The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) shared its robust plans for road infrastructure development projects, tallying to more than R1 billion, for the town of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape Province.
Plans to upgrade the N2 Section 18 from Viedgesville to Mthatha and the Community Development (CD) project were outlined at information sessions that SANRAL hosted with community members of Maqhinebeni, Qweqwe, KwaPayne and Viedgesville villages near Mthatha.
The meetings were held on Sunday, 22 May and Sunday, 29 May.
“The N2 from Viedgesville to Mthatha project will include an upgrade to a four-lane divided by the median or physical barrier to a dual carriageway, improvements to intersections and interchanges on the road, construction of agricultural underpasses, provision of pedestrian bridges, strengthening of the existing pavement, road signage and marking, and streetlight, to mention a few. The estimated allocated budget on this project is R1.1 billion and the project is still in the design phase. The main contractor has not yet been appointed,” said Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s Stakeholder Coordinator.
“The community development project, on the other hand, will entail the construction of community access roads that are adjacent to the N2 national road. The tender for the main contractor is at the procurement stage and the estimated project value is R250 million. These projects will create much needed jobs for the local community, and they will also be trained to work on these projects,” said Ndika.
The projects will also help greatly in alleviating road accident carnages on this section of the N2 national road, which is often caused by stray animals.
SANRAL’s 14 Point Plan, which is SANRAL’s interventions that seeks to ensure that previously disadvantaged individuals benefit from its projects, will assist in ensuring transparency and inclusivity with local communities that will work on the projects.
Ndika urged community members to work together with their project liaison committees (PLCs). “Through our 14 Point Plan, we envisage to already have established PLCs when the project starts. The PLC will assist in creating a platform for project liaison, works execution, subcontracting and facilitating employment opportunities for local community members. All community representatives – including the youth, women, people with disabilities and military veterans – must be represented in the PLC,” she said.
Attending the information session in Maqhinebeni, AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo urged community members to work together amicably for the greater good and development of their communities and urged for their patience and work together with SANRAL.
Steps to have ongoing stakeholder outreach programmes with affected landowners and the relocation of affected properties on the N2 national road Viedgesville to Mthatha project will also be undertaken by SANRAL to share information with these affected community members. This is done in consultation with local traditional leaders.
Vuyokazi Mayeza, SANRAL’s social facilitator on the project, said SANRAL started consultations with community members and other key stakeholders on this project back in 2019. She urged those present to also make other community members aware of the progress that SANRAL has done in making this project a reality.
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 to share information about its transformation policies 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.
Image: Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s stakeholder relations coordinator, addressed the community of Maqhinebeni Village on Sunday, 22 May 2022. Meetings were held with communities of Payne and Viedgesville on Sunday, 29 May.