Transformation is not a lip service – SANRAL

Transformation is not a lip service – SANRAL

Pretoria, 28 June 2023 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) celebrated the recently completed Karino Interchange situated on the N4 in Mpumalanga with local small business owners in Nelspruit who all contributed to its success.

SANRAL, in partnership with Trans Africa Concessionaires (TRAC), hosted an official ceremony to hand over certificates to local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) who participated in the construction of the Karino Interchange project. This is part of the agency’s transformation drive to empower black-owned businesses with the necessary knowledge and skills to be competitive in the industry.

Progress Hlahla, SANRAL’s Northern Regional Manager, said the roads agency has embarked on a process of fundamental transformation that opens the path for inclusive, broad-based economic development through the greater involvement of black-owned SMMEs and local labour in road construction and maintenance.

“SANRAL has made a commitment to recognise and involve small business in our projects. Since our adoption of the Preferential Procurement Framework Act (PPPFA) we have ensured that we set aside enough work for SMMEs to participate meaningfully in our projects. Such initiatives bring us one step closer to our mission and I am highly honoured to be part of this celebration,” he said.

TRAC CEO, Alex van Niekerk, gave a brief background of how the project started in November 2019 and concluded in May 2022. He spoke about the importance of Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) in working well together with SANRAL in completing the interchange. He further acknowledged one of the requirements in the contract by SANRAL for training and development of SMMEs which was done successfully on the project.

“On behalf of TRAC, we congratulate all the SMMEs who are receiving certificates today. The main objective for the development and training was to build your competency, to expand your operations so that you can become prominent players within the construction industry. This was a good start, and from here you can only grow. May your future be bright and prosperous, and may you also play a major part in developing our country,” he said.

TRAC said they have feedback that some of the businesses who trained on the project went on to get other work, are performing quiet well and delivering work of high quality.

Melba Geca, SANRAL Stakeholder Coordinator in Mpumalanga, said this was indeed a great moment for the roads agency and all the stakeholders involved, as is showed the commitment to bring change and development of small businesses.

“Transformation is not a lip service, but it is the heartbeat of SANRAL, because we believe in the development and the capabilities of our people,” said Geca.

SANRAL invested R375-million for the project, about R116 million worth of work was set aside for SMMEs and R22,3-million for local labour. A total of 44 SMMEs benefitted from the project through subcontracting and 422 local people were employed. The project constructed by Raubex Group Limited consisted of the intersection transformed into a grade-separated interchange, with on- and off-ramps and a bridge that will separate cross-traffic from through-traffic and thus ease traffic flow at this extremely busy intersection. Raubex introduced LIT (Labour-Intensive Training) to capacitate the locals by giving them practical work experience to take place before formal training from an accredited training institution. This enabled them to understand their scope of work better before moving to the theoretical platform.

Various stakeholders from the provincial, district and local municipalities attended the ceremony and commended SANRAL and TRAC on a job well done.

Ernest Jele, Acting General Manager for City of Mbombela, said they welcome this important initiative because as Local Economic Development (LED) the certification of these business will ensure that there’s well qualified and capable business in City of Mbombela for future projects.