Status of major projects initiated during 2018/19

These are some of the contracts SANRAL initiated during this year. 

In several instances, progress was set back by cash flow difficulties experienced by contractors, including some long-established construction companies.

Contracts were awarded for several major projects during the year, including: 

  • The strengthening of the R511 between Brits and Beestekraal in the North West. This R172million contract was awarded to NZK Footprint Engineering. The commencement date was January 2019 and completion is scheduled for July 2020.
  • The construction of the cable-stayed bridge across the Msikaba River on the green fields section of the N2 Wild Coast road in the Eastern Cape. This challenging 36-month engineering project – the 580metre bridge will be the secondlongest main span bridge in Africa – was awarded to the Moto Engil/Concor Joint Venture. Valued at R1.9-billion, the project is scheduled to be completed in January 2022. 
  • The design review and supervision contract for an upgrade of the N11 from the Newcastle industrial area through to Madadeni, east of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. The upgrade will improve road alignment, making it more direct, and will double the capacity of the road to a dual carriageway of freeway standard. The estimated construction cost is R531-million and the consultant is BVI Consulting Engineers Western Cape.
  • Construction of pedestrian facilities on the N2 between Umlaas Canal and Wandsbeck Road in eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal. The project seeks to eliminate hazardous use of the road shoulder by large numbers of pedestrians and provide safer crossing facilities. It is valued at R29.7-million and was awarded to GNS Civils. 
  • The location of and prospecting for new sources of road building materials located within 50km of national roads in KwaZuluNatal. The contract, valued at R22.6-million, has been awarded to FDKL Engineering Consultants. 

Significant construction delays were experienced on several projects. In several instances, progress was set back by cash flow difficulties experienced by contractors, including some long-established construction companies. 

The affected projects were: 

  • The improvement of the R573 from Siyabuswa to Marble Hall in Limpopo.
  • The N2 upgrade at Caledon, Western Cape. 
  • The construction of a new bridge over the Gwaiing River at George, Western Cape.
  • The upgrade of the R61 from Baziya to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape was interrupted when contractor Basil Read went into business rescue in June 2018. The appointed business rescue practitioner was unable to finance completion of the project by Basil Read and the process of appointing a replacement contractor was at an advanced stage at the end of the financial year. 

The number of projects delayed by financial difficulties of contractors was larger than usual in 2018/19. 

Two projects were delayed due to modifications in the scope of work:

  • On the N6 between Rouxville and Smithfield in the Free State, poorer than expected ground conditions caused time and cost over-runs.
  • Modifications were made to the foundation design of the traffic control centre being built on the N5 near Senekal, Free State. 
  • Generally slow progress, sometimes compounded by work stoppages and protests, also caused project delays. 
  • Work on the N2/M41 Mount Edgecombe Interchange near Durban progressed slower than scheduled. 
  • There were work stoppages at the Hammarsdale Interchange on N3, which exacerbated other delays. 
  • The contractor abandoned work on the Mtentu River Bridge – part of the N2 Wild Coast Project – when community unrest disrupted an already-delayed project. SANRAL instituted court action aimed at securing resumption of work by the contractor. 

Significant delays were experienced on three toll road projects: 

  • The completion of the Polokwane and Musina ring road projects were delayed due to Basil Read experiencing cash flow problems and applying for voluntary business rescue in June 2018.
  • There was slow progress on the N1 upgrade between Holfontein Interchange and Kroonstad and penalties were imposed in May 2018 at a rate of R30 000 a day.