The construction of the Bakwena N1N4 toll 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 on the N1 includes the addition of a fourth lane for both the northbound and southbound carriageways between the Proefplaas interchange where the N1 intersects with the N4 Emalahleni/Pretoria and the Zambezi interchange. Bakwena is investing R274 million in this capacity enhancement. The lanes are being added in the median and the two carriageways will be separated by a newly constructed median concrete barrier. The total length of the construction is 8 kms. The newly constructed lanes will tie in with that of the GFIP Freeway project just south of the Proefplaas interchange, essentially completing the four lane configuration up to Zambezi interchange. As part of the project, lighting will be provided from the Proefplaas interchange up to the Pumulani Toll Plaza on the N1 and the Doornpoort Toll Plaza on the N4. Lighting is also being provided by the South African National Roads Agency between the Watermeyer interchange on the N4 to the Pretoria CBD. The Proefplaas interchange is being upgraded to provide increased capacity for all directional movements to and from the N1. The existing lanes and interchanges will be rehabilitated and the entire carriageway will receive a new asphalt wearing coarse as part of the project. This upgrade is regarded as a major improvement at no additional cost to the road users.
A major challenge of the project is the accommodation of traffic while executing the works. Bakwena has procured the services of a 24 hour towing facility to ensure that, in the event of any break downs and or accidents during these road works, these incidents will be attended to within twenty minutes of occurrence. The report of incidents on the road is managed by Bakwena’s 24 hour control room in conjunction with the safety personnel on site. The site is also manned on a 24 hour basis to ensure the effectiveness of the system. The authorities are fully involved in the changes of the traffic accommodation necessitated by the construction. Their assistance is truly appreciated.
The completion of the overall project is expected in March 2013, however, the additional lanes on the N1 are planned to be opened in December 2012.
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 Bakwena N1N4 toll road. 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 operates one of the busiest Traffic Control Centres in the country which controls overloading of trucks and buses ensuring the country’s roads are protected against damage and that other road users are kept safe. Mantsole Traffic Control Centre on the N1 just north of the Carousel weighs approximately 270 000 vehicles per annum.