A large-scale project to fix up about 400 km of gravel roads in the rural areas of North West has kicked off this week.
The project was launched near Kameel after leading agricultural company NWK recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the North West department of public works, roads and transport. In this agreement, NWK offers its assistance to government to make the province’s dirt roads more accessible.
In a statement released on Wednesday (1 June 2022), NWK says it also regularly donates tar to repair potholes in Lichtenburg’s central business district. It is undertaking the dirt road project in collaboration with Agri NW and has made R500 000 available for the first phase, which is expected to last about four weeks.
As the harvesting season is currently underway for grain farmers, the focus during the first phase of the project will be on gravel roads that lead to and from NWK’s silo complexes. This is hoped to enable farmers to get their grain harvests to the silos as easily as possible.
“Our roads are in complete disarray and lead to great unhappiness among the people,” says Theo Rabe, NWK group CEO in the statement. “Every person using these roads suffers great damage. As a company, NWK [was compelled by] these dilapidated roads some time ago to form an agreement with the provincial government in order to get something done.”
“All the damage suffered, especially by producers, contributes to the rising price of food. Especially the price of the main food source of poor communities keeps rising as a result of damage to equipment and the inaccessibility of roads.”
Work kicked off immediately
NWK recently obtained the necessary authorisation and indemnity to start work on the dirt roads in collaboration with business partners. A contractor was appointed immediately to do the grading.
Roads between Rostrataville, Sannieshof, Boschpoort, Coligny, Grootpan, Lusthof and Taaiboschpan, among others, will be graded during this phase.
“The road network is crucial for the effective functioning of the entire food production chain and for ensuring that end consumers have affordable food on their tables. Contributions by partners like NWK and Agri NW will help to keep expenses of the farmer, and ultimately the end consumer, lower,” Rabe continues.
“What’s more: other road users who travel to work and school with buses an taxis on these roads, will benefit from this.”
Other roads in the province will be prioritised in upcoming phases of the project. Farmers are requested to contact the manager of their nearest NWK retail outlet or silo for queries.
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