SANRAL announces road infrastructure project for the upgrading of the R410 from the Komani junction to Cacadu
Eastern Cape, 2 June 2023: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) has announced that it is in the preliminary design stage for the road infrastructure project to upgrade the section of the R410 from the R392/R410 Intersection near Komani to Cacadu (formerly Lady Frere).
SANRAL made the announcement during a stakeholder engagement session held in the Emalahleni Local Municipality, in Cacadu on 31 May 2023. The session was intended to initiate the process for the election of a representative Project Liaison Committee (PLC).
“We are happy to announce that SANRAL is in the preliminary design phase for the road improvement project that will see the widening of the existing road and bridge structures from the R392/R410 Intersection near Komani to Cacadu to meet SANRAL’s standards,” said SANRAL Regional Stakeholder Relations Specialist, Welekazi Ndika.
She further explained that the road improvement project, anticipated to start within the next two years, has a budget estimate of R960 million and will include construction of additional paved shoulders and passing lanes and slope stabilisation at the Nonesi Pass, surfacing over the full length of the road and installation of traffic lights in the Cacadu CBD.
A minimum of 30 per cent of the contract value will be ringfenced for subcontracting opportunities and over 300 job opportunities are anticipated from the upgrading of the R392/R410 Intersection near Komani to Cacadu road infrastructure project.
Ndika further confirmed that SANRAL has appointed Rainbow Civils to implement routine road maintenance along the R410 for patching of potholes to restore the road to a safe state. “Our routine maintenance along the R410 will ascertain the safety requirements of the road, particularly by addressing the potholes that have been a cause for concern to this community,” she said.
The Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) contract covers the R410 Section 1, km 0.00 to 3, km 6.85, National Route R56 Section 4, km 20.09 to Section 7 km 25.71 and the R58 Section 6, km 40.06 to Section 7 km 4.05. The scope of works includes crack sealing and patching of pavements, repairing of pavement layers, edge breaks, edge drops, gravel shoulders slope failures and washaways. The project has a budget estimate of R55.3 million, 30 per cent of which will be reserved for the subcontracting of targeted enterprises.
SANRAL also introduced its national Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) pre-tender training programme that will be implemented in the municipality, focusing on grade 1-4 emerging contractors.
“The training is intended to empower SMMEs to better understand the tendering process and to ensure their meaningful participation in SANRAL tender opportunities without falling victim to the common shortcomings that often lead to their disqualification from the tendering process,” explained Ndika.
Addressing stakeholders, the Mayor of Emalahleni Local Municipality, Councillor Nontombizanele Koni, said that SANRAL’s road infrastructure development efforts would not only improve mobility along the route but would bring socio-economic spinoffs that will go a long way towards empowering the local community through subcontracting and job opportunities.
“The ball is in our court to elect our PLC representatives so as not to hold up the work. Our local economic department will also be instrumental in capacitating our local emerging enterprises to prepare their compliance status that will enable their participation in these projects,” said Cllr Koni.
SANRAL is implementing several other road infrastructure projects within the Emalahleni Local Municipality, including the emergency bridge repairs along the R410 with a budget estimate of R33.5 million, maintenance of the R56 and R369 valued at R56.7 million, special maintenance of the R56 from the N6 to Dordrecht valued at R253 million, special maintenance of the R56 from Dordrecht to Indwe valued at R304 million, as well as the special maintenance of the R56 from Indwe to Elliot and Elliot to Maclear valued at R485 million, of which the latter will be concluding in October.
The Emalahleni Local Municipality is a 17-ward municipality comprising the towns of Cacadu, Indwe and Dordrecht with surrounding farms and villages. Of the municipality’s over 130 000 populace, 27 000 are employed, according to the Emalahleni Local Municipality Integrated Development Plan (IDP) 2022-2027. The municipality, as is the case throughout the country, grapples with a high unemployment rate and limited economic opportunities for the youth.
Stakeholders welcomed SANRAL’s elaborate road infrastructure development programme in the municipality and the prospects of a boosted socio-economic activity and GDP. However, concerns were expressed around SANRAL’s lack of monitoring and evaluation to ensure that its transformation agenda is indeed being implemented on the ground. Concerns around exploitation of subcontractors was also an issue of contention with SANRAL advised to intensify supervision of the often exploitative relationship between the main contractors and subcontractors to ascertain that contract participation goals are being achieved.
In this regard, Ndika highlighted that “as SANRAL we welcome the constructive criticism and will ensure that through our project management teams, monitoring is intensified on site to safeguard the empowerment and development of subcontractors.”