Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, recently provided details of the projects that will be rolled out as part of the economic stimulus package that was announced by the President in 2018.
The additional R3.5bn over three years announced in the national budget in February will unlock a total of R13bn worth of investment in national road infrastructure over the medium term. The projects will include economic and social infrastructure that is intended to unlock economic growth while also providing much needed access to communities and stimulating local economies. The delivery model for the projects will have a strong job creation and SMME development focus. The projects will also pursue an urban-rural balance.
This is SANRAL’s response to the call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the earlier investment summit to have shovel-ready projects in place to support the country’s economic stimulus plan.
Dr Nzimande said infrastructure investment is a critical element of government’s plan to get the economy working. The primary road network managed by the South African National Roads Agency is the backbone of the transport system.
“Without a well-designed and well-maintained primary road network we will not be able to attract investments that can serve as catalysts for balanced economic growth, instil business confidence, create jobs and contribute to the fundamental transformation of our society,” says the Minister.
SANRAL is ramping up its investment in road infrastructure back to familiar levels through its R70bn medium term budget allocation to implement construction and maintenance projects across the country.
“This increased investment will rejuvenate the construction and engineering sectors, create jobs and support the growth of small and medium enterprises,” says Skhumbuzo Macozoma, CEO of SANRAL.
SANRAL’s 2019/20 budget for the construction of roads, rehabilitation and maintenance projects is set at R24.4bn. This will grow at an average rate of 5.1% over the medium-term framework reaching a total of R70bn. This budget includes the R3.5bn stimulus package allocation that was recently announced by the Minister of Transport.
Macozoma says this ramp up on road infrastructure spending follows a difficult 18-month period of subdued expenditure. “We are happy that the majority of the challenges we experienced with National Treasury which affected our tender processes have been addressed. SANRAL affirms its commitment to comply with applicable procurement regulations, while ensuring inclusive participation in its projects.”
SANRAL’s investments will bring relief to the broader construction sector that is currently experience a downturn in business. There are projects in the pipeline, and this will contribute to an upswing in construction activities.
Macozoma says that SANRAL will soon establish supplier development desks at its regional offices to ensure structured assistance to suppliers including contractors, consultants and material suppliers. This will be enabled by the numerous partnership agreements that SANRAL is pursuing with big industry players in the areas of equipment supply, mentoring, material supply, business and financial management.