SANRAL R364 million investment towards major road upgrades in Mpumalanga


SANRAL R364 million investment towards major road upgrades in Mpumalanga

Pretoria, 23 May 2024 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) has invested over R364 million for developing critical road infrastructure in the Gert Sibande District Municipality in Mpumalanga.

SANRAL has set aside about R191 million for the restoration of the national road N17 section 5 from Km 85.0 to Oshoek (Km 122,7) near Oshoek border post. A further R173 million will go towards resurfacing a section of the N17 near Chrissiesmeer.

This is investment is part of the roads agency’s plan to roll out new infrastructure projects worth R9 billion in the Gert Sibande District Municipality which will include, the upgrading of the N2 national route – a total of about 150,7km from the KwaZulu-Natal/Mpumalanga border to Camden, near Ermelo (Msukaligwa). Other projects entail upgrading of the Pan Bult Interchange and construction of a Ring Road in Mkhondo Local Municipality.

In line with SANRAL’s transformation objectives, 30% of the contract value is earmarked for subcontracting to smaller black contractors, in particular those owned by women, youth and persons with disabilities. About 30% (R56 million) has been allocated to targeted enterprises for the Oshoek section and 6% (R10,4 million) for local labour. Around R53 million was allocated for SMMEs for Chrissiesmeer and R10 million for labour.

With the unemployment rate currently sitting at 32.9%, SANRAL is confident that this investment will boost the local economy, through the creation of jobs, training and development of local small businesses, empowerment of women and youth-owned businesses, including opportunities for people with disabilities.

Transport Minister Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga was in the area to conduct an oversight visit of the work being done on the projects, including the patching of potholes through the national Vala Zonke campaign.

Chikunga said roads are a crucial component of South Africa’s economy and the delivery of road infrastructure has a direct bearing on the ease of movement of goods and people across South Africa, which impacts on overall economic growth.

“We have placed infrastructure development at the heart of its Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to secure an economy where there is dignified work for all, inclusive growth and social protection for those in need. South Africa is on a path to unlock more than R1-trillion in infrastructure investment over the next few

years as part of our massive infrastructure investment drive to revitalise the economy and create employment. SANRAL, as an organ of the state under the Department of Transport, is a major contributor to this drive,” she said.

Progress Hlahla, SANRAL’s Northern Regional Manager, said good roads require constant maintenance and to this end, there are currently 12 routine road maintenance (RRM) projects servicing the province.

“Maintenance of the road is an ongoing exercise and is the only consistent activity within the SANRAL road network that is critical for creating jobs for local communities and subcontracting opportunities for targeted businesses on an ongoing basis,” he said.

The current RRM projects in the region include,

  • The R33 from Msukaligwa Municipal boundary, near Waburton over Carolina to Belfast.
  • The R38 from Steve Tshwete Municipal boundary over Carolina to Mbombela Municipal boundary.
  • Maintenance of N17 from Msukaligwa Municipal boundary near Warburton to Oshoek border post.

Hlahla said it will require everyone to work together to help build the economy and to ensure that more people can share in the wealth of the country. The opportunities created by these road upgrade projects in Mpumalanga will help to make that a reality.