N7 upgrade set to boost Swartland local economy

Western Cape, 5 September 2021 – With an economic injection of R600m, the next phase of the N7 upgrade, from Rooidraai to Moorreesburg, holds major economic benefits for the Swartland.

“The scope of work entails widening the cross section of the N7 section 8 (for approximately 25km) and the construction of additional climbing lanes for improved road safety and ease of traffic flow,” said Petronella Theron, Project Manager for the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL).

SANRAL had recently awarded this contract to Martin & East, and the process of site mobilisation commences in September. During this time, the contractor will structure works packages that will be subcontracted to SMMEs.

“In line with SANRAL’s Transformation Policy and government’s Preferential Procurement Regulation, a minimum of 30% of the contract value of all projects is to be subcontracted to targeted enterprises, in a bid to prioritise economic development opportunities for black-owned entities. These include women-owned businesses, youth-owned businesses and persons with disabilities,” explained Morné Windvogel, SANRAL’s Transformation Officer in the Western Region.

Furthermore, in the interest of transparency and fair business practices, all SANRAL projects are guided by a 14-point plan that sets the tone for project liaison, sub-contracting and labour sourcing, as well as a commitment to its transformation policy. This plan also includes the appointment of a Project Liaison Committee (PLC) which has oversight over SANRAL projects – but does not influence who is awarded tenders or who get jobs on those projects.

“We are currently engaging with various stakeholders in the region, including business chambers and sector formations, local government and other civil society interest groups, in a bid to attract nominations for PLC members, so that we can ensure a well-constituted PLC that will represent the interests of all stakeholders,” said Thembinkosi Mosobela, SANRAL Stakeholder Coordinator in the Western Region.

This is an exciting project and comes at a time when the road construction industry is crying out for economic relief through infrastructure upgrades. “As part of SANRAL’s response to this call, and the development of the knowledge economy, training and development are prioritised on this project, to ensure that both the SMMEs and the local labour can benefit from new skills and knowledge that will empower them to tackle bigger projects down the line,” concluded Theron.

SANRAL initially started the upgrade of the N7 with the Melkbosstrand Interchange in 2012 and completed the Hopefield Interchange early 2020.

The following are some of key stats taken from the entire N7 upgrade to date.

40.5km Length of dual-carriageway freeway constructed
69.2km Access and other roads constructed
46 Major concrete structures built and upgraded
8 Interchanges constructed
173 400 tons Asphalt surfacing
162 700m² Bituminous seals
R333m Spent on targeted labour
R529m Spent on SMMEs