Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly road’

In Kouga, the DA is a government for the future

September 17, 2019

If we want to build a modern, resilient country that is able to adapt to the challenges of our fast-changing world, then we have to make sure we remain future-focused.

We cannot live in the past and cling to failed ideas from the past, the way our government loves to do. We must look ahead and plan ahead.

Our biggest challenges in this country are our sky-rocketing unemployment and high levels of poverty, and this will remain so for many years to come.

But if we are not cognisant of how the global challenges of the 21st century – climate change, the proliferation of disease and technology – will impact on poverty and unemployment, then we will fall even further behind.

This starts with building a capable state staffed by qualified, fit-for-purpose individuals. We need a government that is agile and responsive. And we need our cities and towns to be at the forefront of driving growth through not only clean governance but also through innovative ideas.

The expanded unemployment rate here in the Eastern Cape is 46%. That means almost half of all working-age citizens in this province cannot find a job.

That is a shameful statistic and one which requires all of our attention. If we are to have any chance of turning this around, then we will need to transform our towns and cities into modern economies, attractive to both businesses and citizens alike.

This is why it is crucial that we embrace new ideas and new technology that can open doors to investors as well as deliver services to citizens. And not only at national government level. New thinking and innovative ideas should be the key focus of all levels and spheres of government if we are to prepare ourselves for the future.

Koraal Street in Jeffreys Bay is a good example of this kind of thinking. Almost 2km of it is being resurfaced using recycled plastic material as a binder in the asphalt, and it should be completed by the end of October.

It is the first time that this technology is being trialed in South Africa to build an eco-friendly road.

The recycled plastic replaces a large portion of the bitumen in asphalt, which is made from crude oil. There are multiple benefits to using this material.

For starters, it takes tonnes of plastic from our landfills and prevents this from breaking down and leaching into the groundwater. It is strong and resistant to wear, with significantly fewer potholes, cracks or breaks.

And then there is the employment aspect, with the potential for hundreds of jobs not only in the construction of the roads but also upstream in the collection and sorting of the waste.

This particular product has been extensively tested and does not leech plastic particles into the environment – unlike some so-called eco-roads that end up doing more harm than good. If this pilot project is successful, then this could have a major impact not only on the quality of our road surfaces but also on our environment.

But this isn’t the only exciting pilot project being undertaken by the DA-led Kouga municipality. Elsewhere they have also started testing a special kind of concrete normally used in the underground roads of mines to fill potholes.

This special concrete dries rock hard within an hour and could be the answer to the municipality’s daunting pothole problem.

When it comes to innovating solutions and the use of technology, DA governments across the country are setting the standard.

The world will not wait for South Africa to catch up. It is up to us to leave the 20th century and all its out-dated ideas behind and meet the challenges of the 21st-century head-on.

Because only then will we succeed in building sustainable and integrated towns and cities, and building one South Africa for all.

Mmusi Maimane

Leader of the Democratic Alliance

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Eco friendly road for Jeffreys Bay

March 12, 2019

An Eastern Cape municipality is pioneering a new approach to building roads which could spell the end of potholes, create jobs and help save the planet.

Horatio Hendricks, Executive Mayor of Kouga Municipality, said the local authority would be taking hands with a Scottish company and South African civil engineering experts to build the first “plastic road” in Africa.

Kouga Municipality

The project was launched at Jeffreys Bay yesterday (Monday, 11 March).

“The backlog in road repairs for our region is estimated to be more than R500-million. While Kouga is strong financially, we simply do not have the rates base to deal with this backlog decisively,” he said.

“The DA-led Kouga Council has, therefore, been looking for innovative ways to slay this giant since taking power in the municipality in 2016.”

The search led Hendricks to Vicky Knoetze, a member of the Eastern Cape Legislature who first introduced the idea of solving some of South Africa’s problems through plastic roads to the Provincial Legislature in 2017. Her notion was, however, rejected at the time.

She facilitated a meeting between the municipality and Scottish innovators MacRebur, whose plastic roads have already been put to the test in the United Kingdom and other countries across the globe.

Also present were Port Elizabeth-based civil engineering and construction companies SP Excel and Scribante Construction.

“I am delighted with the outcome and that Kouga has agreed to become the first municipality in South Africa and the continent to put the technology to the test, ” Knoetze said.

“Essentially we will be doing what we have done for years and will be doing till the end of days, which is building roads, just in a much more efficient and effective way.”

She said what MacRebur offered, was an enhancement of the asphalt mix traditionally used for the top layer of roads.

“Non-recyclable plastic waste, which ends up in the ocean or clogging up landfill sites, is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.

“It is estimated that up to 1,8 million plastic bags can be used in just one kilometre of road.

“The result is a road that is stronger and more durable. Water, the main cause of potholes, does not penetrate it as easily as with traditional asphalt mixes and it is also more heat resistant,” she explained.

She said the plastic road surface was also cheaper and easier to maintain.

Hendricks said Kouga was looking forward to the potential benefits of the trial.

” Poor roads have a devastating impact on communities. It’s not only a danger to motorists, it is also bad for the economy as it scares off potential investors and makes it difficult for existing businesses to ply their trade.”

He said should the trial be successful, the municipality would like to see a factory being established in Kouga to produce the pellets locally.

“In this way it will be a triple win for our people – better roads, less pollution and more job opportunities.”

He said a 1km-stretch of Woltemade and Koraal Streets in Jeffreys Bay has been earmarked for the trial.

“We expect work to start in about a month’s time as the product has to be imported for now.”

The trial will be done at no cost to the municipality, with the respective partners set to foot the bill.