Home stretch for the completion of N14 Kathu intersections
Northern Cape, 25 January 2022 – Construction will commence in the next two months on the uncompleted intersections on the N14 between Olifantshoek and Kathu, which have caused much frustration to road users.
Following an exhaustive procurement process, as directed by government’s Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) yesterday handed over the project to the new contractor to complete the outstanding works over the next 12 months.
SANRAL met with SMMEs and communities in the Gamagara Local Municipality on Friday, to explain the economic and project participation opportunities that come with the completion of the project.
“We are delighted to see this project finally entering the final stages of completion. The intersections are a major road safety concern, and we are happy that SANRAL is prioritising road safety in our community. The jobs and subcontracting opportunities are a welcome boost to our local economy,” said Councillor Ophaketse Hantise, Mayor of the Gamagara Local Municipality.
The three intersections have largely remained incomplete due to the original contractor being in breach and failing to perform in accordance with the contract. SANRAL therefore had to terminate the contract. Attempts to award a new contract were also scuppered when the tender process had to be cancelled as there were no eligible or compliant tenders received.
As an interim measure, and in the interest of road safety, emergency road repairs to the temporary bypasses for the three intersections, which were badly damaged during incessant flooding in the Northern Cape, were completed in 2021. Fortunately, the SANRAL Routine Road Maintenance team have also assisted with managing traffic accommodation, maintaining the bypasses and effecting pothole repairs.
“While those emergency repairs to the temporary bypasses were pivotal in maintaining safe passage, it is a huge relief that a contractor will finally be able to complete the intersections in line with the original engineering designs,” said Friedl van der Merwe, SANRAL Project Manager.
The completion of the works will furthermore have a direct economic impact on the community, with project participation opportunities for SMMEs and work for local labour in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.
In line with SANRAL’s Transformation Policy and government’s Preferential Procurement Regulation, a minimum of 30% of the contract value of all projects is to be subcontracted to targeted enterprises, in a bid to prioritise economic development opportunities for black-owned entities. These include women-owned businesses, youth-owned businesses and persons with disabilities,” explained Morn? Windvogel, SANRAL’s Transformation Officer in the Western Region.
In the interest of transparency and fair business practices, all SANRAL projects are guided by a 14-point plan that sets the tone for project liaison, subcontracting and labour sourcing, as well as a commitment to its transformation policy.
This plan also includes the appointment of a Project Liaison Committee (PLC) which has oversight over SANRAL projects – but does not influence who is awarded tenders or who get jobs on those projects.
“We are currently engaging with various stakeholders in the province, including business chambers and sector formations, local government, SMMEs and other civil society interest groups, in a bid to attract nominations for PLC members, so that we can ensure a well-constituted PLC that will represent the interests of all stakeholders,” explained Van der Merwe.
SANRAL remains committed to completing this project as quickly as possible and appeals to road users to be patient with road conditions during the construction period. There may be some short-term inconvenience experienced in and around the construction area, but the long-term benefits of safer intersections that will aid improved traffic flow, by far outweigh the inconvenience.