Minister Simmers visits Central Karoo key road projects

08 Aug 2022 in Where We Govern

On Friday, 5 August, Provincial Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers, conducted an oversight visit at some of the key road projects currently underway in the Central Karoo.

The Minister’s visit started off at the Beaufort West, Weighbridge centre, where he was taken on a tour of the facilities. The Weighbridge inspects in excess of 166 000 vehicles, annually and is a strategic site in the interprovincial road network. The Minister’s next site was the C1183 Project on the N12 (linking N1 traffic towards Oudtshoorn), a R250 million routine maintenance, 18 months contract set for completion by March 6, 2023.

The C1183 project has created 317 job opportunities, with 176 being Youth and 87 women, as well as appointed 12 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) sub-contractors. One of the 12 appointed sub-contractors is a 100% women-owned enterprise. This will ensure that project contributes towards sustainable employment in the community. A financial management course is provided for those working on the project, in partnership with the Department of Labour, and to date 90 employees have since completed the course.

Minister Simmers said: “I am delighted to have met with the staff at the Weighbridge and have had the opportunity to interact with the frontline crew as well. I am particularly pleased with the learnings that came out of my engagements with all the members, looking at where it is, we can improve the infrastructure. The C1183 project is on track to be completed timeously and that is crucial as this is a strategic passageway to one of the province’s key tourist destinations. Through this project we are not only rehabilitating the road infrastructure but also creating sustainable economic opportunities for the local communities in the surrounding areas.”

The oversight visit was concluded with a drive through the Moordenaars Karoo, a 75-kilometer gravel road which leads to Northern Cape boundary. The road is scheduled for blading maintenance.  The Minister’s visit was to get firsthand insight of the infrastructure condition on this road also noting the limitations of the rehabilitation work that can be done on gravel roads.

“Having received concerns about the state of the road, it was important for me to use the road. This first-hand experience afforded me a better understanding of the concerns. I included the district roads engineer who assisted with contextualizing the limitations associated with this stretch of road and gravel roads in general. Gravel roads form a large part of our road network and is often an important link to rural and agricultural communities that are vital to our economy. While I understand the limitations, I also appreciate the concerns of the road users which is why I will engage my senior staff as well as colleagues in the Western Cape Government, on how we can approach this project. The oversight visit has provided my team and me with great insight and I look forward to returning to the region in the coming months,” concluded Simmers.