Road upgrade 'will finish on time'

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Despite obstacles encountered in the Lefiso-Marapyane road upgrade, the Mpumalanga department of roads and transport says it will meet next year's July deadline to complete the project.

The statement comes after Sowetan reported that the department of labour had stopped the R45million road upgrade because the construction company put profits above workers' safety.

Workers were also allegedly paid R6 an hour instead of a minimum wage of R12,11.

Manto Consulting Engineers, appointed by the department, failed to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act by not allocating protective clothing to workers.

Labour department spokesman Tony Mphahlele said that unless their requirements were complied with, the project would remain on ice.

But yesterday roads and transport department spokesman David Nkambule claimed that workers did have protective clothing "but they do not put them on because of the wrong sizes".

"Orders for additional protective clothing have been sent to the suppliers and should be delivered at any time," he said.

"The contract will now be divided. Seven kilometres will be constructed internally and 7km will be outsourced," he said.