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Travelling on the R34, along the Memel Road, is not a pleasant experience. The poor condition of the popular road being a well-published subject. However, there is hope for the Memel Road thanks to a community-conscious initiative.
Memel farmers, led by Beukes Willemse, launched a project to fill and repair potholes on the R34 in the Memel area. The project will be completed in collaboration with the Free State Province Department of Roads to ensure all work is authorised.
Yet, how will the Memel Road project work?
The farmers affirmed that they would supply the labour (at their cost) required for the department to complete the job.
However, as noble as the farmers’ mission is, they cannot do it alone. In order to successfully complete the project, the group needs the public to assist them in acquiring the necessary tar/asphalt to fill the potholes. Noting that the cost of a bag is R58.
As a result, the farmers aim to purchase 34 Tonnes for the first section. This totals up to R78 800.
Newcastle’s Phumaphambili Transport company offered to transport the load for free. Therefore, with labour and logistics covered, the only thing short would be the tar/asphalt.
Backing the initiative, the Newcastle Sakekamer President, Koos Pieterse, urges local businesses and the community to support the project. Further stating that the R34 is a critical route for companies and Newcastle residents.
With the above in mind, Pieterse explains that just over R70 000 has been raised to date. He points out that this is merely just the start. “The Chinese Chamber and Taiwanese Chamber have contributed 60% of the money raised so far, with the other monies being donated by community members.”
With the bulk of the money raised, Pieterse challenges the community and local business sector to come to the party. All financial donations are welcome, from R50 to R5 000.
According to Pieterse, the first load of materials for the project will be collected within this week. This will hopefully cover the distance from Bothas Pass to Memel.
Once additional money is raised, the second load will be collected, which will be for the road from Memel to Newcastle.
Looking at the overall project, Pieterse enthuses, “There is much work still to do, and we truly need the people of Newcastle to come together. The residents of Memel will also be doing fundraising and contributing to the project.”
The Sakekamer’s president adds that Vrede residents are also looking at assisting with the initiative.
Furthermore, Pieterse stresses that the initiative is bound in legalities. This is why the R34 project is being done in collaboration with the Department of Roads. Additionally, a trust has been established for financial donations.
Contributions can be paid over to Southey’s Attorneys, Newcastle. When donating, people should use the following reference: R34NN, Name of Person OR business, for example:
R34NN Jan Seep OR Jan-a-man Pty Ltd
Trust Account Details:
- Southey Attorneys Inc ABSA
- Account Number: 4045975105
- Branch Code: 632005
- Description: R34NN, Name of person/business
Proof of payments can be sent through to email@example.com.
It must be reiterated; proper records will be available.
Closing off, Pieterse states that the farmers of Memel deserve our thanks and appreciation for this initiative. Especially as it is one that the whole of Newcastle will benefit from. “The farmers have really taken charge of the matter and our hats go off to them.”
Be sure to do your part and assist in ensuring the project is a success. Primarily as it affects community members, the business sector and even healthcare services.
To read how the condition impacts the Memel Road, click here.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Share your views in the comment section below.