While the irritation of motorists was understandable, it must also be stressed that the delays in appointing a new contractor were not caused by SANRAL.
The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) has good news for Kwazulu-Natal North Coast motorists: the procurement of construction tenders for the completion of roadworks on the N2 between Ballito and Stanger has commenced.
Work originally began in February 2016 for localised realignment of the N2 at Umhlali River Bridge and at Umvoti River Bridge, but construction stopped when the main contractor was put in liquidation.
This resulted in angry and frustrated motorists having to contend with sections of the N2 being narrowed to a single lane for almost four years.
Ridhwaan Mahomed, SANRAL Eastern Region Project Manager, said while the irritation of motorists was understandable, it must also be stressed that the delays in appointing a new contractor were not caused by SANRAL.
“It was never SANRAL’s intention for this work to be delayed for such a prolonged period.”
He said after the contract was terminated with the original contractor, SANRAL tried for months to resolve the way forward with National Treasury to appoint a new contractor as well as ensuring continuity regarding technical supervision.
Without getting this approval from Treasury, it was impossible for SANRAL to proceed and appoint a new contractor to complete the work.
There were also issues around sub-contracting of works in keeping with national policies on economic transformation which have delayed all projects being undertaken by SANRAL.
“We have only recently been given approval to go ahead using the same supervision consultant and procuring a new contractor,” said Mahomed, adding it was hoped to have a new contractor on site before the end of the year for a construction duration of approximately 10 months.
Original contractors invited to tender
He added that four of the original contractors were invited to a tender briefing meeting and a visit to the site on 21 August with representatives from SANRAL and the supervising consulting engineer.
These are all contractors graded by the CIDB and well capable of completing this contract. Tenders will close in mid-September. An award to the successful contractor will then be made before year end.
Mahomed appealed to motorists to meanwhile proceed with caution and adhere to speed limits.
“SANRAL apologises to the motoring public for any inconvenience caused and thanks them for their patience during road construction. The patience and co-operation of motorists will be appreciated,” he said.