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19 June 2024 Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Works, George

Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Project

19 June 2024

The Gwaiing project remains in the construction phase, with a focus on the layer works.

Progress on the project has been delayed by the recent Victoria Street building collapse due to the yellow fleet / trucks that were made available to transport building rubble from the incident. The recent downpour of rainfall in the region also had an impact on the progress to date.

The team is currently constructing the cement-stabilized layer on the right-hand side (RHS) lane, which is the second-to-last layer of the roadworks. Preparation is also underway for the material for the final layer of the RHS lane before it can be transported onto the road. Additionally, work is being conducted on the drainage network to ensure effective stormwater management on the site.

The percentage of completion remains at 78%, as the team is awaiting the test results of a test section that was done to approve the material used for the final layer on the RHS. The program of the specialist machine used for the stabilisation process, has also been affected by the rainfall, and production will commence on that activity as soon as the machine arrives on the site.

The intended final completion date is set for 18 September 2024

-ENDS-

9 May 2024 Media Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

Media Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

For Immediate Release
9 May 2024

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 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 Mr Qamani Nkebana or Mr Lungisa Qendu at the Roads Transport & Planning Department. Contact numbers at the office is 044 803 1506 / 044 803 1577 or email Qamani@gardenroute.gov.za / Lungisa@gardenroute.gov.za. Alternatively download from www.gardenroute.gov.za .
  2. Application period: 09th May 2024 to 31st May 2024.
  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

  1. The panel outcome will be decided by 02nd August 2024. 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.
  2. All fences must be fully completed by 30th November 2024 for payment before 28 February 2025.
  3. Payment will be done after an inspection and an approval for the fence has been made.

Closing date:  31st May 2024

Notice number: 46/2024

Relevant Documents 

Application Form and Annexures

Fencing-subsidy-letter-for-applying-applicants-2024

Guidelines for the fencing of roads by adjacent landowners

MBD4-Declaration-of-Interest

03 May 2024 Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Works, George

Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Project

03 May 2024

The Gwaing project is still in its construction phase with . The progress of the project currently stands at 78% works completed.

The Road Construction team is currently busy with the cement stabilisation of the subbase layer on the RHS lane, which is the second to last layer that will be placed on the newly constructed road, after which, the construction of the final Basecourse layer will begin.

The main focus areas at this stage remain the processing of the layer works. Material is still being carted in from the approved source. The drainage network on the entire section of road has been improved, with minor concrete structures currently being constructed for erosion control.

The intended final completion date is set for 18 September 2024.

-ENDS-

05 April 2024 Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Works, George

Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Project

05 April 2024

The Gwaing project is still in its construction phase.  The progress of the project currently stands at 70% works completed, after a few rain delays were experienced in the last two weeks.

The main focus areas at this stage remains the processing of the layer works. Material is still being carted in from the approved source, with the cement stabilisation process scheduled to start as early as next week. The drainage network on the entire section of the road has been improved, with minor concrete structures currently being constructed for erosion control.

The intended final completion date is set for 18 September 2024.

-ENDS-

20 February 2024 Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Works, George

Update: Gwaiing Road Construction Project

20 February 2024

The Gwaing project is still in its construction phase with 65% works completed.

The main focus areas currently are the processing of the layer works, where the team will soon commence with the stabilisation process of the first lane, as material is currently being carted into the site from the approved source. Various other activities are still in process such as the improvement of the drainage network by means of laying new stormwater pipe crossings, which are nearing its completion.

The final completion date set for 18 September 2024.

-ENDS-

31 January 2024 Media Release: Statement on Montagu Pass and Seven Passes Road

Media release by Western Cape Government: Montagu Pass and Seven Passes Road

For Immediate Release
31 January 2024

There were unprecedented levels of flood damage across much of the provincial road network during the 2023 winter. The most severe storm took place over the Heritage Day long weekend, but this was by no means the only damaging winter storm last year. The Montagu Pass and Seven Passes Road are two of the Western Cape roads that had to be closed after sustaining severe flood damage during flooding.

The Department of Infrastructure’s (DOI) first responsibility concerning damaged roads is to re-establish access so that all communities that rely on a particular road are reconnected to the wider road network. Once access has been established, the order of repairs is prioritised. First, by the amount of traffic a particular road carries, and then by the road’s critical economic importance. Once access has been established, road users may have to use long detours or alternative routes until other repairs are possible.

