SANRAL updates local stakeholders on N2 Wild Coast Road Project
Eastern Cape, 10 March 2023 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) updated local stakeholders at a two-day engagement session on the progress made on the N2 Wild Coast Road Project and other adjacent projects in Pondoland, Eastern Cape. The sessions took place recently in Lusikisiki and near Port Edward, respectively. Local SMMEs who aspire to benefit from the projects, municipal leaders, members from designated groups such as the youth, women and people with disabilities, as well as local traditional leaders, attended.
“Construction on the Msikaba Bridge project started in 2019 and it is still ongoing, on both the south and north sites. The project is valued at R1.65 billion and has been under construction since 2019. By the end of January this year, R75,6 million (excluding VAT) had been spent on wages on the Msikaba Bridge project. Of the 528 staff on site, 424 (80%) are local people of which 177 are skilled staff and 247 are unskilled workers. About R454 million has been paid to 120 SMMEs, who are all from surrounding areas,” said Craig McLachlan, SANRAL’s Project Manager on the N2 Wild Coast Road Project.
“Additional initiatives that have been undertaken include the training of local 131 SMMEs from Ingquza Hill, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Port St Johns local municipalities. This training was offered through SANRAL’s national training programme to develop SMMEs. About 257 community members received skills development training in catering and hygiene, welding and crop production,” said McLachlan.
The N2 Mtentu Bridge project, on the other hand, was awarded to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and MECSA Construction joint venture (CCCC MECSA JV) at R4.05billion on 1 November 2022. It is estimated that up to 200 SMMEs will benefit from the project, while an estimated 2500 full-time equivalent jobs are expected to be created.
“The scope of the new Mtentu tender has been expanded from the original terminated contract to include the upgrading of 18km of a provincial road, linking the future Mkhambati Interchange to the Flagstaff-Holy Cross road, and providing a direct link from the future N2 to the town of Flagstaff, as well as the construction of three nearby community access roads,” added McLachlan.
Once completed, the Mtentu Bridge will be the highest in Africa and it will be one of the longest main- span balanced cantilever bridges in the world, with a main span of 260 meters at a maximum height of around 223 meters.
The socio-economic impact of the R20 billion Wild Coast project can never be downplayed because the project will offer a significant economic injection for the local communities. The minimum 30% expenditure earmarked for targeted enterprise subcontractors and suppliers will result in more than R4 billion flowing to SMMEs, the majority of whom will be from the OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo district municipalities.
In addition to the R20 billion road greenfield N2 Highway, the recent transfer to SANRAL of the R61 between Port St Johns and Port Edward will see numerous maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects rolled out by SANRAL over the next 10 years, further increasing the range and number of opportunities for SMMEs from the Port St John’s, Ingquza Hill and Winnie Madikizela Mandela Local Municipalities.
Progress has also been made on the awarding of Packages Four and Five of the project. Valued at R2.25 billion, about R804 and R183 million has been earmarked for local SMMEs and local labour, respectively, on Package Four. The project entails construction of the N2 Wild Coast highway between Lingeni and the Msikaba Bridge.
Similarly, Package Five, which will see the construction of the N2 highway and associated local roads between Msikaba and Mtentu, is valued at R2.5 billion and about R891 million and R204 million has been earmarked for local SMMEs and local labour, respectively.