SANRAL is ready to implement a number of construction projects as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for infrastructure development projects to unlock South Africa’s economy.
President Ramaphosa made the call recently at the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA). He called on both private and public sector entities to invest in and unlock infrastructure development to stimulate the economy. Following this, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said road infrastructure development would be a key contributor to economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused widespread economic destruction and loss of life.
SANRAL’s Engineering Executive Louw Kannemeyer, says the road agency has a portfolio of “shovel-ready” projects that would be implemented during the course of the 2020/21 financial year and beyond.
“In the current financial year, SANRAL has advertised 278 maintenance, operations and construction projects worth approximately R30.2 billion. So far, 136 projects to value of R7.3 billion have been awarded.”
Furthermore, SANRAL plans to roll out over 200 additional road infrastructure projects across all nine provinces, impacting directly on economic development, job creation and economic transformation. Twelve projects with an estimated value of R12.1 billion had to be cancelled and retendered, largely due to non-compliant bid submissions. This is one of the major contributing factors to the delay in awarding tenders.
“We recognise the frustrations of the industry and are engaging with regulatory bodies like National Treasury on ways to streamline our procurement processes to make them more efficient and ultimately to speed up the process of adjudicating and awarding tenders. We typically can receive as many as 60 tenders for a single project, especially on CIDB 6 projects (<R20 million) and all these are subject to various regulatory and compliance verifications to confirm that each bid is responsive,” explains Kannemeyer.
He says some of these verifications involve external entities, resulting in numerous delays in finalising the processes. The challenges are further compounded under COVID-19 lockdown regulations, as some of these entities are not functioning at 100% capacity yet.
During the SIDSSA President Ramaphosa also noted that the success of an infrastructure development response rests on the eradication of corruption and collusion, genuine transformation, complete transparency, unwavering accountability and unparalleled efficiency.
SANRAL’s track record is built on a portfolio of evidence of industry best practice, stringent quality control, transformation that changes lives for the better, and a national road network that serves as a key artery to keep the economy on track.