SANRAL to invest close to R2 billion towards improvement of roads in Dr AB Xuma Local Municipality

Media Release

SANRAL to invest close to R2 billion towards improvement of roads in Dr AB Xuma Local Municipality

               Caption: Cllr Siyabulela Zangqa, Mayor of Dr AB Xuma Local Municipality


Engcobo, Eastern Cape, 15 March 2024 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) will inject close to two billion of rands into the Dr AB Xuma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape when it implements its road maintenance projects over the next three years.

SANRAL announced this investment during a Taking SANRAL to the People stakeholder engagement session held at the Indoor Sport Centre in eNgcobo.

Local leaders from the municipality, business forums, SMMEs, organised taxi associations and local community members – including youth, women, military veterans and people with disabilities – were some of the key stakeholders that attended.

“As the municipality, we want to invest heavily in bulk infrastructure, including developing, improving and maintaining our national road network, and we are happy to work together with SANRAL to ensure that this happens,” said Councillor Siyabulela Zangqa, Dr AB Xuma Local Municipality’s Executive Mayor.

“We continue to work closely with the different spheres of government as part of our ongoing efforts to unlock investments and economic development in our municipality and ensuring that we bring employment opportunities. Working together with SANRAL, we are certain that we are going to ensure that those commitments happen,” said Zangqa.

SANRAL will implement two road infrastructure development projects in the municipality, and these will include the road improvements of the R61 National Road between All Saints to Bayiza, as well as road improvements of the R61 National Road between Qumanco and eNgcobo. The scope of work on these projects will entail the upgrading of roads, bridges and culverts, and improving road safety in the area.

SANRAL has set aside a minimum of 30% of the project value to be subcontracted to SMMEs and a minimum of 8% of the project value will be set aside for local labour. The construction tender closed on 8 March this year, and the projects are envisaged to take place over three years once a contractor is appointed.

Outlining SANRAL’s 14 Point Plan, which is the roads agency’s guide to facilitate better project-level liaison with local communities and structures that are affected by its projects, Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s Stakeholder Coordinator, said PLCs are established to ensure better communication and transparency on SANRAL projects, as well as ensuring that work done on projects is done seamlessly.

“PLCs will assist in creating a platform for project liaison, works execution, subcontracting and facilitating employment opportunities for local community members. These include young people, women, people with disabilities and military veterans. Local subcontractors and communities must benefit from our projects, and we value transparency with communities on these contracts,” said Ndika. Ndika also highlighted the country’s high unemployment rate among the youth, and she implored the youth to participate in PLC structures.

Presenting SANRAL’s pre-tender training endeavours, Zenande Mpondo from SANRAL Southern Region’s Transformation Unit, said that SANRAL will train and develop SMME contractors to enhance their business acumen and tendering skills.

“All SMMEs will be required to undertake assessment and class activities during the training, and they will have to demonstrate competence to be awarded the unit standard. The unit standards are from the National Certificate: Construction Contracting NQF 2. These unit standards are a skills programme that will have a credit value towards the National Certificate,” said Mpondo.

She also added that it is SANRAL’s commitment to ensure that SMMEs are assisted with information on tenders, as well as on development opportunities, ensuring that they can participate in SANRAL projects.

“Through our Supplier Development Desk at SANRAL, we are available to manage incoming queries from our Transformation Portal, telephonic queries, emails, as well as walk-ins. The Desk also advises on upcoming training, workshops and transformation sessions that we host. We also offer guidelines for SMMEs on how to tender on the portal. This is just one of our ongoing efforts to ensure that we improve interaction with SMMEs,” said Mpondo.

SANRAL currently manages a road network of 5 334km in the Eastern Cape. The roads agency has recently taken over several roads in the province, and this will increase its road network to 5 600km in the Eastern Cape.

Between 2014 and 2022, SANRAL invested over R28 billion in the Eastern Cape, significantly boosting economic development and job creation. In line with its strategic intent to ensure sustainability of the construction industry, SANRAL intends to spend just over R55 billion between April this year and March 2027.