The road agency incorporates strong social transformation principles into the conduct of its core business.
The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) takes seriously its potential to help alleviate the major social and economic challenges of our country, namely, widespread poverty, high unemployment and extreme inequality.
It does so principally by incorporating strong social transformation principles into the conduct of its core business. The terms of all the agency’s contracts are such that SMMEs – and particularly black-owned SMMEs – are prioritised for sub-contracts in all construction projects and road maintenance work.
In addition, there is an attempt to promote local sourcing of services and the participation of women and youth, not only through sub-contracting but through employment on construction and maintenance projects, and associated training.
Further avenues for creating social value are:
- SANRAL’s community development projects, which enhance road infrastructure in communities close to, but generally off the national road network.
- Its road safety programme, which combines the engineering of safer roads with road safety education and interventions to improve the response to road incidents.
- The contribution it makes to universities in terms of their training of engineers and road transport professionals, the research they undertake and their projects to improve performance in maths and science at school level.
Toll road concession companies are all contractually obliged to undertake social programmes and they fulfil this responsibility in different ways, according to local needs and their corporate culture.
SANRAL provided 1 886 opportunities for SMMEs to participate in road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance projects during 2017/18, and the total amount earned through these contracts was R3 087-million.
Black-owned SMMEs derived the greatest benefit, accounting for 59% of all SMME’s participating earning 77% of the total rand value.
Contracts awarded to black-owned SMMEs have increased, both in absolute numbers and percentage terms. Similar trends are apparent in relation to the value of work undertaken by black-owned SMMEs.
These figures indicate the successful implementation of prevailing empowerment polices in SANRAL.
Training of workers
Contracts opened training opportunities for 3 421 workers in 2017/18 and the total number of courses undertaken was 6 748.
Women constituted 42% of those afforded training.
The three-year trend indicates that the number of trainees in 2017/18 was not greatly affected by the decrease in work opportunities in 2017/18, although fewer workers attended more than one course.