Thirty-five percent of SANRAL’s training programmes have taken place in rural Eastern Cape in the past two years.
SMME training and development forms an essential component of most the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) projects.
We are aware of the challenges facing some rural Eastern Cape communities.
We have put a lot of time and many resources into ensuring that our community development programmes are both relevant and accessible.
Projects in the Eastern Cape
Over the past two years, 35% of our training programmes took place in the Eastern Cape.
The recent projects on the R61 Mthatha to Nqgeleni, Komgha River to Grahamstown and Keiskamma Pass to Keiskamma River, each had very successful training and development programmes attached to them.
More than 800 local community members benefited from various forms of training opportunities.
This year, 71% of training and development programmes will be concentrated in the Eastern Cape. SANRAL Southern Region has a comprehensive set of infrastructure development projects underway in the region.
Many of these are tied to a master plan for other long-term mega projects that are focused on bringing socioeconomic growth and greater prosperity to the region.
N2 Wild Coast flagship project
One of our flagship projects for the Eastern Cape is the much anticipated N2 Wild Coast Road (N2WCR).
Construction on the first mega-bridge, the Mtentu, began in January this year.
The tender for the R1.63-billion-bridge was awarded to the Aveng Strabag Joint Venture, who are expecting to complete construction in May 2021.
The second tender, for the Msikaba Bridge, went out in late 2017. Construction is expected to commence later this year.
These two bridges will form the backbone of the N2WC road, which will open the Eastern Cape up to a range of economic and social development possibilities.
In addition, SANRAL is finalising designs for the new section of the N2 that will run from Port Edward to Port St Johns.
This greenfields project will also have a significant training and development component that will benefit local SMMEs and communities.
Road safety is a key priority for SANRAL, and we are always looking at ways to improve and advance the safety of our road users.
As part of our safety strategy we have a consistent routine road maintenance programme in place across the country to ensure that our roads are well maintained.
This is an opinion piece by SANRAL CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma.