Upgrade of road is back on track

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

After three months of disruptions, the upgrading of the important Lefiso-Marapyane road link has resumed.

In June this year, the Labour Department stopped all work on the road after it was reported that the contractor, Manto Consulting Engineers, had underpaid its workers and also compromised their safety.

Labour Department officials say the company, appointed by Mpumalanga's department of roads and transport, had failed to provide workers with protective equipment as required by law.

But yesterday they announced that work on the R45 million project had resumed after the road firm finally complied with the department's requirements.

"We can confirm that all our requirements have been met and work on the road is back on track," said Tony Mphahlele, spokesman for the Labour Department.

Sowetan reported earlier that workers were forced to use their own clothing, unsuitable for the work involved.

The roads department appointed the consulting engineers overseeing the construction - who in turn hired workers and sub-contractors, resulting in a lack of supervision.

The department has also demanded that workers be paid the minimum wage, after it was discovered that they were being paid R6,87 an hour - instead of R12,11.