The N1 Eastern bypass project around the city is on hold after the contractor, Basil Read Limited was placed under business rescue on 15 June and suppliers of goods and services advised only to deliver when specifically requested to do so.
Vusi Mona, Communications Manager of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral), confirmed that construction started during December 2015 but did not provide a revised completion date. “Sanral remains committed to the project and its finalisation, and is hopeful that work will commence soon,” Mona said.
According to Mona, Sanral has allocated more than R1 billion to modernise, upgrade and maintain Limpopo roads over a period of three years, starting from 2015.
“From the budget, R640 million was allocated towards upgrading the N1 Eastern Ring Road around Polokwane, R450 million towards constructing the Musina ring road, R460 million towards the Mokopane northern ring road and R130 million to upgrade the R71 to Moria city,” Mona informed.
In a notice to affected parties dated 24 July, joint business rescue practitioners (BRPs), John Lightfoot and Siviwe Dongwane confirmed that the date of publication of a business rescue plan has been extended to 20 August. According to the notice, preparation of the business rescue plan is in progress while engagement with lenders is ongoing. “Many suppliers of goods and services have been requesting whether, during business rescue, their services are still to be provided. Our general response is that supply of such goods and services must only take place if specifically authorised in writing by the BRPs,” the statement concluded.
The BRPs also informed employees in a separate notice that the extension of the date for publication of the business rescue plan does not impact on their ability to proceed with the business of completing contracts in progress and any other related business. “However, confirmation of post-commencement financing (PCF) is critical to implementation of our business rescue plan and is therefore of priority. The provision of PCF requested will allow us to proceed with the orderly completion of contracts and the realisation of non-core assets, to the benefit of all stakeholders,” employees were informed.
Story & photos: BARRY VILJOEN