KwaZulu-Natal, 27 October 2021The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) expects economic transformation for rural communities even on concessionaire contracts that date back to 1998. As a result, SANRAL continues to work closely with N3TC to prioritise project participation for black businesses in the Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality.

SANRAL has a 30-year partnership with N3TC, the concessionaire responsible for managing and maintaining a 415km section of the N3 transport corridor known as the N3 Toll Route.

“It is a reality that as government, we cannot attend to all the needs of our people on our own. For that reason, we cooperate, collaborate, engage and forge partnerships with both the public and private sector, to ensure more effective and efficient service delivery – we call this Public Private Partnerships (PPPs),” said Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, when she addressed stakeholders during a Taking SANRAL to the People engagement in Loskop in the iNnkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality yesterday.

SANRAL’s Transformation Policy and government’s Preferential Procurement Regulation dictates that a minimum of 30% of the contract value of all projects must be subcontracted to targeted enterprises, in a bid to prioritise economic development opportunities for black-owned entities.

“We hold our concessionaires accountable with regards to our transformation objectives and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure meaningful economic transformation that changes people lives,” said Mr Themba Mhambi, SANRAL Board Chairperson. In this case, the concessionaire had in the previous financial year, directed investment to the tune of R303 million to SMMEs, while 538 jobs were created. No less than 90% of their routine road maintenance (RRM) packages were subcontracted to black-owned SMMEs.

In the iNkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality, there is one rehabilitation project underway between the Midway and Frere Interchanges. The 15-month project, valued at nearly R180 million, started in October 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2021.

Just under R70 million of the project value (nearly 40%) went to black-owned enterprises, with more than R11 million being set aside for youth-owned businesses.

There are 239 persons currently directly employed on site of which 122 are from the iNkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality. The RRM activities have also yielded 35 jobs in this municipality.

Following a pre-qualification and tender process earlier this year, RRM contracts will be awarded during November 2021. One SMME will be awarded a routine road maintenance contract in the iNkosi Langalibalele area, with a project value of approximately R4 million per year. The contracts are to be awarded for a two-year period, with the option to extend.

With public sector infrastructure development spearheading South Africa’s economic recovery post COVID-19, SANRAL has been prioritising economic opportunities for emerging black businesses on all its projects.

Since the start of this financial year in April, SANRAL has already awarded contracts to nearly 1 000 black-owned SMMEs and created over 13 000 job opportunities on projects across South Africa.

“Furthermore, we are committed to not only award contracts to SMMEs, but through our various MOUs with captains of industry, we will ensure training, mentoring and development of SMMEs to capacitate them with knowledge and skills that will allow them to grow, develop and prosper,” said Dumisani Nkabinde, SANRAL Eastern Region Manager.

Stakeholders in attendance included iNkosi MPM Mazibuko, iNkosi Langalibalele, iNkosi yamaHlubi, nomkhandlu weMangwebuthanani Traditional Council, uThukela District Municipality Mayor, Cllr Alfred Siphiwe Mazibuko, iNkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr Jabulile Membrey Mbhele and several SMMEs from the local business community.

“These stakeholder engagement sessions are important to ensure we stay connected to the people our roads are built for. We welcome robust debate, meaningful contribution and an inclusive project participation process to ensure we collectively build South Africa through better roads,” concluded Nkabinde.