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Storm water installation starts at plastic road in Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay – The installation of new storm water pipes will start at Woltemade Street next week as Kouga Municipality prepares to build Africa’s first eco-friendly road.

The storm water pipes were delivered to the site this week.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said a 1,7km stretch of Woltemade and Koraal Streets is set to be rebuilt over the next three months.

“What will make the roads different is the top layer, which will include recycled plastic.

“The testing of this product, developed by the Scottish company MacRebur, was recently finalised,” he said.

Hendricks said the contractor, SP Excel, expected to complete the storm water installation next week. Excavation of the new road will then begin the following week.

“The contractor will first be rebuilding a section of Woltemade Street before moving on to Koraal Street in September.

“Once excavation starts, Woltemade Street will be closed to traffic from Jeffreys to St Francis Street. The contractor will, however, ensure that there are pedestrian pathways to minimise the inconvenience to businesses in that area.”

The ground-breaking initiative is a joint project by Kouga Municipality, MacRebur SA and two Port Elizabeth-based civil engineering and construction companies, SP Excel and Scribante Construction.

The partnership was facilitated by Vicky Knoetze, a DA MPL, who first introduced the idea of using waste plastic to solve some of South Africa’s road problems to the East Cape Provincial Legislature in 2017.

Hendricks said that what MacRebur offered, was an enhancement of the asphalt mix traditionally used for the top layer of roads.

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“Plastic waste is processed into pellets and used to replace a large component of the bitumen in a conventional asphalt mix.

“It is estimated that up to 1,8 million plastic bags can be used in just one kilometre of road,” he said.

“The result is a road that is stronger, more durable and easier to maintain.”

He said Kouga was looking forward to the potential benefits of the trial.

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“Should the trial be successful, we would like to see a factory being built locally to produce the pellets, which had to be imported from Scotland for the trial.

“This would mean work at the factory, as well as a means for communities to make money by collecting and selling plastic waste.”

He said the trial would be done at no cost to the municipality, with the respective partners set to foot the bill.

The expected completion date has been set for mid-October.

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