Upgrading of National Route N2 between Grahamstown and Fish River Pass

Port Elizabeth, 27 November, 2017: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) would like to notify travellers that controlled blasting is scheduled to continue on National Route 2 Section 13 between Grahamstown and the Fish River, every Tuesday up to and including Tuesday, 5 December 2017, weather permitting.

The blasts will occur at various places along the N2 between Km 81 and Km 92, approximately 25 km to 30 km to the north-east of Grahamstown.

Blasting will take place between 2pm and 4:30pm and the road will be closed for approximately one- hour during this time.

“No blasting will take place after 05 December 2017 or over the holiday period,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.

Motorists are advised to plan their trips accordingly. SANRAL apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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Expiry of SASSA Card

The issues of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) expiry card has brought a lot of uncertainty among social grant beneficiaries who are now living in fear of what will happen when the card expires on 31 December 2017 .

SASSA would like to assure beneficiaries of social grants that the matter has been dealt with and resolved by all parties concerned, namely CPS (Cash Paymaster Services) PASA and MasterCard.

Following an agreement with all these parties SASSA can confirm that the official SASSA card issued to social grant beneficiaries will operate without any problem beyond the expiry date of 31 December 2017 printed on it. This therefore means that the card will be accepted at all retailers irrespective of the expiry date printed on it.

The reason for this is that the technology and the acceptance of the card into the National Payment System requires no enhancement as this has already been addressed. SASSA further wishes to reiterate that the SASSA card bearing the colours of the South African flag remains the only official card and cannot be changed for any other card.

Commenting on these latest developments the CEO of SASSA, Pearl Bengu reiterated that “beneficiaries of social grants do not have to panic anymore as this issue has finally been resolved.

She further pointed out that “It has been agreed in our negotiations that PASA will issue a notice to all retailers informing them that they should find it easy to accept the SASSA card as it will still function properly irrespective of the expiry date printed on it.”

Bengu also assured beneficiaries that payment of their social grants will go ahead as usual. She also concluded by saying that the Agency is aware that the expiry date on the card coincides with the period when most parents will be preparing to take their children back to school and that SASSA would never allow any families or children to be impacted negatively by this issue.

Beneficiaries are also warned to be careful of any individuals posing as SASSA employees offering to exchange their SASSA cards for any other card because of the expiry date.

Adelaide and Fort Beaufort R63 Section upgrades completed

The R49 million periodic road maintenance project on the R63 between Adelaide and Fort Beaufort in the Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape has been completed, the South African National Roads Authority (SOC) Ltd (SANRAL) announced today.

Prior to the upgrade the existing surface was showing signs of chip loss as well as localised surface and base failures.

“We are pleased to announce a durable, waterproof, skid resistant and all-weather road surface for motorists and safer conditions for pedestrians,” Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager said.

Major works on this project included base, rut and surface repairs, sealing of cracks, sealing the surface with a new bituminous double seal along the rural section and an asphalt overlay through the Adelaide Town portion, replacing damaged fencing, and new road marking and studs.

As part of the community development part of the project, which reserved work packages for SMMEs on lower CIDB gradings, SANRAL also repaired kerbs and sidewalks, and constructed pedestrian walkways in Adelaide while the road agency constructed safe layby areas near the entrance of Fort Beaufort for vendors operating in the informal economy.

“Until the upgrade of this section of the R63, pedestrians were forced to make use of the surface road shoulder. Now, they have been provided with walkways which separates vulnerable roads users from the motorised traffic.

“A lack of proper periodic resurfacing would have resulted in the asset requiring expensive and premature rehabilitation. Our resurfacing programme will prohibit the ingress of moisture into pavement layers and as a result the life of this asset will be preserved,” Peterson said.

During the project, SANRAL empowered and developed individuals from local communities through 12 training and skills development workshops with a combined value of R256 441,68. The workshops included construction skills such as brick paving, kerb laying, and road marking as well as business skills such as enterprise development through tendering, among other things.

In terms of targeted labour employed, the youth and women empowerment participation goals achieved on this specific project, were 30% and 37% respectively while 80% of targeted enterprises participating were woman-owned enterprises.

Local Content Requirements and the Impact on the South African Renewable Energy Sector

The BKCOB’s second Vice President, and Energy Committee chairperson, Dr Chris Ettmayr has recently contributed towards a study published in the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences.

The study -Local Content Requirements and the Impact on the South African Renewable Energy Sector- by Ettmayr and Hendrik Lloyd, analyses the impact of local content requirements on the renewable energy sector and provides debate on the effectiveness of the policy with which they have to comply.

“The South African renewable energy sector has seen significant investment in the last few years with numerous solar and wind farms popping up all over the country. There are also bio-gas, landfill gas, hydro and even one or two geothermal projects that have been established. The projects that have formed part of the South African renewable energy procurement program named, REIPPPP, have all had to comply with local content requirements,” said Ettmayr.

Dr. Chris Ettmayr is an Economist by profession with a strong background in research and business development. His work history has varied between public and private institutions such as; the National Intelligence Agency, the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) and Geonomics.

Click on the link to download the full article: Local Content Requirements and the Impact on the South African Renewable Energy Sector.