Eastern Cape, 26 November 2021: The Eastern Cape town of Matatiele is set to benefit from road construction and maintenance projects worth more than R1.2 billion. According to the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) Southern Region’s Regional Manager, Mbulelo Peterson, the road infrastructure development initiatives will drive economic prosperity in the area.

Peterson was speaking at a Taking SANRAL to the People stakeholder engagement session which took place in Matatiele yesterday. The event formed part of a series of events in the Matatiale Local Municipality. SANRAL hosted three information sessions with the municipal leadership, local SMMEs and the transport sector this week (on the 23rd and 24th November 2021) to discuss SANRAL’s road infrastructure projects in the municipality, as well as the road agency’s transformation agenda.

“All these opportunities are open to local stakeholders. We call on SMMEs to start preparing themselves, so that they are able to benefit from economic opportunities availed to them during the implementation phase,” Peterson said.

Colleena Maome, the owner of Collz Enterprise, a transport business, said: “The engagements were impactful, as we received helpful information about upcoming projects.”

One of the projects is the rehabilitation of National Route R56, Section 8, from Matatiele (km 130.15) to the KwaZulu Natal (KZN) boundary (km 168.71). The project will include:

  • The refurbishment of the Mzimvubu River Bridge.
  • Demolishing and reconstruction of Matatiele Bridge 3 and Edendale Farm Stream Bridge.
  • Construction of new cattle underpasses.
  • Construction of pedestrians’ sidewalks in Matatiele and Cedarville.

The Routine Road, Maintenance of National Route R56 Section 7 (km 25.713,) to Section 8 (km 168.71) and National Route R396 Section 6 (km 0 to km 39.31) has an estimated project budget of R65 million. The project traverses Elundini and Matatiele Local Municipalities within Joe Gqabi and Alfred Nzo District Municipalities.
“Our local SMMEs and residents must benefit from the upcoming projects. As local government we welcome that, we desire that the lives of our people change for the better, with immediate effect,” said Councillor Sonwabile Mngenela, newly-elected Mayor of Matatiele Local Municipality.

Thandile Makwabe, SANRAL Southern Region’s Transformation Officer also used the platform to share information about SANRAL’s Transformation Policy and Horizon 2030 Strategy. Through the Horizon 2030 Strategy, SANRAL has empowered local communities and SMMEs with information, providing them with opportunities and enabling them to partner with more established construction companies on its projects.