Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Orania now on national route – representations relating to overloaded trucks possibly the impetus

An announcement in the Government Gazette earlier this week that two sections of road each about 70 kilometres long will become national roads was probably brought about by constant representations due to overloaded trucks on the route.

Seeing as national roads are generally better maintained than provincial roads, the FF Plus welcomes the announcement.

The one section is the R369 commencing from its intersection with the N12 at Hopetown, proceeding across Orania to the junction with the R48 to Koffiefontein and ultimately, Bloemfontein.

The other is the R389 commencing from its intersection with the N1 at Hanover and stretching to the R48 at Philipstown. This is part of the infamous ore route, where the poor condition of the road's surface has already caused several deaths.

At this stage, what will happen to the section between these two new national roads, that is, across Petrusville to Philipstown, is still unclear. That part of the route is in an equally poor condition as the new national roads.

A sharp increase in mining activities around Postmasburg, Kathu and Kuruman has over the past few years led to an increase in freight traffic to ports in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

From Kimberley, there are national roads across Bloemfontein, Colesberg and Cradock, or across Hopetown, Britstown, De Aar, Hanover and Cradock to Port Elizabeth.

Trucks sometimes, however, opt to turn off at Hopetown and drive across Orania, Petrusville and Philipstown before re-joining the national road at Hanover. That route is not meant to carry such heavy traffic.

The deteriorating condition of the road and the constant loss of lives were reported by the FF Plus, to Parliament as well.

Community organisations along the route as well as municipal authorities, like Orania, frequently engaged with the provincial authorities about the matter. Better law enforcement and more frequent road maintenance were requested time and again.

At present, what the new status will mean in practice remains unclear. It does, however, spark hope that the roads will soon be improved and that the remaining section will also be included in the project. It will also facilitate tourism and agriculture along the Orange River.




The red line indicates the route that ore trucks usually take from the N12 at Hopetown to the N1 and then the N10 at Hanover. The purple lines indicate the sections of the route that were declared national roads.



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