More than 50 suppliers confirmed to exhibit alternative surfacing products at the Eastern Cape Rural Roads Summit
15 July 2008
More than 50 suppliers/companies have confirmed their attendance and exhibition of their alternative surfacing products at the Eastern Cape Rural Roads Summit to be held at the Qunu Youth and Heritage Centre near Mthatha on 6, 7 and 8 August 2008.
The Summit will be attended by all stakeholders involved in the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure, including other transport sector role players, district and local municipalities.
The purpose of the Summit is for the Department of Roads and Transport to present its strategy and priorities for the next 10 years to the public, which seek to change the ratio of surface to gravel roads, with 80% of the 43 465 km provincial network to surface and 20% to remain gravel. Presently, 5 102 kilometres of our roads are surfaced and 38 363 km are gravel.
The specific objectives of the summit are the following:
* to highlight provincial infrastructure challenges and best possible strategies to improve the quality of the Eastern Cape rural roads
* to promote the use of alternative technologies due to the scarcity of quarry material
* to promote strategic initiatives that will give expression to labour intensive methods of road construction and maintenance in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) principles
* to bring all the relevant role players on board about government's agenda for the reconstruction and development of the provincial infrastructure
* to build partnership with local government; and
* to promote skills development.
This week, the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport released a list of roads that have been identified for the implementation of the Alternative Surfacing Technologies programme.
This programme seeks to permanently deal with the challenge of gravel roads, which consist 80% of the provincial network, through using alternative methods of stabilising the road surface for approximately seven years.
It is in line with the announcement made by Eastern Cape MEC for Safety, Liaison, Roads and Transport, Mr Thobile Mhlahlo, in his Policy Speech for the Department of Roads and Transport in the Provincial Legislature.
"We have embraced the concept of Alternative Surfacing Technologies (AST), which is cost-effective and seeks to stabilise re-gravelled roads with a suitable stabiliser and then seal the stabilised sub-base. In this way, our roads will be better preserved," said Mhlahlo.
This list was compiled by the Department's in-house Roads Construction and Maintenance Units in consultation with municipalities and transport forums.
The identified roads include those that lead to schools, hospitals and clinics, industrial areas, tourism destinations and villages. The Department is currently setting up construction sites, which are expected to be operational in August 2008.
There will be at least five deployable teams in the OR Tambo District, four in Amathole District, three in Chris Hani, and one each in Alfred Nzo, Ukhahlamba and Cacadu. Already there are pilot projects that are underway, which include:
* Shawbury and Mbashe Valley roads
* the 3,2 kilometres road from the entrance of the Bhisho Airport to the Police Air Wing site at the back of the airport. Picture attached.
* 3,6 kilometres stretch of road at Qunu. More demonstrations on this road are expected to be done during the Eastern Cape Rural Roads Summit to be held at the Qunu Youth and Heritage Centre on 06, 07 and 08 August 2008.
The Department has further decided to integrate the Inaccessible Roads Programme with the Alternative Surfacing Technologies Programme, which means that as roads are made accessible, they will be surfaced too, where it is warranted.
Cell: 082 442 2388
Issued by: Ministry for Safety, Liaison, Roads and Transport, Eastern Cape Provincial Government
15 July 2008