Training important for the development of SMMEs before upgrading the N2 between Grahamstown and Fish River Pass


Training important for the development of SMMEs before upgrading the N2 between Grahamstown and Fish River Pass

Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s Stakeholder Relations Coordinator, addressed Ngqushwa Local Municipality stakeholders, including small, medium and micro enterprises. Seated are Ward 1 Councillor, Mfundo Gqo, and Ward 8 Councillor, Nandipha Dyulivani.

Eastern Cape, 8 February 2023: Upgrading the N2 between Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) and Fish River Pass, Phase 3, will create much-needed jobs and boost the economy of the Ngqushwa and Makana Local Municipalities, stakeholders were told.

Councillor Lindiwe Mdabula, Ngqushwa Local Municipality’s portfolio head for budget and treasury, said that the upgrading of the route is important for the growth of the town.

“Upgrading the route is important for the municipality’s economic growth. Unemployment is high in the municipality but through this project we hope families will benefit, not only the affected ward but the entire municipality,” said Mdabula.

Mdabula further requested SANRAL to monitor the progress of the work on the project. “The quality of the completed project must be of a standard that we will be proud of. SMME capacitation is also one of our mayor’s strategies to ensure that Ngqushwa small business owners are prioritised on this project. I also want to emphasise that communication is the key whenever there are challenges. I am pleading with all stakeholders to seek clarity and explanation if anything is unclear. Our doors will always be open to assist,” said Mdabula.

Councillor Mzobanzi Nkwentsha, LED and Planning Portfolio head for Makana Local Municipality, addressed SMMEs during the session in Makhanda.

Councillor Mzobanzi Nkwentsha, Local Economic Development (LED) and Planning Portfolio head for Makana Local Municipality, said training on this project was quite important. “You must participate on the PLC process so there is no confusion about what happens on the project. This project will create much-needed jobs for our people,” he said.

Nkwentsha also stressed that the term SMMEs did not apply only to categorically construction businesses. “The term SMME includes the entire value chain of the project, and we expect that all SMMEs in the value chain will be taken into account.”

SANRAL introduced WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd to the Ngqushwa and Makana Local Municipalities to municipal stakeholders and SMMEs, as the appointed contractor who will upgrade the N2 between Makhanda and Fish River Pass: Phase 3 project – Section 13, from Km 92.6 to Km 103.6, and Section 14, from Km 0.0 to Km 5.05.

The duration of the contract, with an estimated project budget of R647 858 000 inclusive, is 30 months and includes a three-month mobilisation period. After the mobilisation period the construction will start in May and will take place over 27 months.

This project is the third phase of upgrading the existing N2 single carriageway of section 13 and 14 to a new geometric standard. The upgrading will include building three new underpasses, culverts and the extension of two existing underpasses. The construction of community access roads will be in the Lewiswood, Mabofolweni and Nobumba areas, just off the N2 at approximately km 5.6 on Section 14.

Regarding the engagement of local enterprises in the project, Thandile Makwabe, SANRAL Southern Region’s Transformation Officer, explained that the first stage of the tender evaluation is for the targeted enterprises to have the necessary paperwork in order. The first-stage small business owners must be registered with the Central Supplier Database (CSD), be a B-BBEE contributor level, and the entity status must be EME or QSE.

“If SMMEs do not meet the requirements of the first stage they will not progress to stage two. Stage two is the functionality of the tendering phase,” said Makwabe.
Training is integral for developing, mentoring, guiding and equipping SMMEs with the knowledge they will need before work starts on upgrading of the N2 between Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) and Fish River Pass, Phase 3, which spans Ngqushwa and Makana Local Municipalities.

Zoleka Mathangana, from ACS/Tjeka joint venture (JV), SANRAL’s appointed training service provider, said the intention of the pre-tender training was to prepare and provide the new entities with the necessary theoretical information and skills required for pursuing a future in construction, managing a business, managing a contract/project and being able to compile and submit a compliant tender document. This training is targeting CIDB Grades 1-4.

“This training will ensure that the Targeted Enterprises are better equipped to participate in the upcoming opportunities in the Region. The training comprises of the ten accredited modules from CETA and the duration is 15 days in training and seven days assessment to make a total of 22 days. These modules form part of the National Certificate: Construction constructing NQF level 2,” said Mathangana.

Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s Stakeholder Coordinator, presented SANRAL’s 14 Point Plan, which is the road agency’s guide to facilitate better project liaison with local communities and structures that are affected by its projects. She said the plan strives to ensure transparency and inclusivity among those who work on SANRAL projects.

“Before the construction starts a Project Liaison Committee (PLC) would have already been established. PLCs assist greatly in ensuring better communication and transparency as well as ensuring that work done is done seamlessly on projects. All community representatives – including the youth, women, people with disabilities and military veterans, to mention a few – must be represented in the PLC,” said Ndika.

Ward 1 Councillor Mfundo Gqo, from Ngqushwa Local Municipality, encouraged people to cooperate on the project. “This platform is the right place to ask questions and not to go after the meeting and debate about the project when you should have asked the questions here. We assure SANRAL that the Ngqushwa Local Municipality is the most cooperative municipality in the province,” said Gqo.