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YET another massive road upgrade project has been commenced within the Greater Kokstad Municipality with the turning of the sod to mark the start of the construction of the P609 road. The project valued at R87 million is set to upgrade the provincial road, P609, which will contribute to the facelift of the town of Kokstad. The project is wholly funded by the Department of Transport in KwaZulu-Natal and recently the contractor was introduced to the community members. This is the town’s main road linking the town to the neighbouring Eastern Cape towns, passing through the town and a gateway into Kokstad. This is a 76-kilometre project by the KwaZulu-Natal but will be implemented in phases as the first phase underway is for three kilometres, starting from the entrance of the town to its outskirts.

The Acting MEC for the Department of Transport, Jomo Sibiya, Harry Gwala District Mayor, Councillor Z.D. Nxumalo, Greater Kokstad Municipal Mayor, Cllr B.M. Mtolo, Harry Gwala Speaker, Cllr M.S.D. Mdunge, Greater Kokstad Municipality Speaker, Cllr Lwanda Madikizela were part of the delegation led by the MEC to officially turn the sod to mark the official start of the project. Moreover, the project is part of enhancing the local economy as it is a known fact that the infrastructural road network attracts investors especially in remote town’s like Kokstad, which also must cater for neighbouring towns. “It is a known fact that Kokstad is under pressure of competition from the neighbouring towns that have been developed with speed to distract the demand of people coming from various places to buy in Kokstad,” said MEC Sibiya. He said this is a reason the Kokstad leadership is creative enough to think ahead to ensure the highest standard of infrastructural development. “This project coincides with the half a billion-interchange project by SANRAL, a solution to traffic congestion since the town of Kokstad is fast growing where heavy vehicles are coming in and out all the time… said MEC Sibiya. He also revealed that several jobs will be created for the local communities and that the local contractors will benefit 30% of the contract. MEC Sibiya further commended the Kokstad Mayor, Cllr B.M Mtolo for being consistent in ensuring service delivery to the people and made it clear that it was through his hard work and patience that this road is now being rehabilitated.

The MEC has also stressed that he would be delighted if the contractor would complete the project sooner than the stipulated time. The Kokstad Mayor, Cllr B.M. Mtolo commended the Department for reacting positively to his request for the upgrading of this road which will contribute significantly to the facelift of the town and should be given serious attention it deserves until it is completed. “We are a Municipality that is very serious about service delivery as WE can never be defocussed or diverted from our vision of becoming a City of Economic Possibilities by 2047,” said Cllr Mtolo.