File picture: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

JOHANNESBURG - The Western Cape provincial government, run by the main national opposition Democratic Alliance, said on Friday a R650 million roadworks project currently underway between Ashton and Montagu had been delayed because the main contractor Basil Read was in business rescue.

The Western Cape department of transport and public work (DTPW) said an interim contractor would be appointed no later than the end of the first week of September to manage the works until a project completion contractor could take over. The project is expected to be completed in July 2020.

"DTPW is acutely aware of the impact of the project delay on subcontractors, workers, road users and local communities, and is taking urgent steps to remedy the situation," it said.

Department head Jacqui Gooch said critical bridge and other works were going on and would continue through the appointment of the interim contractor. Financial due diligence assessments would be undertaken to minimise the risk of appointing a contractor who was unable to complete the project.

To date, approximately R31 million has been spent on targeted enterprises and approximately 80,000 person-days of work have been created, the DTPW said.

- African News Agency (ANA)