The road to recovery and resilience

SANRAL has strong vested interests in the resurgence and growth of the construction and engineering sectors.   

Skhumbuzo Macozoma, SANRAL CEO, said that it’s long-term strategy, Horizon 2030, positions SANRAL as a leading player in the broader effort to stimulate growth through infrastructure investment. 

SANRAL’s decision to ramp up its investment in road infrastructure through an allocation of R70 billion over the medium term will, without a doubt, address the decline in the important construction and engineering sectors.  

We share the concerns expressed in the media that an industry that was once a key driver of employment has been in steady decline since the start of the decade.  

However, we also share the sense of guarded optimism that accompanied the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year that government would contribute some R100 billion over 10-years to the infrastructure fund and use this to leverage further investments from development finance institutions and the private sector.  

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took this approach a few steps further by clearly stating that the state is shifting its priorities towards infrastructure investment, and away from the public wage bill.  

SANRAL’s budget for the next three years reflects this approach. For the current financial year there is an allocation of R24.4 billion for the construction of roads, rehabilitation and maintenance projects.  

This will grow at an average rate of 5.1% over the medium term, reaching a total of R70 billion. This escalation in spending follows on a period of subdued expenditure by SANRAL.  

We are encouraged that the combined effect of supply chain reforms initiated by National Treasury and the introduction of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) in 2017 which affected our tender processes, have been resolved and that the projects already being released through tenders will contribute to an upswing in construction activities.  

SANRAL has strong vested interests in the resurgence and growth of the construction and engineering sectors.  

A strategic approach 

Our long-term strategy, Horizon 2030, positions SANRAL as a leading player in the broader effort to stimulate growth through infrastructure investment.  

The projects that are in the pipeline for the medium term have a strong focus on community development across all nine provinces, in both urban and rural centres 

They run the gamut of road engineering and construction activities including upgrades to the primary transport corridors on the national freeway network, improvements to interchanges, bridges and storm water infrastructure, the expansion of intelligent transport systems and interventions to improve road safety.  

There are about 740 new construction projects that are planned, and they are spread across the entire 22 214km of the primary road network managed by SANRAL.  

Communities from Rustenburg in the North West to Giyani in Limpopo, the Karoo and the Northern Cape will benefit from construction activities and the provision of safer and more accessible roads.  

SANRAL’s investments in infrastructure will greatly benefit emerging enterprises and new players in the construction and engineering sectors.  

All new tenders will be published in line with SANRAL’s new transformation policy, which seeks to increase the participation of black businesses and the development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).  

Tender requirements will also increasingly focus on enterprises that are owned by women, the youth and people with disabilities.  

Some 7 810 SMMEs will benefit from SANRAL projects during the next three years, with an estimated 81 000 jobs in line to be created courtesy of road construction and maintenance projects.  

All SANRAL construction projects will, henceforth, include community development programmes and initiatives to support the transfer of skills to SMME companies.  

With these steps in place, we are confident that the increased spending by SANRAL will not only lead to an upswing in construction activities but will also contribute to the fundamental transformation of an industry that has been dominated by a limited group of large players.  

To date, some 90 new routine road maintenance contract tenders have been advertised, with 60 already awarded.  

SANRAL will soon establish supplier development desks at our regional offices to provide structured assistance to suppliers including contractors, consultants and material suppliers.  

We will also expand the extremely productive partnerships we have struck with big industry players in the areas of equipment supply, mentoring, material provision, business support and financial management.  


The Minister of Transport, Minister Mbalula, is working very hard to assist SANRAL with key challenges that confront our flagship projects such as the GFIP e-Toll Scheme in Gauteng, Moloto Road that straddles three provinces, the N2 Wild Coast road in the Eastern Cape and the N3 Van Reenen Development Project in the Free State.  

With the Minister’s bold leadership, we are confident that these important projects will be unlocked to bring much needed benefits to both the citizens and the economy of our country.  

We are committed to the stabilisation and growth of the broader construction sector – an industry that accounts for almost 10% of all employment in South Africa.  

We are confident that the R70 billion investment in road infrastructure over the next three years, if supplemented by more public and private expenditure, will make a tangible contribution to the broader national objectives. 

This is an opinion piece by Skhumbuzo Macozoma, SANRAL CEO.