The upgrades consider the strategic nature of the corridor and the fact that it boasts the highest volume of traffic anywhere in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State.
For the next five to eight years, the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) will be undertaking a large-scale upgrade of the N2/ N3 Corridor in a project valued at R30-billion.
Determined that this project should have positive economic spin-offs for smaller businesses, it is being split into several detailed design and construction packages.
This opens tremendous potential for small-, medium- and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to secure a piece of the pie.
Taking SANRAL to the people
In June, SANRAL got close and personal with thousands of entrepreneurs and job seekers during stakeholder consultative engagements in Pietermaritzburg, Hammarsdale and Durban, sharing information about business and job opportunities and providing information about potential contracts.
Discussions delved into the process for registering with the Construction Industry Development Board and how to submit a tender.
SMMEs also had access to an exhibition area where they could engage with the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, the National African Federation for the Building Industry, Ithala Business Finance and construction industry equipment companies such as Bell Equipment, Barloworld, Wirtgen and Pilot Crushtec.
As one of South Africa’s key infrastructure development projects, the N2/N3 freeway upgrades will have enormous economic spin-offs for KwaZulu-Natal during the construction phase and it is SANRAL’s intention to use this as an opportunity to develop and grow black-owned SMMEs in the construction, engineering and related industries.
Dumisani Nkabinde, SANRAL Regional Manager in the Eastern Region, said: “It is estimated that a project of the magnitude of the N2/ N3 freeway upgrades will create approximately 15 000 job opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal. It is also envisaged that SMMEs will benefit enormously, allowing them to grow their businesses and create jobs.”
Ravi Ronny, SANRAL Eastern Region Design, Planning & Construction Manager, said the upgrades consider the strategic nature of the corridor and the fact that it boasts the highest volume of traffic anywhere in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State.
Furthermore, it is equally important that SANRAL adopts a strategic approach in its efforts to build a capable and developmental state, and drive economic growth through the provision and maintenance of critical infrastructure.
“SANRAL’s transformation policy sets clearly defined targets for the participation of black contractors, professionals and suppliers in all of its projects,” said Ismail Essa, SANRAL’s Transformation Manager.
On capital projects, SANRAL will in future only do business with companies that are at least 51% black-owned.