The construction of the Bakwena N1N4toll forms a 90 km section of the N1 between Pretoria north and Bela Bela (Warmbaths) and a 290 km section of the N4 west of Pretoria to the Botswana border has benefitted road users and the community alike by creating links between the Limpopo, Gauteng and North West Provinces, and between the Trans Kalahari Corridor in Namibia and Botswana, and the N4 Maputo Corridor Toll Route. Bakwena has successfully operated, maintained and upgraded this toll road over the past 11 years.
Bakwena had invested in the creation of 3,900 jobs for previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI) during the initial construction works from 2001 to 2004.
Current construction along the N4 includes the addition of a dual carriageway from R512 (Brits) to Buffelspoort at a cost of R480 million, the upgrade of the Helen Joseph Interchange in Rustenburg at a cost of R4.4 million, and the rebuilding of the N4 from Rustenburg to Zeerust, some 117 kms at an estimated cost of R586 million. We expect that these upgrade projects will result in the employment of some 1200 previously disadvantaged individuals. The contractors executing these works on the N4 will use the labour force from the local communities in the area where practical.
Not only do we comply with international engineering standards and provide a world-class road, Bakwena is also conscious of the need for successful partnerships with the communities along the corridor to ensure long term economic benefit for the region.
Bakwena employs 667 previously disadvantaged individuals in the operations and maintenance of the toll road of which 261 jobs are located in the NW province. These jobs offer security for employment over the 30 year duration of the Bakwena concession contract. R5 million has been invested to date in training activities benefiting SMME’s and staff of the construction contractors and operations and maintenance service provider.
Services offered by Bakwena along the N1N4 toll road include routine road maintenance, route patrol and incident management. We have recently outsourced the cleaning and hygiene services of the operation to an SMME and Bakwena is now involved in mentorship and business training activities for such SMME. Bakwena has established an R18 million socio-economic development fund which is used for investment into SMMEs along the toll road as a means for accessing credit to grow their businesses. To date R8.4 million has already been allocated towards developing locally based business enterprises.
Some of the socio-economic and educational projects being undertaken by Bakwena in the North West province include:
- The awarding of annual bursaries to students. Bakwena has awarded 10 bursaries over the past 8 years amounting to R320,000. These bursaries range from Commercial and Information Technology degrees to Engineering, Political Sciences and International Relations degrees.
- The establishment of a business centre at a cost of R3 million in Chaneng, near Rustenburg, to provide formal trading premises for up to 14 entrepreneurs from the local community. Our objective is to assist in elevating these entrepreneurs from informal traders into fully fledged businesses providing goods and services that meet the needs of the community in the surrounding area;
- In conjunction with the North West Education Department and Endangered Wildlife Trust Bakwena has established road safety an environmental education programmes amongst educators from schools along the N4 toll road. These programmes reach some 153 educators and 10,400 students.
- Bakwena has provided scholar patrol equipment and training of scholar patrol teams in partnership with the North West Department of Road Safety focussing on the Dinokana, Swartruggens and the Bapong areas in the North West Province.
- The undertaking of visibility campaigns in Dinokana to ensure animals are more visible at night to motorists in attempts to minimize the extent of accidents.
- Bakwena supports the municipality by undertaking a clean-up campaign in Swartruggens and surrounding areas on an annual basis. Bakwena also financially supports the Thusanang Daycare Centre in Groot Marico and is also the main sponsor of the Groot Marico Bosveld Myl.
- Bakwena has recently partnered with Kgetleng Municipality in the regeneration of the town of Swartruggens.
We are currently rebuilding the N4 through the town and as part of this project we will upgrade the area of the town where the road traverses by adding sidewalks, a centre median and footpaths between schools in the area. Other enhancements to the town and surrounding areas are also under consideration. Bakwena is continuously striving to improve the lives of those along our corridor, for more information on our CSI initiatives, please log onto our website at www.bakwena.co.za.