Two Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) projects to the value of R116m will see small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) access economic development opportunities and create scores of jobs for the people of the Naledi Local Municipality over the next three years.
This was the message of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) during its flagship Taking SANRAL to the People programme in Vryburg, in the Naledi Local Municipality recently.
Acting Mayor for Naledi Local Municipality, Cllr Lukas Ekkelton, expressed his gratitude to SANRAL for coming into his constituency to engage all relevant stakeholders and was particularly pleased with the economic development opportunities that the current and future projects would bring, benefitting not only small businesses and local labour, but in fact the region at large.
The two RRM projects cover 155.70km on the N14 Section 9, N18 Section 4&5 and R31 Section 1 as well as 163.50km on the N14 Section 8, N18 Section 2 and N18 Section 3. The main contractor was appointed at the start of this month, so the way is now being paved to ensure that 50% of the contract, i.e. R58m that must be subcontracted, benefits as many of the SMMEs as possible. The scope of work includes general road maintenance of the road reserve, grass cutting, storm water drainage, fencing, road signs, potholes or road surface repairs, etc.
With President Ramaphosa having identified infrastructure development as the flywheel that will kickstart the SA economy post-COVID-19, SANRAL is committed to expanding the net of economic inclusion for emerging black businesses to participate meaningfully and profitably in its projects.
“We understand that the tendering process can be challenging, particularly for start-ups, and as such, all contracts have a training component that is geared to mentor, train, develop and capacitate sub-contractors,” explain SANRAL Project Manager, Luyanda Mashaba.
Furthermore, SANRAL recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC), that prioritises development of SMMEs in the road construction industry.
That MOU with SAFCEC is specifically geared to enable mentorship, development, capacity building and training of small contractors, giving them the skills and knowledge needed to access economic opportunities and participate profitably in road construction and maintenance projects.
“Apart from SANRAL sharing vital project information with the audience, this engagement session was also an opportunity for robust and frank discussions, which afforded our stakeholders a platform to voice their concerns and seek clarity on terms of project participation. We are satisfied that we have addressed these and remain open to ongoing engagement in a bid to facilitate genuine transformation that will give SMMEs an opportunity to grow and prosper,” said Jullecsia Saul, SANRAL Stakeholder Coordinator for the Northern Region.
SANRAL remains committed to SMME development and community engagement in the quest to transform the industry, as well as its overall strategy that is aligned to the government’s National Development Plan.