SANRAL shares road construction plans with Mthatha community

Major road upgrade projects are planned for the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) Local Municipality, including upgrading and widening of the R61; and upgrading of the N2 from Viedgesville to Mthatha into a dual carriageway, as well as a community development project.

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) announced its plans at its Taking SANRAL to the People stakeholder engagement session held in Mthatha yesterday.

SANRAL engaged stakeholders at the Nkululekweni Council Chamber in Mthatha, while some guests joined the meeting from the satellite office at the Viedgesville Community Centre and online. 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.

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo thanked the roads agency for initiating projects that seek to improve the local community’s lives. “There is an urgency for us to work together as citizens and find ways to improve our peoples’ lives. I appreciate SANRAL for bringing development into our communities because these initiatives will benefit generations of many years to come,” he said.

He also appealed for government and its social partners to root out corruption in communities as corruption hinders progress on developmental projects.

SANRAL Southern Region’s regional manager Mbulelo Peterson said that SANRAL has initiated a number of key projects over the last 10 years in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality, particularly on the N2 and R61 national roads.

“Current and planned SANRAL projects in the municipality include the upgrade of the National Route N2 Section 18 from Viedgesville (km 65.0) to Mthatha (km 85.0). The project will include upgrading the road to four lanes divided by median or physical barrier/ dual carriageway. Among the upgrade is the improvement of capacity to the intersections and interchanges, as well as provision of pedestrian bridges or underpasses will be added. The preliminary design report is anticipated to be finalised in January 2021 and the tender date is estimated to be published in August next year,” he said. The land acquisition process on the project is already in place.

A Community Development project linked to N2 Viedgesville Mthatha project is also planned for the local municipality. It is anticipated to be advertised within the first quarter of 2021, while advertising of the community development project construction works is planned for the second quarter of 2021.

Upgrading of National Route R61 Section 7 from Baziya to Mthatha Airport, phase 1, has been retendered. The initial contract was terminated in August 2019 due to non-performance of the contractor. The contract for the remaining work was re- tendered and currently the process is in tender evaluation stage. It is anticipated that a contractor will be appointed in March 2021.

Upgrading of National Route R61 Section 7 from Baziya to Mthatha Phase 2 from Mthatha Airport to Mthatha CBD, includes upgrading the existing road to a dual carriageway from Mthatha airport to Madeira Street in the Mthatha CBD.  The design is being reviewed to upgrade the dual carriageway beyond the airport to include interchanges to retain the mobility (100 km/h design speed) of the road network up to the Ian Woods intersection. This is mainly due to the change in land use in this area. The remainder of the dual carriageway will remain at 60km/h design speed. Stakeholder interventions and social facilitation will be convened with affected landowners, as well as relocation of affected properties.

SANRAL in the Eastern Cape manages a road network of 4 952 kilometres. The national road network consists of 22 214 kilometres.

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

Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s stakeholder engagement coordinator, shared a detailed presentation on the agency’s 14-Point-Plan which serves to facilitate better project level liaison with local communities and structures.  The Plan also serves to ensure communication and transparency in the execution of works, ensuring inclusivity in the allocation of projects to benefit black business and local communities. She also elaborated on the principles for the project liaison subcontracting and labour sourcing on all SANRAL projects.