A productive economy needs a reliable road infrastructure to connect supply chains and efficiently move goods and services. With reliable roads, trade becomes possible, job opportunities for struggling communities and small businesses are created, reliable road infrastructure also connects those who are employed with their jobs.
As a key agency in the delivery of the country’s massive investment in economic infrastructure, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited’s (SANRAL) visits various provinces across South Africa to showcase upcoming road(s) projects that will be taking place in the targeted region and how the community and local businesses can be involved.
On Wednesday, 18th November 2020 SANRAL visited Mpumalanga to provide a platform for the residents of eMalahleni Local Municipality to interact with its Northern Region project team responsible for all national road networks that pass through the municipality. These engagements form part of SANRAL’s existing stakeholder initiative called ‘Taking SANRAL to the People’ which encourages robust conversations to take place between the roads agency and local community members.
Addressing the community and businesses at the stakeholder engagement session, SANRAL’s northern region stakeholder coordinator Melba Geca mentioned that SANRAL is committed to directly collaborating with local community stakeholders on various road development projects in the region. “The purpose of today is to ensure that as a critical stakeholder to SANRAL you understand our business and how you would be able to interact with us and benefit from the projects that will be presented to you,” Geca outlined.
Echoing Geca’s sentiments around the purpose of the session, eMalahleni Local Municipality’s Executive Mayor Linah Malatjie emphasised the importance of creating ecosystems where roads agency like SANRAL can come to the people and share information with local business owners.
“We appreciate that SANRAL is coming to the communities of eMalahleni Local Municipality to engage in meaningful discussions regarding the upcoming projects. We want the community to understand the policies and procedures attached to doing business with SANRAL. Such understanding will enable them to present their businesses better and access the opportunities available in the SANRAL road network in our region.” noted Malatjie.
The SANRAL Northern Region project team presented several upcoming projects and were supported by the Regional Manager Mr. Progress Hlahla.
A major project that will fall under the eMalahleni Local Municipality is the Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) scheduled to take place on the national roads R573 (commonly known as Moloto Road); R555 as well as the N12. Scope of work for this RRM will include general road maintenance such as potholes and road surface repairs along the affected network of the road, grass cutting, storm water drainage, fencing, and road signs. This RRM is estimated to take 36 months.
Another planned project that was presented was the repair and resurfacing of National Route 12 (N12) section 20. SANRAL Project Manager Hannes Van Der Merwe indicated that the expected construction duration will be 15 months long. He also indicated that typical work to be done will include concrete pavement repair, pre-treatment of the existing road, traffic accommodation as well as drainage and structures improvements.
SANRAL Project Manager Madoda Mthembu highlighted the importance of small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure that their businesses are compliant in order to participate in the tendering of SANRAL’s RRM work. Mthembu took the audience through the evaluation criteria which is made up of three stages that SMMEs need to go through in order to be considered for subcontracting opportunities on RRM.