South Africa’s national road agency is going all out to make sure black businesses in the construction sector are supported by everyone involved.
The national roads agency is unwavering in its commitment to the inclusive participation of black South Africans in opportunities generated by its investment in the construction sector and related industries.
Established businesses with existing contracts with The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) – particularly white-owned businesses – should assist the agency to realise its transformation objectives if they wished to continue doing business with the agency.
This was the resounding message from SANRAL CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma at a business function held recently at the East London International Convention Centre.
Macozoma said the roads agency was unwavering in its commitment to ensure inclusive participation of black South Africans in opportunities generated by SANRAL: “We are geared up to roll out the policy on 1 April 2018.” The implementation date of the policy depends on approval by the Minister of Transport and the Cabinet.
More than 100 delegates attended Macozoma’s presentation, including kings, traditional leaders and representatives of the provincial Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa’s (Contralesa) youth wing, as well as delegates from the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), South African Women in Construction (SAWIC), EC Black Contractors Association, Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), youth business chambers and individual contractors from across the Eastern Cape.
SANRAL’s commitment to transforming the construction sector was commended by those in attendance.
SANRAL in the Eastern Cape
SANRAL manages 4 952km of roads in the Eastern Cape – 22% of the total 22 190kms that traverse all nine provinces.
The agency’s Eastern Cape flagship development is the N2 Wild Coast project, a 410km stretch of road from East London to the Mtavuna River on the border between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
In addition to the N2 Wild Coast project, SANRAL has a further 116 projects in the initiation, design and construction stages in different parts of the province over the next three years.
Since 2009, SANRAL has injected R33.3-billion into the provincial road network. Of this, R11.7-billion was allocated over the past two years; R5-billion in 2016/17 and R6.7-billion for the financial year ending in March 2018.
However, only 10% of SANRAL’s national R20-billion expenditure in 2016/17 was spent on black SMMEs.
“Changing this trend is non-negotiable,” Macozoma said. “We want to see more black women, youth, people with disabilities and military veterans getting a sizeable increase in our spend and participating in our bursary and scholarship programmes, internships and [Port-Elizabeth based] Technical Excellence Academy.”
The success of SANRAL’s transformation policy rests on six levers:
- Ownership buy-in from the large construction sector;
- Equitable access to contracts across the Construction Industry Development Board grades;
- Community empowerment, with an emphasis on local sourcing;
- Supply chains that provide black businesses with access to equipment and materials;
- Healthy competition, including toll operations and other supporting sectors in SANRAL’s business; and
- SMME and emerging contractor development.