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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

From gravel to tar: Eastern Cape road upgrade to cost more than R300 million

The road connects the Sipetu Hospital in Ntabankulu with the N2 road in the province.

The Eastern Cape Department of Transport says it will cost more than R300 million to upgrade the DR08125 road. The project will see the gravel road tarred.

Department of Transport and Community Safety MEC Xolile Nqatha is expected to announce the appointed contractor, who will oversee the road construction project, on Thursday.

The DR08125 road connects the Sipetu Hospital in Ntabankulu, with the N2 road in the province.

Connecting multi-million projects

Only 10 kilometres of the 24km district route has been built so far, leaving 14 km of the road to be completed.

“This project is a construction that is now taking on phase 4 of its construction.

“This multi-million-rand road will give access to this state-of-the-art hospital easier for the dozens of rural communities that depend on the hospital for tertiary health care,” the spokesperson of the department of transport and safety, Unathi Binqose, told The Citizen.

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The provincial department’s spokesperson said the total budget invested towards the construction of this project is R339 million.

Binqose said the project will create more than 100 jobs for the local community and local small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

“There are 130 low skilled locals who are set to benefit,” he said.

According to Binqose, the “construction of this project is set to take just over two years to complete”.

N11 accident

Meanwhile, on Monday, four construction workers died in a tragic car accident on the N11 at Ga-Machikiri outside Mokopane.

The workers were on duty when a light car crashed into them.

According to Limpopo Department of Transport spokesperson Vongani Chauke, the four workers died on the scene. Two more workers were taken to a local hospital, along with the driver of the motor vehicle.

READ MORE: Motorists urged to avoid Soweto amid service delivery protest

“A case of culpable homicide has been opened and speeding and reckless driving have been stated as the possible cause of the accident,” said Chauke.

Furthermore, protests allegedly related to service delivery caused roadblocks on the N11 from the Sunset Rest intersection towards Ladysmith and on the N6 in Cathcart, between Komani and Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape.

On Monday, motorists were advised to use other routes as alternatives to the N11, which is undergoing construction.

The road was barricaded by protesters using branches and other obstacles.

Cathcart N6

Ongoing strikes erupted from Friday in Cathcart when civilians of the small town protested on the N6.

The protestors are allegedly angered about the downgrading of Cathcart Hospital to a day hospital. Furthermore, the residents also demand the establishment of permanent offices for Home Affairs, Sassa, and the Social Development Department. 

The hospital board was reportedly unaware about the downgrade of the hospital. The department of health is yet to address this issue.

This strike resulted in the stoning of cars. Two teenage boys were arrested for setting two vehicles on fire. They will appear in court on Friday.

According to one of the residents, businesses in the small town were advised to close on Wednesday due to the strike.

Motorists are advised to avoid the N6 as residents of the small town reportedly vowed to protest until their demands are met.

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