Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on April 26 said the N4 toll route project, which is managed by Trans African Concessions (Trac), and which extends from the Solomon Mahlangu offramp in Tshwane, to Maputo, in Mozambique, would contribute to South Africa's economic recovery.
“The N4 toll route is the catalyst for trade and investment between three South African landlocked provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga [and] neighbouring countries.
"These three provinces are rich in natural resources and the corridor links them directly to international markets through the Maputo port. The N4 toll route also links the City of Johannesburg and the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality to the port,” he said.
Trac is responsible for four road construction projects that are under way. The first is the eMalahleni to Middelburg road pavement rehabilitation and upgrade project, which is a rehabilitation project between the OR Tambo and Van Dyksdrift interchanges in the Highveld region and which is is 48% complete. It is set for completion in March 2022.
The R380-million project, includes the removal and replacement of concrete slabs from the originally built concrete surfaced road, overlaying the entire section with asphalt, and the construction of an additional 7 km of passing lanes.
Mbalula noted that the project has created employment opportunities for locals, with more than 280 workers on site, to date, sourced from the eMalahleni and Steve Tshwete local municipalities.
“The 58 small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that are benefitting from this project include subcontractors. The communities of eMalahleni and Steve Tshwete have been given an opportunity to supply machinery equipment and plant, as well as providing ancillary services such as drains, stone pitching, gabions, guard rails, fencing, road marking and road signs,” he pointed out.
Further, the Minister reported that the R400-million upgrade of the N4 between Belfast and Machadodorp, was progressing well and 26% complete.
The project entails the rehabilitation of a 30 km section, which will also be upgraded to a four-lane carriageway.
The initiative will not only benefit road users, but the local community too. Twenty-one local SMMEs have been appointed, while about 300 jobs have been created.
Mbalula also said the R390-million New Karino Interchange, in Mbombela, was 50% complete.
Lastly, the 15.5 km Kaapmuiden to Kaalrug rehabilitation and upgrade project includes upgrading the carriageway to four lanes and the rehabilitation of the existing road.
“The project is 70% complete and expected to be concluded in August. The project is worth R340-million and is situated in the rural outskirts of the Mpumalanga province bordered by Mozambique, where unemployment is high. Through this project, 213 local community members and 51 SMMEs have been employed.”