With R33.9 million set aside for Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) on the N8 between Rooisand and Vaal River, in the Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality and Siyancuma Local Municipality, there are significant opportunities for local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to participate in this project over the next three years.
The contract was awarded to Razzmatazz Civil (PTY) Ltd in August 2020, and the contractor wasted no time in advertising work packages for subcontractors. Tenders for subcontracting closed in the first week in December 2020 and were awarded earlier this month, to seven subcontractors who already reported to site.
“To ensure maximum project participation from the local communities, at least 50% of the RRM works are structured into sustainable packages which are let on tender at regular cycles. This ensures we spread the economic opportunities to give more eligible businesses opportunities to participate in SANRAL projects,” explained Gretchen Weber-Cherry, SANRAL Project Manager.
SANRAL held an information session in the municipal hall in Griekwastad in November 2020, to ensure that potential subcontractors had access to information about the project, could engage with SANRAL’s leadership and could also directly engage with the main contractor. Furthermore, the regional manager of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Ms Given Madiba, was also on hand (virtually) to guide emerging businesses through the process of registration and improving their grading.
Milton van Heerden from Delta Infrastructure Solutions, the Consultants’ Route Manager on the N8, assured the community that this project would ensure not only maximum participation opportunities, by splitting the work into 12 month packages, but would also afford participants significant training, development and mentoring, that would equip them with skills and knowledge for other economic opportunities down the line.
Subcontractors would also have their own space at the site office, to further facilitate mentoring and supervision under the main contractor and the consultant.
Strict COVID-19 protocols were adhered to at the venue, including a simple cell phone registration process that eliminated the need to queue at the registration desk, and also limited opportunities of touching shared surfaces. Temperature screening was done for all attendees, with masks as hand sanitiser also given to every person.
While the community was excited about the economic opportunities for small businesses, as well as the jobs that this project would create, they were equally vocal in their questions and suggestions for additional support. These included requests for tender documents to be simplified, opportunities to be exclusively for Griekwastad residents, information about bursaries for their children and raising the threshold for entry level projects, to ensure start-ups could be more financially sustainable, as well as long-term corporate social investment initiatives for their town.
“We value the robust input from the community. They are our stakeholders and we want to ensure that SANRAL projects not only provide improved road infrastructure, but that we leave a legacy of transformation, economic empowerment and a community of people who are able to mobilise themselves to access further opportunities that may come their way in future. We are working on addressing their concerns and through the Project Liaison Committee (PLC), we will keep them informed of progress,” concluded Weber-Cherry.