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Employment creation: Sihlanzimvelo and Zibambele programmes
Building Tomorrow
Sihlanzimvelo and Zibambele Programme

The Engineering Unit manages two very successful maintenance programmes that provide employment for members of the local community, while also achieving key service delivery objectives. 

These are our stream cleaning programme, called Sihlanzimvelo and the Zibambele Road Maintenance programme.

The Sihlanzimvelo programme, is a very successful programme in the City achieving service delivery, environmental protection, and employment objectives. The programme, started in 2009, currently employs 107 co-operatives to maintain approximately 520 kilometres of streams in the City.  The co-operatives are employed on 24-month contracts, and members are drawn from local communities where the streams are located. The co-operatives are set very specific targets that cover cleaning of the streams and surrounding areas, and environmental objectives, for example, removing alien vegetation. Mentorship and training is provided on an on-going basis.

The Zibambele road maintenance programme aims to provide employment opportunities for primarily poor, woman headed households. The programme assigns beneficiaries a stretch of between 300 metres and half a kilometre of road for basic maintenance activities.  There are currently over 7,000 participants in the programme. This programme employs households, rather than an individual within the household to ensure that the family may allocate tasks appropriately within the household. 

Road Reserve Maintenance

Priority Routes is a Road Reserve Maintenance programme which is also a success within the Department. This programme is based on the principle of high order roads (20% of network that 80% of people traverse – freeways, main arterials and focal roads into suburbs). This programme involves cleaning of road reserve, stormwater infrastructure cleaning and general maintenance upkeep of the city’s major freeways/arterial road network, including the adjoining on and off ramps overhead bridges and a length of 100m of all connecting side roads

At present there are 11 contracts in place which cover 400km of the higher order road network. Monitoring of the contract activities is handled jointly between the Roads and Stormwater Maintenance Department, Durban Solid Waste and the Parks Department. 

Gravel Road Maintenance and the upgrading of low volume gravel roads
Access to a large part of the eThekwini Metro Area is obtained via an informal network of roads, tracks and footpaths that total 6805 km in length. Approximately 1500 km of the roads on this network are maintained as gravel roads, regraded every six months and regravelled every five years on average.There is also a programme in place for the upgrading of low volume gravel roads to paved standard at a rate of 60 km to 80 km per annum.

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