The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


Making Strides: Significant Headway in Roadworks Boosts Economy and Employment Opportunities in Witzenberg

Michael Hawthorne

In a notable development, the Western Cape Government has reported substantial progress in the ongoing roadworks in the Witzenberg municipal town of Ceres. The project, identified as Contract No. C1216, focuses on the periodic maintenance of MR310, DR1458, and DR1487, spanning the crucial route between Ceres and Op Die Berg.

Commencing in November 2023, the ambitious project is set to conclude in March 2026, with a dedicated budget of R378 million allocated for its successful completion. Advocate Chantal Smith, the acting Head of the Western Cape Infrastructure Department, expressed satisfaction with the achievements so far, highlighting the region’s commitment to a robust preventative and periodic road maintenance program.

“The success of the road network in the Western Cape has always been evident through our strategy of a rigorous preventative and periodic road maintenance program,” stated Advocate Smith. “What further makes me proud is that we have set high contract participation goals, which include 40,000 person-days of work created, translating to 350 work opportunities throughout the program.”

The project not only focuses on infrastructure improvement but also places a strong emphasis on generating job opportunities for local communities. Labour-intensive methods are being prioritized over mechanized alternatives wherever feasible, aiming to maximize the employment of local labour. Elements such as traffic accommodation, crack sealing, rut filling, seals, structures, sidewalks, side drains, road signs, weed eradication, grass cutting, route patrols, and finishing the road reserve have been identified as areas where human resources can be effectively utilized.

Provincial Minister of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers, affirmed the commitment to creating an enabling environment for economic growth through infrastructure. Minister Simmers highlighted, “The Department has set a target of 14 contracts for local enterprises for contractors graded at 1 or 2CE (Civil Engineering), while also setting a target of emerging contractor development with 12 contracts for 3 to 5 CE contractors. This is part of the provincial government’s commitment to use infrastructure investment to upskill and develop emerging contractors.”

In aligning with the broader economic development goals, the Western Cape Government is taking concrete steps to ensure that the roadworks project not only enhances infrastructure but also contributes significantly to local employment and contractor development. Ntobeko Mbingeleli, the Spokesperson for Provincial Minister Tertuis Simmers, reiterated the government’s dedication to fostering growth and development in the region through strategic infrastructure initiatives.


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