SANRAL is guided by the Horizon 2030 strategy and transformation policy that is mindful of the developmental role the agency plays.
Small businesses in Elias Motsoaledi, which includes Groblersdal, are about to get a boost.
The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) has embarked on a process of fundamental transformation that opens the path for inclusive, broad-based economic development in the road construction industry.
Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in Elias Motsoaledi will benefit from SANRAL’s upcoming road upgrade and routine road maintenance projects, said Ismael Essa, SANRAL’s Transformation Manager.
Both currently in the design phase, two notable road upgrade projects in the municipality (the R573 Moloto Road and the R574 to Morwaneng) are set to begin construction in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Attended by local municipality officials and business people, the “Taking SANRAL to Elias Motsoaledi” initiative took place on 30 May. The aim was to address matters of concern raised by local business and the municipality, in addition to educating those in attendance about the opportunities available to them.
Essa said: “We are committed to supporting the development and participation of businesses owned by women, youth, people with disabilities and military veterans in our projects, especially on our routine road maintenance and community development work packages.
“As SANRAL, we are guided by Horizon 2030 strategy and transformation policy that is mindful of the developmental role the agency plays in regard to emerging contractors and transformation in the construction industry.”
Central to the discussion was the upgrade of the R573 Moloto Road, one of the South Africa’s busiest commuter and essential economic routes, which connects Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
The road is an essential public transport corridor used by approximately 50 000 commuters daily – including buses, taxis and heavy trucks.
The Limpopo section of this road was incorporated into the SANRAL network in 2015. Since then, SANRAL has embarked on road maintenance activities that include the repair of dangerous wash-aways in the Moteti area, opening and clearing of storm water pipes/culverts, repair of gravel shoulders, repairing potholes and other pavement failures, cutting back vegetation along the road, clearing litter and debris from the road reserve, repairing road signs and improving markings.
SANRAL Northern Region Manager Progress Hlahla reminded those in attendance that SANRAL is committed to providing opportunities for small contractors that have limited experience. This is done through various community development projects.
“These become legacy projects, which local SMMEs are able to build and maintain for their local municipality. Once they gain the relevant experience, and thus improve their CIDB grading and skills levels through these projects, they are able to take on larger projects and contribute to the country’s drive towards job creation,” Hlahla said.
As per government policy for SMME development, main contractors are required to subcontract 30% of the contract value to SMMEs of CIDB grading 1-6.
In some cases, main contractors enter into joint ventures, with a 70/30 split between a 9CE main contractor as the lead partner and lower-grading contractors (5CE, 6CE or 7CE) as the joint venture targeted partners.
Driven by this commitment, SANRAL has visited all provinces in South Africa with the aim of engaging communities and interested organisations in its transformation strategy, which commits to give suitably qualified emerging enterprises an opportunity to perform some of the work awarded to main contractors.
Hlahla said his region is determined to work towards ensuring the inclusive participation of local black individuals and organisations in upcoming projects, as well as any spin-offs from such projects.
Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality Executive Mayor Cllr Julia Mathebe added that she was grateful SANRAL had chosen to improve the infrastructure in her municipality.
“Guided by the Public Finance Management Act, SANRAL is determined to empower as many local businesses as possible in a fair and equitable manner.
As our board chairman, Mr Themba Mhambi, often proclaims: The days of there being only a few construction companies capable of taking on large projects is coming to an end. Instead of hearing about the big five construction companies, we would like to hear about the big 50,” Hlahla concluded.