National roads are vital to South Africa’s economic activity, transportation of raw material/finished goods and job creation. The national road network also ensures essential services such as electricity, water, sanitation, telecommunication, and public transport are provided.
Road safety plays a critical role for all these services. In compliance with Bakwena’s mandate and priority, Bakwena has successfully made their routes safer for the last 18 years. There are year- round Road Safety initiatives in place which are often carried out in partnerships with other roadsafety role players.
The route patrollers and customer care system operate on a 24/7 basis and forms part of Bakwena’s services not only for road users, but also for the communities close to the N1N4. Bakwena’s Customer Care centre receives approximately 2500 to 3000 calls per month from road users with queries ranging from breakdowns, crash and fire assistance as well as information relating to dead and live animals along the route which require removal. The Customer Care department and Route Patrollers work side by side to ensure each call is attended to as efficiently as possible.
Each of the 4 route patrollers is responsible for monitoring their portion of the 390km route on average of 4 to 5 times per day. The approximate monthly kilometres travelled by the 4 route patrollers is in the region of 105 000 kilometres.
Their responsibility includes monitoring the route, reporting road damage caused by crashes/vandalism, ensuring debris/dead animals are removed off the road, assisting at crash scenes as well as providing road users in distress with assistance.
The most common assistance required by road users is assistance for changing tyres, mechanical breakdowns, jump starting vehicles as well as providing a limited amount of fuel to those who have run out to ensure they can get to the nearest garage to fill up.
The route patrollers work closely with various Road Incident Management System (RIMS) colleagues through the 3 provinces [Gauteng, Limpopo, North West] that Bakwena’s route runs through. These management systems include SAPS, traffic law enforcement and emergency rescue services which ensures prompt response to crashes or other incidents occurring on the road.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Bakwena’s route patrols, emergency response teams including emergency construction teams, are on duty to respond to all emergencies that may occur on the N1N4. Strict precautionary measures are in place to safeguard the health of road users, toll staff, patrollers and emergency response teams.
Should road users be faced with an emergency or require assistance while travelling the Bakwena N1N4 route, the number to dial is 0800 2259362 / 0800 BAKWENA.
Bakwena and its service providers are committed to ensure road safety and uninterrupted mobility on the N1N4 route during the lockdown period. We encourage every South African to #StayAtHome during the #COVID-19lockdown – together we can fight the COVID-19 pandemic and #flattenthecurve.