator. He or she will use hand signals and flags to show if when is your turn to stop and when you can go.
3. When vehicles are in front of you as you approach the construction site, slow down, stop if necessary, and remain cautious and observant.
4. Obey temporary speed limits at roadwork sites.
5. The lane width may be narrower than usual and therefore more hazardous. Road shoulders may be particularly narrow. Be extra careful. Stay in your lane. Do not straddle the lines.
6. When moving through a construction site, keep your attention on driving and on other traffic. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by construction activities. This is dangerous and can slow down traffic unnecessarily.
7. Watch out for construction equipment, workers, obstacles and debris.

Report potholes and road-related issues

Road users can report potholes and road-related issues to info@gardenroute.gov.za. Please include your name, contact number and location of the pothole in your e-mail. The exact location is very important because this will save us time in finding the pothole and to do the repairs as soon as we can.

GRDM Roads & Transport Planning – A leader in new machinery and women empowerment

Officials from the Garden Route District Roads and Transport Planning Department, on 6 September 2019, welcomed a brand new Chip Spreader to their yellow fleet, at a road construction site in Friemersheim near Great Brak River.

The face of the brand new Chip Spreader after it was officially handed over to Garden Route District Municipality on 6 September 2019

The R4.9 million machine was officially handed over by Mr Gottfried Handler from Compaction & Industrial Equipment to the Executive Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen on 6 September 2019. Also witnessing the official handover were Executive Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rosina Ruiters, Portfolio Chairperson of Roads and Transport Planning, Cllr Rowan Spies, the Executive Manager of Roads and Transport Planning, Mr John Godfrey Daniels, and staff.

The delegation with Ms Simile Mqota, soon after Mayor Booysen announced her appointment as Deputy Mayor: Roads. FLTR are: Mr Anton Steenkamp, former Deputy Manager: Roads, Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor, Mr Gottfried Handler (Compaction & Industrial Equipment), Mr John Godfrey Daniels, Executive Manager, Ms Simile Mqota, Deputy Manager: Roads Construction, Cllr Rowan Spies, Portfolio Chairperson: Roads and Transport Planning, Mr Gerald Sinkfontein, Deputy Manager: Mechanical Services and Mr Patrick Xalisa, Specialist Technical Advisor.

The main purpose of the machine is to ensure a good quality of road surface dressing work. These machines are designed to accurately apply a controlled amount of stones to a road surface during a road sealing or resealing process. When officially handing over the machine, Mr Handler said: “We have many machines of this kind operating in South Africa, but this is the first for the Western Cape”. Mr Handler furthermore explained the benefits of the machine, that it covers a wide area of three meters and can extend to cover a road width of six meters. “The spreading mechanism is fully computerised; therefore any spreading amount can be registered on the computer,” he added.

Mayor Booysen (right) acknowledging Mr Anton Steenkamp (left) for his 24 years of service to the Roads and Transport Planning Department and thanked him for his willingness to mentor the newly appointed Deputy Manager: Roads. Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rosina Ruiters (middle), sharing the moment with them.

At the same occasion, Mr Daniels also announced the appointment of Ms Simile Mqota as Deputy Manager for Roads and he emphasised that Ms Mqota is the first African female in the Garden Route district to be appointed in a position of this nature.  Mr Anton Steenkamp previously filled the position, but retired earlier this year.  Mr Steenkamp will now mentor Ms Mqota for 18 months to ensure a smooth handover of all duties related to the post.

During his address at the ceremony, Cllr Rowan Spies praised the Roads and Transport Planning Department for the developments and progress of the department over the past year. He said:  “It is heart-warming to see how much change is coming to the Garden Route, especially with regard to the diversity and expertise of the team. Cllr Spies added:  “This Chip Spreader is an impressive machine, but the Roads and Transport Planning team, is more impressive”. Cllr Spies also shared a word of gratitude to Mayor Booysen and said:  “Thank you for allowing the Municipal Manager and officials to take forward a vision of what Garden Route aims to be and can be”.

In his address to all stakeholders present, Mayor Booysen highlighted:  “This is once again a moment to be proud of, as we continue to be a leader in experiencing new things. We have to use this machine to the benefit of the economy of the Garden Route,” he added.  In his congratulatory remarks to Ms Mqota, Mayor Booysen further said:  “This event is also a confirmation that we are a leader in empowering our staff – more specifically our women”. Mayor Booysen further requested all male employees at the site to support Ms Mqota in her new position. He furthermore shared a word of appreciation with Mr Anton Steenkamp for his 24 years of dedicated service to the organisation. He also thanked him for his willingness to mentor Ms Mqota and to share his valued skills that will only benefit the road users and economy of the region.

