SANRAL strengthens relationships with stakeholders

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) shared information on several road construction, special maintenance and routine road maintenance projects being undertaken in Mbhashe and Mnquma local municipalities.

A presentation on the various projects in the Amathole District Municipality was shared at SANRAL’s Taking SANRAL to the People stakeholder engagement session held in Idutywa yesterday. The key intent at this engagement session was to make local community members and SMMEs aware of how they can benefit from the roads agency’s projects in the area.

“Road infrastructure is critical and is important for economic growth.  For the economy to grow we really need infrastructure. The SANRAL projects are also attracting interest from stakeholders,” said Samkelo Janda, Mbhashe Local Municipality’s executive mayor.

Janda also said the platform created an opportunity for SANRAL to address the stakeholders on roads projects. “Infrastructure becomes critical and SANRAL is fulfilling that role,” he said.

SANRAL engaged stakeholders at the Idutywa Village Lodge in Idutywa and used an online platform to address stakeholders at satellite venues in Ndabakazi, Butterworth. 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 roads 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.

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 Amathole District Municipality, as well as imminent projects planned. SANRAL also used this platform to deliberate on salient issues affecting SANRAL’s service delivery in the area.

SANRAL Southern Region’s transformation officer, Thandile Makwabe gave an overview of the Transformation policy.

“Through our transformation policy, at SANRAL we are 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. We also accept the responsibility to maximise the participation of black contractors, professionals, suppliers and designated groups in all our projects, said Makwabe.

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.

SANRAL’s mandate also entails performing routine road maintenance (RRM) of the national road network. In this regard, the agency maintains several routes within Amathole District Municipality.

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

SANRAL’s major road infrastructure delivery projects in the Amathole District include:

  • RRM on the N2 Section 16 (Km 13.26) to Section 18 (KM 50.38) and National Route R63 Section 16 (KM0.00) to (KM 43.64), and
  • N6 RRM

Projects planned for Mnquma Local Municipality include:

  • N2 Butterworth bypass: Expansion, improvement and maintenance of road infrastructure. The project is in the design phase;
  • Ibika to Tetyana: Expansion and maintenance of road infrastructure. The project is in preliminary design phase; project anticipated to start in 2022; and
  • Ndabakazi interchange: a new facilities project. The project is in the design phase and construction is anticipated to commence in September 2021

Projects planned for the Mbhashe Local Municipality:

  • N2 Idutywa Bypass: a new facilities project. The project is in design phase and is anticipated to commence in 2024.

SANRAL also has completed and has planned upcoming projects in Ngqushwa, Raymond Mhlaba, Amahlathi and Great Kei local municipalities, which also fall under the Amathole District Municipality.

Makwabe said SANRAL has partnered with few key role players to assist black business in entering the mainstream. He said 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.

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.