Given the current resource constraints and following the need to prioritise the order in which road repairs can be made, DOI has had to prioritise routes that carry higher traffic volumes and that are associated with greater economic activity than the Montagu Pass and the Seven Passes Road. Despite our efforts, it is not currently possible to provide a timeline for the reopening of the Montagu Pass or the Seven Passes Road.

MONTAGU PASS

Initial repair work on Montagu Pass was stopped following intervention by members of the public and Heritage Western Cape (HWC). Since the pass is a Provincial Heritage Site, DOI first had to receive the necessary HWC permit before work could be restarted. Before permission was received to restart work, there was further adverse weather that caused the road to deteriorate to the point where it was no longer safe for public use and had to be closed.

Various processes then followed before work could be initiated. During this time, the road further deteriorated due to more adverse weather.

Currently, due to a lack of funding and resource availability required, repairs have been delayed. Repairs have further been severely impacted by the flood repair requirements across the province following more flooding. This delay is due to the damage to the road network during the 2022 and 2023 winter floods, most notably the Heritage Day long weekend floods in 2023. Despite the economic value of the Montagu Pass including its value to the tourism sector, this is not a critical route because an alternative is available (the Outeniqua Pass). Priority must be given to roads where there aren’t viable alternatives to ensure that communities remain connected to the broader road network.

HWC has engaged with various stakeholders on the maintenance and repair of Montagu Pass over the past few months with several meetings attended by representatives of HWC, DOI, law enforcement, and conservation bodies. A permit has now been issued to DOI by HWC for the maintenance and repair of the Montagu Pass. The main constraint to restarting work is the current lack of resources. As the Outeniqua Pass provides a viable alternative route, repairs on the Montagu Pass are not considered to be critical, given the prioritisation criteria provided above.

Allegations of problems with a contractor have been made in the public domain, but these are baseless. No contractor was involved in any work on the pass. The Department required heritage approval. The heritage approval processes did not previously prohibit maintenance on Montagu Pass and maintenance continued as normal work. Unfortunately, complaints by concerned groups in the area caused work to stop and meant DOI had to follow a Heritage Western Cape approval process.

The Department has been asked what it is doing to support businesses along closed routes. There are no businesses in the closed section of the pass meaning businesses remain open. However, the DOI does not have a mechanism or the resources to support businesses affected by closed roads, irrespective of the reason for the closure. This road is no different.

The work will be prioritised along with all other roads that were damaged by the floods, and the maintenance will resume as soon as the necessary capacity and resources, including finance, are available. This is likely to be done in a phased approach, based on budget and resource availability, with the priority being to restore some form of access, even if traffic is restricted to a single lane with stop/go controls. There is currently no prospective date for reopening the road soon. The pass will only be reopened when the necessary maintenance has been completed.

SEVEN PASSES ROAD

Seven Passes Road also sustained significant damage during the 2022/2023 winter floods. This road will be reopened once it has been repaired to its pre-flood-damaged state. This will take considerable time and resources during a period when there are severe resource constraints. Unfortunately, other damaged roads that carry more traffic and are more economically important are a higher priority.

During 2022/2023 there were significant slips on the road, most notably between Nelson Mandela University and Wilderness Heights, MR355. The damage was of such a nature that lane closures were implemented where the most notable slips occurred. Traffic was allowed to pass with applicable signage in place. The situation was monitored to see if this could be a safe alternative as an interim measure.

Unfortunately, due to the geometry of the pass and narrow road width, coupled with irresponsible road user behaviour, there was a high risk of crashes. The difficult decision had to be taken to fully close the road in the interest of road safety and to protect the asset from further damage.

The DOI has received information about cyclists using the route and distributing their own subjective reports on its suitability for traffic. When a route is closed, it is closed to all road users and for their safety. There is damage below the surface level that is not immediately visible. The DOI will not keep a route closed unnecessarily as it is in our interest to have every part of the broader road network fulfil its role.

The pass will only be reopened when the necessary maintenance has been completed as soon as the resources are available. Unfortunately, other damaged roads that carry more traffic and are of higher economic importance than the Seven Passes Road remain a greater repair priority.

We remain committed to reopening these passes as soon as possible to do so, given the constrained fiscal environment. We ask residents to please be patient and to work with us, particularly with regards to their safety. Both passes remain closed to all road users, and we ask pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists to all adhere to the closure of the road.

