MEDIA RELEASE: Immediate
High level update on SANRAL projects for provincial leaders
Eastern Cape, 23 September 2022 – As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen its relationship with the Eastern Cape Government’s stakeholders, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) held a roundtable dinner with members of the provincial and local government, traditional leaders, business community and civil society to introduce its projects and programmes in the Eastern Cape.
The roundtable dinner was held in East London on Tuesday night. SANRAL used the platform to also enhance collaboration with the leadership of the province for infrastructure development purposes.
Speaking on behalf of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, the Eastern Cape MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Xolile Nqatha, said the province is delighted that SANRAL has turned the Eastern Cape into a construction site, referring to the various projects the roads agency is undertaking across the province.
“SANRAL projects in our province continue to make a major positive impact in our province. This is a province that is hard hit by high levels of poverty and unemployment. SANRAL plays a critical role in cushioning our people against unemployment by creating jobs and business opportunities.
“As the provincial government, we highly appreciate our partnership with SANRAL as well as those with the various spheres of local government. These SANRAL projects have the potential to attract other investments in the province.
I encourage all of us to work together with all stakeholders, including business, to ensure that there are no bottlenecks on these projects and improve the lives of our people,” said Nqatha.
SANRAL has invested more than R7bn in the Eastern Cape Province in the current financial year. According to SANRAL Southern Regional Manager Mbulelo Peterson, the road agency’s projects in the province are at various degrees of completion: some are completed while others are under construction, under the tender and evaluation stage, or in the planning phase for the current financial year.
“Some of the key projects that have been completed include the special maintenance project from the R75 national road in Jansenville to the R63/R75 intersection; this project amounted to R125 million. In the Buffalo City Metro, the Breidbach and Belstone interchanges project on the N2 national is currently under construction at a total cost of R437m, and the improvement of the N2 Green River to King Williamstown project at a total cost of R500 million is also under construction. The improvement of the N2 national road from Mount Frere to Ngcweleni River is at an award stage, while a new facility on the N2 Ndabakazi Interchange is at evaluation stage. We have also planned various community development projects in various parts of the province for this financial year,” said Peterson.
He added that SANRAL also plans to invest on the Freeway Management
System (FMS) in Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City Metro and Mthatha. This project essentially monitors the country’s national freeways 24/7 for 365 days a year, enabling SANRAL to report on road safety accidents, traffic congestion and crime incidents on the highways.
Key to SANRAL’s interventions on its projects is ensuring that previously disadvantaged individuals benefit on its road construction projects.
“Through our transformation policy, at SANRAL we are mindful of the impact of the construction industry and its procurement has on the people of South Africa in terms of business and job opportunities. We accept our responsibility to maximise the participation of black contractors, professionals, suppliers and designated groups in all our projects,” said Tandile Makwabe, SANRAL Southern Region’s Transformation Officer.
“We also commit to break down monopolies in the supply chains of materials, equipment, technologies, systems and other areas within the construction and related industries. By doing this, we also commit to provide development support to black businesses through structured development programmes and partnerships with industry players to ensure meaningful, rapid growth of black entities in the construction and related industries.”
One of the key interventions that the roads agency has undertaken in this regard is ensuring that emerging contractors are equipped with the necessary skills to enable them to participate in the construction industry.
Through SANRAL’s Contractor Development Programme, SANRAL is transforming the road construction industry and simultaneously developing the capacity and capability of the new entrants as can be seen from the many initiatives the agency has in the region.