The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) is planning major road upgrade projects for the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) local municipality, including upgrading and widening of the R61, and upgrading of the N2 from Viedgesville to Mthatha into a dual carriageway.
Sanral southern region regional manager Mbulelo Peterson said this week that Sanral had initiated a number of key projects over the last ten years in the King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality, particularly on the N2 and R61 national roads.
Current and planned Sanral projects in the municipality include the upgrade of the National Route N2 Section 18 from Viedgesville (65 km) to Mthatha (85 km). The project will include upgrading the road to four lanes divided by median or physical barrier/dual carriageway. The upgrade includes the improvement of capacity for the intersections and interchanges, as well as the provision of pedestrian bridges or underpasses.
The preliminary design report is anticipated to be finalised in January and the tender date is estimated to be published in August. The land acquisition process on the project is already in place.
Meanwhile, a community development project linked to the N2 Viedgesville-Mthatha project is also planned for the local municipality. It is anticipated to be advertised within the first quarter of 2021, while advertising of the community development project construction works is planned for the second quarter of 2021.
Further, upgrading of National Route R61 Section 7 from Baziya to Mthatha Airport, Phase 1, has been retendered. The initial contract was terminated in August 2019 owing to non-performance of the contractor. The contract for the remaining work was re-tendered and currently the process is in tender evaluation stage. Sanral anticipates that a contractor will be appointed in March 2021.
Upgrading of National Route R61 Section 7 from Baziya to Mthatha, Phase 2, from Mthatha Airport to Mthatha CBD, includes upgrading the existing road to a dual carriageway from Mthatha Airport to Madeira street in the Mthatha CBD. The design is being reviewed – taking into account a change in land use in this area – to upgrade the dual carriageway beyond the airport to include interchanges to retain the mobility (100 km/h design speed) of the road network up to the Ian Woods intersection. The remainder of the dual carriageway will remain at 60 km/h design speed.
The Southern Region plans to advertise 70 projects in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial year. Some are in the planning phase, some in the design phase, and some in the construction phase.
Sanral on Thursday engaged stakeholders at the Nkululekweni Council Chamber in Mthatha, while some guests joined the meeting from the satellite office at the Viedgesville Community Centre and online.