The upgrades of the N2 and N3 in KwaZulu-Natal form part of the National Government’s key Strategic Integrated Projects, SIP2: Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor.

SIP2 aims to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs, improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities and raise efficiency along the corridor.

The upgrade of the N2 will focus on a 55km length, from Lovu River, on the South Coast, to Umdloti, on the North Coast. The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

Improvements - These upgrades will include the widening of the N2 and N3 carriageways, with four or five lanes in each direction, and the reconfiguration of most major interchanges along these route sections.

Packages - Due to the length and estimated cost of the entire N2 and N3 upgrades, the corridor will be split into a number of detailed design and construction packages.

These may be broken down into further reasonably-sized construction packages based on the future available budget, resources and other constraints, and also taking into consideration the impact on motorists during construction.

Timespan - The upgrading of the N2 and N3 is expected to take between five to eight years to complete depending on funding availability.

Cost - The total estimated construction costs for these upgrade projects is approximately R10 billion for the N2, and R18.4 billion for the N3. This excludes the cost for the N3 realignment around Townhill in Pietermaritzburg which is being separately investigated.

Stimulus - President Cyril Ramaphosa recently introduced the “stimulus package” as a new measure “to reignite growth, stimulate economic recovery and secure

confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency”. Projects earmarked for the stimulus package will be funded from the existing budget envelope with R50 billion already identified by the government for all infrastructure projects nationally.

SANRAL’s allocation from the total stimulus package is +R3.5 billion which will be used to initiate the SIP projects over the next two years. Two N2 project packages and five N3 project packages as part of SIP2, identified as critical areas, were allocated the stimulus funding accordingly.

The first N2/N3 construction package is now expected to be awarded by the end of 2019.

Jobs - Investment in roads infrastructure upgrades, especially in rural and underdeveloped communities, provides an opportunity for generating economic growth, alleviating poverty, reducing the scourge of inequality and increasing international competitiveness. The N2 and N3 upgrade projects are estimated to produce over 15 000 jobs over the duration of the construction.

Community development - SANRAL is committed to the transformation of the engineering and construction sectors through community development projects during the N2 and N3 upgrades.

Firstly, SANRAL is committed to breaking down monopolies in supply chains and ensuring the broadbased participation of black South Africans. Secondly, clear guidelines and structures have been put in place to ensure local communities benefit directly from the procurement of goods and services from local suppliers to giving preference to the creation of local jobs.

SANRAL believes that communities should receive a lifelong benefit to enable a better life, whether it be a safe road surface on a busy highway or a bridge in a remote community to give access to schools and clinics, a community development approach ensures that the benefit reaches all.

  Building South Africa through better roads