Garden Route District Municipality Roads Department makes history

“The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) has the biggest Roads function in the Western Cape”.  This was confirmed by GRDM Executive Manager for Roads Services, Mr John G Daniels at their main office in George on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

According to Mr Daniels, there are many projects in store for the Roads Department over the current and next financial years. Since the Roads Department is an agency function of the Western Cape Government (WCG), its financial year stretches from the beginning of April to the end of March the following year. The current financial year, therefore, already started in April 2019.

Roads Services officials ready to work and excel.

The Roads Services budget

Mr Daniels confirmed his statement about the magnitude of the Department, when he said that the budget of the Roads Department amounts to over half a billion rand.  “This budget is inclusive of the Department’s yellow fleet that amounts to R386 million, which makes us the biggest Roads Department in the Western Cape,” Mr Daniels boasted. The WCG increased the roads services budget from R145 million, last year, to R160 million for this year.  The increase of R15 million could only have materialised due to the Department’s good record of expenditure and stable staff complement. “All these characteristics personify the Roads Services function and with everything necessary in place, we plan to spend R200 million again,” Mr Daniels said.

Projects in progress and to be implemented

One such project planned for the current and next financial years will be a R21 million project to be implemented in Slangrivier (Hessequa), which is foreseen to commence in August/September this year. Two other projects include the re-gravel and resealing of roads in the entire Garden Route district. The resealing will amount to R23 million and R17 million is budgeted for the re-gravelling project.  The road building project in Friemersheim near Mossel Bay, is envisaged to be completed by September 2019.  The R39 million project in Gwaiing (George) where the road is upgraded from gravel to tar, will be completed in the next financial year and will stretch over a period of 18 months.

Uplifting communities and making an impact

All these projects are labour intensive and with that in mind, Mr Daniels reiterated the importance of labour and the transfer of skills, when he said:  “These are our main priorities for our communities before we complete and leave the area.  Through our projects, we want to leave behind a skilled community and we plan to do the same for all our other projects”.

In explaining his statement, Mr Daniels added:  “When GRDM Roads Services complete our work at a site (roads and infrastructure), we also leave behind a community that is uplifted and skilled, due to the monitory value invested in that community for a period of two years”. He further added:  “We are not here only to deliver services, but we are also here to uplift the community from their social struggles, even if we only change 20 to 30% of their circumstances”. Adding to this, Mr Daniels clarified his statement by sketching the following scenario:  “If a little boy attends school and his dad is unemployed, the teacher might ask him what his dad does for a living and the boy might shy away. After GRDM Roads appoints the dad on a two year contract and the teacher asks the boy again what his dad does for a living, only then will the boy confidently and proudly raise from his chair, wearing new shoes and clothes and answer:  ‘My dad is a road builder!’. What this means, is that these new shoes and clothes were afforded by his dad who acquired a job at GRDM Roads – GRDM Roads indirectly supplied the boy with the new clothing. This will not only stay behind in the mind of the boy, but in the minds of the children of the community, and this is what we do – to uplift,” Mr Daniels highlighted.

Mr Daniels extended a word of appreciation to all the Roads staff by saying: “I thank each and every one of you for your commitment, endurance and work ethic. We made history by spending R200 million for the year!”

Fencing Subsidies 2019 / 2020

Garden Route District Municipality gives subsidies for fencing on a yearly basis to assist landowners on neighbouring rural roads with fencing of their properties. This is subject to a budget as received from the Western Cape Government.

The funding will only be applicable on a subsidy basis.  It effectively means that 60% subsidy will be contributed towards the cost of the fencing. The subsidy is determined by an average price for material. The material is deemed as 60% of total cost. Labour cost is deemed as 40% of the total cost and must be carried by the applicant.   All initial costs must be carried by the applicant and subsidy will be paid out after the successful completion of the fence. For more information refer to the Fencing Subsidy Policy of Garden Route District Municipality.

The new fences must adhere to the specifications of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape:  Roads Infrastructure Department.  Minimum specifications will be made available to successful applicants.

Application process

1. Application forms can be obtained from Ms Alwina Gelderbloem or Mr Gert Verwey at the Roads Transport & Planning Department. Contact numbers at the office is 044 803 1500 or 1506 or email GertV@gardenroute.gov.za or alwina@gardenroute.gov.za.

2.  Application period: 1 April 2019 to 31 May 2019.

3.  Applications will be audited and evaluated according to risk analysis by a panel. Risk factors include:

Status of road, traffic count, operating speed of vehicles, type of farming, condition of current fence, etc

4.  The panel outcome will be decided by 30 June 2019. All applicants will be informed. A fencing subsidy contract will be signed with successful applicants.  Unsuccessful applicants can apply again in the next financial year.

