West Coast SMMEs encouraged to step up and be counted for subcontracting on the N7 upgrade

West Coast SMMEs encouraged to step up and be counted for subcontracting on the N7 upgrade

Western Cape, 26 April 2022 – The South African National Raods Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) recently engaged with SMMEs in the West Coast District Municipality to unlock bottlenecks that may have contributed to the slow uptake of subcontracting tenders for the N7 upgrade between Rooidraai and Moorreesburg.

The R600 million project has just under three years left of the construction period and as such there are still significant opportunities for project participation by subcontractors.

“So committed is SANRAL to expanding the reach of economic inclusion for black businesses on our projects, that we are actively encouraging SMMEs to tender for work packages, particularly for 1CE and 2CE graded entities, where we stress that no prior experience is necessary,” said Petronella Theron, SANRAL Project Manager.

The morning session was held in Clanwilliam, attended by approximately 30 business owners. “As start-up small contractors, our companies do not yet have financial resources or transport infrastructure, so we need support and particularly information about the upcoming opportunities so that we don’t find out after other entities have already been awarded contracts and we miss out,” said Granville Williams, of Grangray General Building and Civil Pty Ltd.

Enrico Sampson, from the Local Economic Development (LED) unit at the Cedarberg Local Municipality, who also serves on the Project Liaison Committee (PLC), reiterated the role of the PLC in terms of not only having an oversight role, but also sharing information about the project to the various stakeholders in the community.

A second session was held in Piketberg in the afternoon, with even more SMMEs than the morning. Joubert Skei, owner of Mncotshe Construction and Cleaning Projects, lauded SANRAL for the information session. “We are incredibly grateful to SANRAL for bringing this opportunity to us in the Bergriver Municipality. We desperately need project participation opportunities, but first we need training on how to submit responsive, competitive and profitable tenders,” said Skei.

Through various MOUs SANRAL prioritises training and capacity building of SMMEs, both at the hand of the main contractor and industry bodies like the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC).

“True transformation in the sector is only possible when you prioritise both access for black businesses as well as guidance and mentoring,” said Morné Windvogel, SANRAL Transformation Officer in the Western Region.

The following packages are still to be subcontracted:

  • Clearing and shaping existing open drains
  • Subsoil structures
  • Stormwater structures
  • Kerbing and chutes
  • Inlet and outlet structures
  • Trimming of concrete-line open drains
  • Concrete-line open drains
  • Stone pitching
  • Concrete block paving

“These information sessions with SMMEs were most encouraging. Fear of failure and finding government tender processes intimidating should not prevent people from taking a chance and submitting a tender. We will address the training needs and we are hopeful that the small businesses in these communities will recognise the significant economic injection that comes with a project of this magnitude and submit their tenders for the relevant remaining packages,” said Petronella Theron, SANRAL Project Manager.