A road building initiative on the Free State KwaZulu-Natal border will offer local SMME’s significant opportunities for new business, provide important job creation within local communities and develop skills through partnerships with established construction companies.

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) will be upgrading national roads. The focus is on upgrading N11 outside Ladysmith and a new ring road around Newcastle town towards iNkunzi River. Later strategic projects include resurfacing the N11 between Newcastle and Volkrust and routine road maintenance running from Bergville to Ladysmith. The upgrade will include the construction of pedestrian facilities to improve road safety along the route.

Sanral’s Horizon 2030 Strategy outlines how it will use its multi-billion-rand infrastructure spend programme to drive transformation of the construction industry by enabling SMME’s to partner with more established construction companies on projects and also empowering locals by providing them with job opportunities. Furthermore, Sanral has partnered with Yellow Machine leasing companies to assist in leasing and buying of equipment on favourable terms, offered exclusively to emerging construction companies awarded to do work on the roads agency’s projects.

Procurement regulations

Dumisani Nkabinde, Sanral’s regional manager, says it will be using a vehicle already prescribed by National Treasury, the preferential procurement regulations of 2017, where a minimum of 30% of the contract value must be sublet to SMME’s.

Established companies would be required to partner with local SMME’s such as those in aMajuba to ensure that projects are delivered in order to benefit not only road users but drive economic prosperity through job creation to the community of aMajuba.

As part of Sanral’s Beyond Roads mandate, Nkabinde said there were project opportunities for SMMEs outside of construction, such as upgrading of toll gates, maintenance of electrical and IT infrastructure, line marking and traffic signs.