5.  All fences must be fully completed by 31 January 2020 for payment before 28 February 2020.

6.  Payment will be done after an inspection and an approval for the fence has been made.

 Closing date:  31 May 2019

Notice number: 51/2019

M STRATU

MUNICIPAL MANAGER

Press Release: Avian Deaths reported along Divisional Road 1614 caused by Avian Botulism

On 13 February 2019, a resident of Rondevlei via a local newspaper reported a number of bird deaths in the Rondevlei area in close proximity to Divisional Road 1614. The resident alluded to the possibility of the herbicide used by the Garden Route District Municipality: Roads and Transport Planning along the road reserve for Divisional Road 1614 being the cause of the aforesaid bird deaths. Lab tests have indicated otherwise.

On 15 February 2019, SANPARKS informed the GRDM that the bird deaths were caused by a disease known as avian botulism.

Avian botulism is a neuromuscular illness of birds caused by a toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Fish-eating birds are poisoned by eating fish that contain the toxin.

Ingestion of maggots from the carcass of an infected animal can continue the spread of avian botulism. Avian botulism is most prevalent during summer months. The decease cannot be transmitted to humans, but as a precautionary measure SANPARK rangers collected the carcasses daily. The decease cannot be transmitted to humans, but as a precautionary measure SANPARK rangers collected the carcasses daily. SANPARKS also indicated that a statement will be released.

Various departments in the GRDM responded promptly to establish the cause of the bird deaths, and to determine whether the GRDM held any liability therein. Although we could establish that the deaths were not caused by herbicides used by the GRDM: Roads and Transport Planning Services, we will endeavour to exercise caution in the selection of the herbicides that are used for road reserve management and the effect that it may have on the receiving environment.

Garden Route DM Roads Employees excel again

A special awards ceremony was held for nearly 40 of Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM’s) Roads employees at the Roads Department in George on Thursday, 21 February 2019. Certificates and trophies were handed out to those individuals and teams who excelled in their work 2018/19 financial year.  The event is steered by Executive Manager, Roads Services: Mr John G Daniels and by his side on the day to deliver messages of support were GDRM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu.

Mr Stratu commended everyone, saying that they are “willing to leave families and loved ones behind to do the work,” making this district “amongst the best in the country in terms of roads maintenance and construction.” Mr Stratu added that the Department has “excelled consistently over time,” which demonstrates the level of “commitment of each staff member.” He concluded that this generation should do anything in its power to ensure that the next generation inherits a better country than their predecessors.

In his address, Cllr Booysen said that Council is in serious discussion about the future of the Roads Department and that these discussions are seen in a positive light.  He added that the recent developments with Ekusasa Mining provides the opportunity for possible collaborations with GDRM Roads to see if the current formula they use for gravel roads in the northern parts of South Africa and other African countries can be adapted to use on gravel roads in this district.

Mr Daniels echoed the gratitude expressed by Mr Stratu and Cllr Booysen, adding that maintaining approximately 6 200km of roads is no easy task. “People mostly only see trucks and graders coming and going, but very few understand the amount of work being done, sometimes in harsh conditions. Workers are continuously exposed to the elements of nature, but through perseverance and passion are able to deliver quality work that makes us amongst the best in the country.”

SAMEVATTING IN AFRIKAANS:
‘n Spesiale toekenningseremonie op 21 Februarie 2019 is vir ongeveer 40 Garden Route Distriksmunisipalteit Paaie personeel gehou. Munisipale Bestuurder, Monde Stratu en Uitvoerende Burgemeester, Raadslid Memory Booysen, het ook die toekenningseremonie bygewoon. Albei leiers het genoem dat die sukses van die Paaie Departement grootendeels afhang van die toewyding van werkers en dat dit ooglopend is dat Paaie-personeel elke jaar hul kant bring. Mnr John G Daniels, Uitvoerende Bestuurder: Paaie Dienste Departement, het genoem dat die onderhoud van ongeveer 6 200km paaie in ons streek ‘n geweldige taak is. “Mense sien meestal net trokke en padskrapers heen en weer ry op ons paaie, sonder om bewus te wees van die daaglikse take wat vervul moet word. Werkers word daagliks met klimaat (hitte en koue) en selfs stof, gekonfronteer.”  

Executive Manager, Roads Services: Mr John G Daniels facilitated the awards ceremony. By his side to deliver messages of support were Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu (middle) and GDRM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen (right
The group of employees from Garden Route District Municipality who attended the award ceremony. 1st Row Fron front left to right: Gert Verwy, J James, P James, Cllr M Booysen, J Mnyungula, N Johnson, M Stratu, A Nduma, M Lindoor, John Daniels, T Nortjie-Singh,
2nd Row from left to right: A Gerber, D Coerecius, E Jordaan, B Etsabeth, D October, R April, M Pedro, E Laws, P Scholtz, W Booysen and J Hartnick. 3rd Row from left to right: J Gunter, D Van Rooyen, S Bence, A Steenkamp, B Van Staden, F Pretorius, F Swanepoel, J Gunguluza, G Heunis and A Cupido. Last row from left to right: B Hartzenberg, D Krohn, M Stuurman, F Oktober, J Strydom and X Smuts.