The upgrade to the major road first started in January 2020 and was originally set to be finished by October that year. However, two years later, construction is still ongoing. The City of Mbombela (CoM) stated that a new completion date was still being considered.
White Hazy Building Construction was awarded an 18-month contract for upgrading the route, which was said to include walkways on either side with guard rails as well as a stormwater drainage system.
However, when Lowvelder arrived at the site on the afternoon of January 18, there were no construction workers to be seen.
A visit to the White Hazy office delivered the number of the alleged supervisor of the site, known to Lowvelder only as “Michael”. However, Michael told the paper that the company was “not in charge of the site” and that the municipality should be contacted on the progress of the upgrade.
CoM’s spokesperson, Joseph Ngala, said that the City was not in charge of the site, and that the upgrades had been halted due to electricity cables under some sections of the road that needed to be removed.
“There are cables that need to be relocated in the area that were not part of the scope of work when the construction had commenced,” he said.
“These are sensitive cables (going towards the hospital) that unfortunately need a specialist service provider to handle. Apart from the persistent rain and the Christmas break, the contractor was also awaiting the availability of the specialist service provider for the relocation of the cables, hence the stoppage. It is hoped they will resume with the work next week.”
Ngala added that due to the prolonged stoppages, the completion date also had to be revised and a new date will be communicated.
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