ENDS

Media queries:

Mr. Ntobeko Mbingeleli

Spokesperson for Provincial Minister Tertuis Simmers
ntobeko.mbingeleli@westerncape.gov.za 
021 483 8067 (o)
061 447 7851 (m)

Mr. Jandré Bakker

Head of Communication
Department of Infrastructure
Email: Jandre.Bakker@westerncape.gov.za

15 January 2024 Media Release:  Garden Route District Municipality’s Roads Services improves diesel infrastructure to ensure operational continuity

Media Release:  Garden Route District Municipality’s Roads Services improves diesel infrastructure to ensure operational continuity

For Immediate Release
15 January 2024

Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Roads Services have successfully addressed decades of challenges related to diesel and infrastructure procurement. Last year, the GRDM embarked on a tender process for the procurement of diesel, however, complications arose as the existing diesel tanks and infrastructure were owned by the previous service provider, who declined access to the new appointee to use their storage facilities.

To overcome this obstacle, the Roads Services Department temporarily used diesel bowsers for fuel storage. Later, the municipality conducted a second tender process for the installation of above-ground diesel tanks at its four largest depots, in George, Oudtshoorn, Riversdale and Ladismith.

In George, above-ground diesel tanks are currently being installed at the depot on Mission Street.

The tender, valued at 5.9 million for the tanks, was approved by the Western Cape Department of Transport and was allocated from the Roads Services budget. The above-ground tanks, each with a capacity of 23,000 liters, are currently being installed and are expected to be commissioned by the end of January 2024.

Once operational, the George depot will receive two (2) tanks with a combined capacity of 46,000 liters, sufficient to fuel the different depots for three weeks. The other deport will each be equipped with one (1) 23,000 liters above-ground tanks.

This initiative is part of phase 1 of the GRDM’s plan to upgrade and install diesel storage infrastructure, with future rollouts planned for the smaller depots as well. The decision to replace the more than 30-year-old Total diesel tanks, which were decommissioned due to leaks, brings several advantages. The above-ground tanks are cost-effective, have a longer lifespan, are easy to monitor, versatile, safer, and environmentally friendly.

Feature image caption: George will have two above-ground diesel tanks, while the other three depots will have one each.

-END-

07 November 2023 Media Release: GRDM Roads team praised for excellent work on major projects

Media Release: GRDM Roads team praised for excellent work on major projects

For immediate release
07 November 2023

Over the last few months, the Garden Route district experienced severe weather conditions which left a few roads in a poor state for use by road users.  Some roads were closed due to the severity of the damage and other roads were repaired and are in use again. These roads are managed and maintained by the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Roads Services Department, as agent of the Western Cape Department of Infrastructure.

In support of Transport Month that was celebrated across the country in October last month and due to the progress of the repair work by GRDM Roads Services, councillors, management and staff, last week, 30 October 2023, visited two sites to view the progress made. One of the roads is the Saasveld road, where an armco failure on the Madiba Road occurred that collapsed the road to 8 metres deep. The road is now completed and fully repaired. The team further visited the Gwaiing road (DR1618), situated near the George airport to witness the road works of the upgrade project.

Visit to Saasveld Road

During the visit to the Saasveld Road, GRDM Manager for Maintenance, Construction and Mechanical Services, Japie Strydom, explained that the steel pipe that was constructed during the 1950s failed because steel on its own was not successful. GRDM in 2021 then constructed a new pipe with a combination of concrete and steel.  Strydom further explained that the road serves as detour for the national road and is frequently used by students, tourists and cyclists. During construction, the detour was via the N2 and Wilderness to Saasveld, leading to NMU. This is a 20km longer road to travel compared to the Madiba Drive route. The GRDM is now keeping the road safe for the students at Nelson Mandela University. For this reason, “students would not need to use the Wilderness Road anymore, when they need to get into town,” Strydom said. Brand new guardrails were also installed. This project cost was R5.6 million.

Strydom further explained that future projects similar to this project, which is 0.6, 1.2, 2.9 and 3 km in distance from this project, as well as a site in Wilderness, are still in design phase and said: “It is envisaged that those projects will commence in August/September next year”. He concluded by echoing the words of the Municipal Manager, Monde Stratu who said: “As a collective, we are stronger”.  In addition he said: “We don’t do this just for us and to make it safer, but we are doing this for the future”.

GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Roads, Ald. Petru Terblanche, praised the Roads team and said: “Every one of you are winners, leaders, the first on the road as well as the last one on the road”. With these words he commended the team for their dedication in realising the objectives of their road construction projects. Terblanche furthermore summed up a few challenges experienced by GRDM, such as a lack of gravel. Consequently, after discussions with the MEC of Infrastructure in the Western Cape, he said that the total of borrow pits increased from three to 13 borrow pits. Terblanche also complimented the team for managing and handling the yellow fleet well. When he referred to the neatness and the overall condition of the vehicles, he highlighted: “I feel proud of the team when I see our machines and vehicles on the road and because of your excellence I’m am very proud to be part of GRDM’s Roads Services Department”.

