Pretoria: Emerging road contractors in Gauteng are set to benefit from a multimillion rand programme by the provincial government, which is aimed at improving skills in this sector.
Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi today launched the R118-million Vuk’phile roads contractor development programme at Finetown Community Hall, south of Johannesburg.
Vuk’phile is a three-year roads project aimed at upgrading the skills of small contractors and creating jobs, particularly for women and youth.
It is run by the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport in partnership with the national Department of Public Works and Nedbank.
“Emerging road contractors are empowered to manage labour intensive projects, while Nedbank provides seed funding based on its financial viability criteria,” MEC Vadi said.
The MEC said that presently, 24 small contractors were appointed by the department for a period of 36 months, during which they will receive training on project management and road works at the Zwartkop Training Centre. Six more contractors are to be appointed later this year.
The successful contractors will be responsible for the maintenance of 479km of the provincial road network and the project is expected to create 2 125 jobs.
The nature of work to be carried out under this programme includes cleaning of drainage structures, removal of grass and debris from grids, clearing bridge drainage ports and scuppers, repairing damaged fencing and road signs, installation and replacement of road studs, mowing of grass in the road reserve, cutting of firebreaks and assistance with veld fires and emergency assistance to motorists.
Vadi said he was particularly pleased that 50 percent of the contractors are women-owned companies and 2% are people with disabilities.
More than half of the contractors are young people under 35 years of age.
At the launch, Vadi and his departmental officials carried out maintenance work on road D1861 near Lawley and the R554 along Eikenhof.
SOURCE: South African Official News