The 22 214km of national road network is managed, maintained and improved by SANRAL to very high standards. When measured against international benchmarks, the country’s primary road network is an example of extraordinary design, engineering and construction.
The national fiscus funds 87% of the total national road network, with the remaining portions subject to tolling, either directly by SANRAL or through public-private partnerships.
During 2017/18, SANRAL undertook a total of 223 projects to build new roads, improve existing ones and rehabilitate surfaces that are in sub-optimal condition. A total of 60 new contracts were awarded – most notably on the N2 Wild Coast Road, the outer-ring road near Kimberley and improvements to the N14 near Kathu in the Northern Cape.
Projects to the value of more than R860m were completed in the financial year.
Among the notable major projects are:
SANRAL’s three concessionaires, TRAC, N3TC and Bakwena, awarded seven new contracts to the value of R1.9bn and completed work on a further seven projects with a combined value of R580m. SANRAL accords the highest priority to road
maintenance to protect road assets and prevent deterioration. Maintenance tasks include drain clearance, grass cutting and the filling of potholes, as well as periodic resealing of road surfaces and new overlays.
Road users on national roads can undertake their journeys with great confidence that the entire network – including bridges and culverts – are in excellent condition.
The almost 9 900 major bridges and culverts on the SANRAL network undergo major safety inspections every five to six years. This is done by the Committee of Transport Officials – a team of inspectors with advanced experience in engineering, construction and safety standards.
The majority of bridges and culverts on the national road network – including the 927 managed by SANRAL’s concessionaires – have been inspected since 2015. Where roads are upgraded, or new bridges and culverts are constructed, the inspectors again ensure that the required standards are met.
The current finding is that 93% of bridges on the network are in a good condition. This is a very high percentage considering SANRAL has increasingly taken over the management of older provincial roads that were not maintained according to similar safety standards.
When older roads are taken over from provinces, SANRAL immediately starts with comprehensive maintenance and rehabilitation programmes to ensure the roads also comply with the high safety requirements.
SANRAL has begun to commission bridges that feature integral design. This design process eliminates the use of roadway joints and bearings and reduces future maintenance. The first long integral bridge – a 91m structure over the Van Zyl Spruit on the N1 south of Bloemfontein – has been constructed and its performance is closely monitored.
Routine road maintenance contracts offer valuable opportunities for black-owned companies and enterprises owned by women and the youth to get experience in the construction sector.
In 2017/18 SANRAL issued contracts for such workto the value of R2.2bn.
BUILDING SOUTH AFRICA THROUGH BETTER ROADS
People's Guide 2018