N2 road project to continue

Villagers, Sanral resolve their differences in stalled highway works

Construction on the stalled multibillion-rand N2 Wild Coast project is to resume on Monday when the contractor returns to the site.
This is after the government implementing agent, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), and Jama villagers in Mbizana met behind closed doors for two days this week, and agreed that work on the project should continue.
The villagers shut down the project two months ago because they wanted to directly benefit from the R1.6bn project, which extends about 560km between the N2 Gonubie interchange near East London and the N2 Isipingo interchange in KwaZulu-Natal.
The project involves the upgrading and widening of part of the existing road and the construction of nine new bridges, intersections, toll plazas, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses for animals.
Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana, Sanral bosses and the community found common ground this week after a new community liaison committee was appointed.
Transport spokesperson Unathi Binqose said the biggest area of concern for the communities was the demand for a new project community liaison committee.
“That has been resolved because the old committee has been dissolved and the community is now in the process of electing new members who are mostly from this community,” said Binqose.
“The community also wants assurance that there will be economic benefit for them in terms of locals getting the jobs that will come with the projects as well as small businesses that want to work on the project,” said Binqose.
Sanral will soon start advertising the posts and tenders required to steam ahead with the project.
Chairman of the community committee Simphiwe Silangwe said the unrest was because Sanral had not upheld promises of job opportunities and skills development for the locals.
“We are pleased that the department and Sanral have agreed to the election of a new project committee and that they will use the quarry here in Jama instead of the quarries that are far away,” Silangwe said...

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