Home News Disgruntled community threatens to stop road project

Disgruntled community threatens to stop road project

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The project includes the resealing and widening of the MR913 road from the N12 towards Barkly West. The length of the road is about 25 kilometres and the areas affected are Magareng, ward 4, and Windsorton.

File Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

A GROUP of community members are threatening to stop a road construction project between Windsorton and Warrenton as they believe that workers were not fairly appointed.

Community member, Thabiso Stuurman, told the DFA on Tuesday that workers from Warrenton, Barkly West and Windsorton should have been employed on the project.

“We found out that 56 people are employed from Windsorton while there are only 10 workers from Warrenton and none from Barkly West.

“There are at least six workers who are already employed on other contracts and should not have been appointed.”

He stated that he had met with the chief director and director on Monday morning.

“We have also been in contact with them over the past two weeks where they urged us to allow the project to continue without any disruptions, but workers are becoming impatient.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Roads and Public Works, Crystal Robertson, said the steering committee would meet with members of the concerned group in the area on Wednesday to reach an amicable solution.

“The workers alleged that the recruitment process for the implementation of the MR913 project was not fair,” Robertson told the DFA.

She stated that the upgrading of MR913 was implemented through the roads section of the Department of Roads and Public Works.

“The project includes the resealing and widening of the MR913 road from the N12 towards Barkly West. The length of the road is about 25 kilometres and the areas affected are Magareng (ward 4) and Windsorton. A total of 100 participants will benefit from this project.”

Robertson further indicated that the DRPW was not directly involved in the identification of workers.

“The department’s role, when implementing projects, is to inform the relevant local municipality about the planned projects to be implemented within its boundaries and also to ensure that the recruitment processes are undertaken in partnership with the ward committees and other community structures where projects are implemented.”

She added that recruitment was done in line with the guidelines contained in the national document on expanded public works programme.

“Participants must reside in the ward in which the project will be implemented. Youths must at least be 16 years old and not older than 35 at the start of the project.”

Robertson stated that female-headed households, households where the head of the household had less than a primary school qualification, households that had less than one person earning a full-time income, persons with disabilities and reliant on social grants, households that rely on agriculture as their source of income were prioritised.

“It should be taken into consideration that any infighting will delay the implementation of the project, thus the department, through the establishment of the steering committee, hopes to find an amicable solution as soon as possible.”