Visit to Gwaiing Road Project

On arrival at the Gwaiing Road, Strydom and the GRDM Senior Roads Engineering Technician, Chesney Roelf, explained the type of upgrade work that has been done so far.  Strydom said: “Proper drainage has been put in, as well as proper layer works and a permanent bitumen road surface. These will change the traffic flow on the road”, he explained. In total 4km of the road will be upgraded with the cost of R16.5 million per kilometer.

The project also created learning and skills development opportunities for final cutters. In explaining his statement, he said: “Across the world there are only a few final cutters that can work with a grader that is capable of cutting a road surface to a final level, to proceed with construction”. Additionally, Strydom also mentioned that 44 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers were appointed to assist on the project of which 24 already underwent accredited NQF training funded by the Trisano program. One (1) EPWP has now been permanently appointed by the GRDM Roads Department. This is evident that apart from creating a new road, Strydom said “we are also creating opportunities for people to develop themselves”.

Monde Stratu, during the visit, praised the team for their excellent work ethic and dedication. Stratu used the South African rugby team who was crowned at the 2023 World Cup champions as an example when he said that results can only be achieved by team members that work together as one.

In closing, Cllr Jobieth Hoogbaard, GRDM’s Portfolio Chairperson for Property Management and Development, shared his words of appreciation to the Roads Department and their Executive Manager John Daniels, Ald. Terblanche and the Municipal Manager for continuously delivering outstanding work and for allowing them as councillors to witness roads projects that bring significant improvement to the lives of those affected by the road damages.

The project with an overall project cost of R69 million has a duration of 18 months and the road is envisaged to be opened by mid-year to the end of next year.

Feature Photo: GRDM Councillors, Management and staff during the site visits to Saaveld and Gwaiing roads.

ENDS

1 November 2023 Public Notice: Stop-Go Controls – Brenton-on-Sea and Barrington Roads

Public Notice: Stop-Go Controls: On Brenton-on-Sea and Barrington Roads

1 November 2023

Stop-go controls will be implemented along sections of the Brenton-on-sea Road and Barrington Road between:
November 2023 and 14 December 2023

We urge the public to be patient during this time

Lane closures are required for the purposes of undertaking repair work to the roads. Two-way traffic will be maintained by means of a stop-go system which should cause a delay of between 10 minutes and 20 minutes per trip. The public will be kept informed timeously if there are any changes in the traffic accommodation such as temporary road closures.

The safety and convenience to the travelling public are of utmost importance and every effort will be made to ensure that all temporary road signs, cones, flag people and speed controls are maintained and are effective, and that courtesy is extended to the public at all times. The Contractor is required to make use of approved methods to control the movement of his equipment and vehicles so as not to constitute a hazard on public roads.

The Public, when using the affected roads, is requested to be patient, exercise caution, to travel at reduced speed, obey the permanent and the construction related temporary traffic signage and heed the guidance of the stop-go operators and flag people. This is for the safety of all.

The Western Cape Government is working hard to maintain our roads. Please drive carefully during this period of construction. Let us work together to ensure that our roads are safe. BETTER TOGETHER.

Traffic Safety: 071 852 1209

Issued: Western Cape Government

21 June 2023 Media Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

Media Release: Fencing subsidies available – call for applications

For Immediate Release
21 June 2023

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 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 Mr Qamani Nkebana or Mr Lungisa Qendu at the Roads Transport & Planning Department. Contact numbers at the office is 044 803 1506 / 044 803 1577 or email Qamani@gardenroute.gov.za / Lungisa@gardenroute.gov.za. Alternatively download from www.gardenroute.gov.za .
  2. Application period: 29 June 2023 to 14 July 2023.
  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
  1. The panel outcome will be decided by 15 August 2022. 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.
  2. All fences must be fully completed by 30 November 2023 for payment before 28 February 2024.
  3. Payment will be done after an inspection and an approval for the fence has been made.

Closing date:  14 July 2023

Notice number: 81/2023

Relevant Documents 

Application form and annexures

Fencing-subsidy-letter-for-applying-applicants-2022

Guidelines for the fencing of roads by adjacent landowners

MBD4-Declaration-of-Interest