Richards Bay, 18 October 2021 – Black businesses stand to receive up to 40 per cent of the contract value on two periodic maintenance contracts on the N2 in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality, exceeding the minimum target of 30 per cent.

The good news was announcement by Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, at a stakeholder engagement session of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) in the uMfolozi Local Municipality today.

“In line with SANRAL’s Transformation Policy and government’s Preferential Procurement Regulation, a minimum of 30 per cent 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 entities include women-owned businesses, youth-owned businesses and companies owned by or which benefit persons with disabilities. However, in this case, SANRAL is exceeding that target and a total of 40% of the contract value is set aside for black businesses,” said Deputy Minister Chikunga.

The first project is periodic maintenance on the N2, from Empangeni T-Junction for 15km, with a contract value of more than R83 million. There are currently 20 persons directly employed on site, 16 of which are from the uMhlathuze Local Municipality area. The number of employees is expected to increase to 60 in the coming weeks.

The second project is periodic maintenance on the N2, from Eteza Weighbridge, for 15km. The value of the project is R89 million, of which more than R30 million is for black-owned SMMEs. More than R3 million will be set aside for women and youth-owned businesses. The bulk of the workers currently on site are from the uMfolozi Local Municipality.

“Both these projects started in April this year and we anticipate completion by April 2022. Of the more than R4 million wage bill for each of these projects, at least R2.8 million will be targeted at women and youth,” said Trevor Zumani, SANRAL Project Manager.

The event was hosted by the King Cetshwayo District Municipality Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jabu Vilakazi who expressed huge appreciation for the economic injection that these road construction projects bring to the various local municipalities and the district at large. Also in attendance was the MEC of Transport in KZN, Ms Peggy Nkonyeni. She echoed the sentiments of the Deputy Minister and lauded the effective cooperative governance across national, provincial and municipal structures, to the benefit of SMMEs and local job seekers, while emphasising the need for more economic development opportunities for women.

SANRAL Board Chair, Mr Themba Mhambi, emphasised the importance of supplier development: “We prioritise training for successful subcontractors, with ongoing mentoring under the main contractor, to ensure growth and development. Subcontractors should be capacitated to eventually become main contractors.”

To this end, SANRAL has MOUs in place with several partners. One such MOU is with the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC). The MOU with SAFCEC is geared to explore options and solutions that enable mentorship, development, capacity building and training of small contractors, giving them the skills and knowledge needed to execute road construction and maintenance projects.