LYDENBURG – For years residents had to put up with substandard roads with little or nothing done to improve road conditions in town.
Finally, there is hope to shape up the roads which were once included and not avoided on the Panorama Route. Glencore has always been touted as a company that makes a positive impact on the economy and people’s prosperity.
Known for its active involvement in the community and its residents, the mining giant has once again made an investment in the town’s interest.
Loui van Rhyn of Glencore Lydenburg said that the company was asked by Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) to assist them with the repairs of the pothole-ridden roads. “We, however, did not want to start a project that is not sustainable. The project focuses on Local Economic Development (LED), but the main aim is to keep it sustainable. With the unemployment forums, we identified two fully owned black female companies, namely Frenzaas and Lomalay.
“The two companies each received the necessary equipment for the repairs that will be done and will be trained for two months in this specific field of road reparation. The handover of all the equipment was done on Monday this week. “After the two months, we want this project to be fully succoured.”
Van Rhyn said that they want these two businesses to be fully independent and self-sustainable. “We want them to succeed in this endeavour. The equipment belongs to them after today. We want to set them up and get them up and running. The sustainability must come from the mines, from the municipality and any and everyone who has an interest in pothole repairs. It would be ideal if everyone could join in and make a huge success of this project.”
He said the companies will not be able to do major repairs. “With the equipment they have, they will be focusing on pothole repairs that will prevent these hollowed-out pieces from growing. Major repairs will still have to be done.” Van Rhyn said that the two companies are solely owned.
Lorraine Nagel is the owner of Lomalay and Julia Sithole is the owner of Frenzaas. “We are extremely excited about this project, and cannot wait to start with repairs to the roads,” both women told Steelburger/Lydenburg News.
Conroy van der Westhuizen, general manager of the Glencore/Merafe Smelter Lydenburg, said this is one of the examples in which the company is empowering local emerging businesses.
“We would like to advance the appearance of Lydenburg as a town again, in order for tourists who enter it to say that this is the kind of town they would love to Community rallies around companies visit again. This investment from Glencore Lydenburg is an investment of over a million rand. With the vehicles and equipment, we also provide training and employ local people to make sure that the potholes are fixed.”
Repairs to the corner of Potgieter and Viljoen started the same day the handover was done.
On day two of the repairs, Lomalay already received their first sponsorship. Nagel told the newspaper that on Tuesday morning the company received two wheelbarrows and Red Bull energy drinks from Longtom SPAR. McGee also sponsored them with bottles of drinking water. “They also gave us permission to use the water on their premises for the road repairs. The equipment needs water to work, and it is difficult to transport water to the site.” Nagel said that she is still experiencing tears of joy due to the project, and is now even more geared up to get the town’s potholes fixed. “I would really like to express my gratitude to the businesses who have already supported us. It is amazing.”