SANRAL projects will create economic opportunities in the Chris Hani District Municipality

SANRAL’s road construction and routine road maintenance projects planned for the Chris Hani District Municipality will create economic opportunities for the region, according to Councillor Noncedo September Deputy Executive Mayor of Chris Hani District Municipality.

Councillor September said the Chris Hani District Municipality is a “gateway for visitors to the Eastern Cape when they travel from other provinces. ”

She delivered the welcoming address at the South African National Roads Agency’s (SANRAL’s) Taking SANRAL to the People stakeholder engagement session held in Komani (formerly Queenstown) yesterday.

SANRAL engaged stakeholders at the Moth Hall in Komani and used an online platform to address stakeholders at satellite venues in Engcobo and Emalahleni Local Municipalities. Virtual links were also shared with stakeholders who could not attend the venues, and they also had the option to view the engagement on YouTube.

The Taking SANRAL to the People stakeholder engagement session is aimed at promoting dialogue between the road agency, all spheres of government, traditional authorities, business fraternity, public transport associations, industry bodies, communities, and other key stakeholders that are affected by SANRAL projects.

“The SANRAL projects will allow this District Municipality to reclaim our former glory of being a business hub that supports other areas,” said Councillor September.

At the engagement, SANRAL shared its mission to transform the construction industry to be more inclusive.  Stakeholders were given an update on current projects being undertaken in the Chris Hani District Municipality, as well as imminent projects planned. SANRAL also utilised this platform to deliberate on salient issues affecting SANRAL’s service delivery in the area.

“This engagement session is very important at building our capacity through information sharing. This session is a golden opportunity for SMMEs to voice their concerns. Also, I would like to see an increase in the number of youth and women working on these projects,” said Councillor September.

SANRAL Southern Region’s transformation officer, Thandile Makwabe said SANRAL has partnered with few key role players to assist black business in entering the mainstream.

“SANRAL has signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with certain role players in industry to ensure rapid transformation is doable. The MOUs were signed with BELL, Barloworld, WIRTGEN, Pilot Crushtec, NAFBI and SAFCEC to assist with training of supervisory personnel,” Makwabe said.

He added that people have received assistance from the companies with whom SANRAL had signed the MOUs and there are currently SMMEs receiving assistance. “SANRAL ensures communication takes place between SMMEs and the larger companies, but there are checks in place to ascertain the viability of the proposed business ventures by SMME,” Makwabe said.

He said SANRAL’s transformation policy states that the agency is “mindful of the impact of the construction industry and its procurement has on the people of South Africa in terms of business and job opportunities; accepts responsibilities to maximise the participation of black contractors, professionals, suppliers and designated groups in all SANRAL projects.”

Dr Mongenzi Noah, SANRAL Southern Region’s community development specialist shared the agency’s 14-Point-Plan, which is to facilitate better project level liaison with local communities and structures. Also, the plan serves to ensure communication and transparency in the execution of works. SANRAL’s 14-Point-Plan ensures inclusivity in the allocation of projects to benefit black business and local communities.

SANRAL in the Eastern Cape manages a road network of 4 952 kilometres. The national road network consists of 22 214 kilometres.  Since 2009, SANRAL has injected R33.3 billion in the Eastern Cape’s road network.

The Southern Region plans to advertise 70 projects in 2020/21 and 2021/2022 FY.  Some are in the planning phase, some in the design phase, and some in the construction phase.

SANRAL’s mandate also entails performing Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) of the road network. In this regard, the Agency maintains several routes within Chris Hani District Municipality.

Part of the engagement was also to inform stakeholders of some upcoming projects.

The agency’s major road infrastructure delivery projects in the Chris Hani District include:

  • The upgrading of the R67 between Swart Kei River to Queenstown,
  • R56 Molteno to Vlakfontein,
  • R56 /N6 Intersection to Dordrecht,
  • R56 Dordrecht to Indwe.

These projects are in the mobilization phase while the R61 between Cradock and Tarkastad is under construction.

The following projects are also at award and evaluation stages and it is expected that an award will be made in October 2020.

  • R56 Middelburg to Molteno, and
  • R56 Vlakfontein to R56/N6 Intersection

New facilities projects in the design phase include:

  • R61 Tsojana – Tsomo River Phase
  • R61 Tsomo River to Qumanco Phase

Tenders are being prepared for the following projects. It is expected to be tendered in October:

  • Upgrade of R61 Section 6/7 between All Saints and Baziya (Phase 2)
  • Upgrade of R61 Section 6 between Qumanco to Ngcobo End (CBD) Phase 2

A tender is closing on Friday, 25 September, for the consulting engineering services for the routine road maintenance of National Route R56 Section 4 KM 20.09 to Section 7 KM 25.71, National Route R58 Section 6 KM 40.06 to Section 7 KM 4.05 and National Route R410 Section 1 KM 0.00 to Section 3 KM 16.85.