Toll Concessionaire, Bakwena, ready for winter school holiday queues amid loadshedding

Bakwena, the toll concessionaire responsible for managing 385km of the N1N4 route in South Africa, is geared up to handle increased traffic during the upcoming winter school holidays. With the possibility of increased stages of loadshedding, Bakwena has taken proactive measures to ensure efficient operations at its toll plazas.

“As families embark on their winter vacation, traveling to warmer parts of the country along the Bakwena N1N4 route, we are fully prepared to accommodate the anticipated increase in traffic. Our top priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable journey for all motorists during this holiday season,” says Solomon Kganyago, Chief Operating Officer at Bakwena.

Under a 30-year concession contract awarded in 2001 by the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), Bakwena oversees the N4 route from Pretoria to the Botswana border and the N1 route from Pretoria to Bela Bela in Limpopo. The Bakwena N1N4 route forms part of the important Trans-Kalahari Corridor, a regional development corridor, providing coast-to-coast links from Walvis Bay in Namibia to Maputo in Mozambique.

Bakwena provides motorists with safer and more efficient roads, offering various safety-enhancing services, including a 24-hour call centre and emergency roadside assistance. The day-to-day operations of Bakwena are managed by Pt Operational Services, a specialized toll operations and road maintenance company. Additionally, Bakwena takes responsibility for rehabilitating and upgrading the roads, with upgrade works tailored to meet specific road traffic levels of service outlined in their contract.

As schools prepare for their winter break starting on June 23rd, Bakwena advises road users to plan their journeys in advance, particularly expecting heavy traffic conditions along the Bakwena N1N4 route from 12 noon until early evening on Friday, June 23rd. Similarly, increased traffic can be anticipated on Sunday, July 16th, as schools reopen on Tuesday, July 18th. Furthermore, Friday, August 4th, and Wednesday, August 9th, may also experience busy conditions due to the public holiday on the latter date.

To address potential disruptions caused by loadshedding, Bakwena has thoroughly reviewed its existing processes and implemented additional measures to enhance through-put at toll plazas.

“We have taken proactive measures to ensure smooth traffic flow at our toll plazas. We remain dedicated to delivering a seamless travel experience and encourage road users to plan their trips in advance,” says Kganyago.

To mitigate the impact of loadshedding, all toll plazas are equipped with backup power facilities, including uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and generators, which have been in operation since 2001. Regular maintenance and operational replacements are carried out on this equipment. The UPS systems are designed to sustain plaza operations for a reasonable duration until the generators are activated.

Motorists are encouraged to stay informed, plan their journeys ahead of time, and cooperate with the toll operator's instructions to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience along the Bakwena N1N4 route.

“We deeply appreciate the cooperation of road users as we work together to navigate these challenges and make their winter getaway memorable” concludes Kganyago.