Business fraternity welcomes SANRAL Special Maintenance project in Eastern Cape

SANRAL invests over R1.2 billion in Matatiele roads projects

The Special Maintenance project on the R56 national road by the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) has been positively welcomed by the Nqanqarhu (formerly Maclear) business fraternity in the Eastern Cape.

At an information session that SANRAL held with local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) yesterday (15 November), business representatives welcomed the R485 million project, which spans the three municipalities of Elundini, Sakhisizwe and Emalahleni.

Earlier this month, SANRAL met with SMMEs in Indwe and Elliot to discuss the economic benefits and job opportunities that will be created by the special maintenance project. The Nqanqarhu information session was the third leg of the roads agency’s meeting with SMMEs.

“The R56 project will include structural work such as replacing bridge expansion joints to 13 bridges; patching in Nqanqarhu, Elliot and Indwe; completion of subsoil drains installed previously; construction of concrete side drains; construction of down chute and outlet structures on high fills; installation of gabions in cuttings to prevent silt from spilling into the side drains; and replacing the remainder of the existing fencing,” said Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL’s stakeholder engagement specialist for the Southern Region.

“While the entire rehabilitation of the road is envisaged to be completed in 20 months, we have allocated the first three months for the mobilisation period. This is a period in which Tau Pele, the appointed contractor, will interact with the community and set up Contract Participation Goals (CPG), which is the amount that will be allocated to service providers and suppliers. These matters will be discussed within the first three months together with the Project Liaison Committee (PLC),” she said.

Work is anticipated to start in January 2022.

Working together with local community structures in municipalities; PLCs are established to ensure better communication and transparency on SANRAL projects as well as ensuring that work done on projects is done seamlessly.

“The one way of doing this is appointing a Project Liaison Officer (PLO). This role will be advertised and SANRAL encourages local community members to apply. A project liaison officer is an important role because this person is a point of contact between the Project Management Team (PMT), Project Liaison Committee (PLC), stakeholders and communities to address the day-to-day project matters. Among others, this person will set up databases of local labour who will be employed on these projects,” said Ndika.

Viwe Madolo, Elundini Local Municipality’s Local Economic Development Manager, welcomed SANRAL’s information session. “One of our key responsibilities as a municipality is to ensure that there’s better economic development within our communities. Local people will get jobs on this project, allowing them to bring food on the table for their families,” he said.

SANRAL continuously strives to strengthen its relationship with stakeholders who are affected by its projects through these information sessions. The sessions are not only a platform for the roads agency to share information about job opportunities on its projects, but also a platform to share information about its transformation policy and Horizon 2030 Strategy.

Since introducing the Horizon 2030 Strategy, SANRAL has empowered local communities and SMMEs with information, giving them opportunities and enabling them to partner with more established construction companies on its projects.

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