SANRAL is committed to engaging with industry forums and the public at large and have already forged some positive relationships with key stakeholders in this regard.
As we reflect on 20 years of being responsible for the development and upkeep of the national road network, we look back with pride on some of the significant achievements – the road network has tripled from 6 700km in 1998 to over 22 000km currently.
We also take key lessons from these projects in a bid to improve the way we engage with our stakeholders going forward.
That underpins our direction for the next 20 years. We have heard the cries from the SMMEs and start-ups, which further inspires our efforts to break down monopolies in the supply chain of materials, equipment, technologies, systems and other areas to ensure broad-based participation by black South Africans.
To this end, we are committed to engaging with industry forums and the public at large and have already forged some positive relationships with key stakeholders in this regard.
Our flagship projects in the Northern Cape are nearing completion. On the N12, the bridge over the Orange River is in the home stretch and we look forward to formally opening that bridge early in 2019.
The three intersections just outside Kimberley: Cape Town Road (N12), the Douglas Road (R357) and the Griekwastad Road (N8), which were upgraded to traffic circles, already have lighting in place and are having the finishing touches added.
Between Olifantshoek and Kathu, we have significantly upgraded major intersections to traffic circles because of a dire need to reduce motor vehicle accidents and increase safety conditions with regard to road engineering.
Going forward, all SANRAL projects will be facilitated through an inclusive and consultative process, using project liaison committees (PLCs) that are being set up locally in the targeted project areas with relevant stakeholders.
In some areas this is easier said than done. It requires a concerted effort, particularly at a local-government level, to assuage people’s fears that political allegiance will be rewarded.
We look forward to rolling out new projects across the Northern Cape in 2019 and we hope that the work we’ve done in terms of stakeholder engagements will pave the way for eligible local labour and SMMEs to seize the opportunities that road construction projects can bring to marginalised communities along the route.
We remain committed to training and capacity building and, where the need exists, we will ensure emerging SMMEs have the tools to enable them to compete fairly for economic development opportunities.
This is an opinion piece by Skhumbuzo Macozoma, SANRAL’s CEO.