Thousands attend SANRAL SMME information sessions | Phoenix Sun

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Thousands attend SANRAL SMME information sessions | Phoenix Sun

Phoenix Durban

Thousands of entrepreneurs and job-seekers attended the SANRAL stakeholder engagement event hosted by SANRAL in Durban.

Thousands of entrepreneurs and job-seekers have attended stakeholder events hosted by the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) to share information on business and job opportunities available on the R30 billion N2/N3 upgrade project.
Stakeholder consultative engagements have been held in Pietermaritzburg, Hammarsdale and Durban for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) about contract opportunities, how to register with the Construction Industry Development Board and processes to follow when tendering.
SMMEs also had access to an exhibition area where they could get information from the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, the National African Federation for the Building Industry, Ithala Business Finance and construction industry equipment companies such as Bell Equipment, Barloworld, Wirtgen and Pilot Crushtec.
The N2/N3 upgrades will have enormous economic spin-offs for KwaZulu-Natal during construction.
The N2/N3 corridor is one of South Africa’s key infrastructure development projects and its role in facilitating the movement of goods and people to the country’s economic hubs cannot be downplayed.
Dumisani Nkabinde, SANRAL regional manager in the Eastern region, said, “The strategic intent of SANRAL is to help develop and grow black-owned small to medium-sized construction, engineering and related industry businesses.”
It is estimated that a project of the magnitude of the N2/N3 upgrades will create about 15, 000 job opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal.
“It is also envisaged that SMMEs will benefit enormously, allowing them to grow their businesses and create jobs. SANRAL wants to share business and job opportunities and has also made a concerted effort to ensure that youth, women, the disabled and other designated groups benefit from its projects,” he added.
Ravi Ronny, SANRAL Eastern region design, planning and construction manager, said the N2/N3 upgrade is a strategic corridor which has the highest volume of traffic anywhere on the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State national roads network.
“SANRAL has taken into account the current and future plans for expansion of the Durban port. Hence, the N2/N3 upgrades will cater for increased traffic volumes, especially heavy vehicles,” he stated.
Mxolisi Kaunda, the MEC for transport, community safety and liaison in KZN said there was a need for all parties to work together in order for South Africa to grow as a united country.
“We are extremely pleased that SANRAL is investing billions of rands in KZN to upgrade road infrastructure which will not only facilitate economic growth but will also enhance road safety. Over and above this, business and job opportunities will be created for SMMEs and ordinary citizens,” Kaunda said.

Ismail Essa, SANRAL’s transformation manager, said SANRAL recognises the contribution that it makes to build a capable and developmental state and drive economic growth through the provision and maintenance of critical infrastructure.
This commitment, he said, is spelled out clearly in the agency’s transformation strategy and its long-term strategy vision, Horizon 2030.
“SANRAL’s transformation policy sets clearly defined targets for the participation of black contractors, professionals and suppliers in all of its projects. The transformation of the construction industry is long overdue and to respond to this, SANRAL undertakes to develop SMMEs and to introduce project liaison committees (PLCs) on its major projects,” Essa said.
On capital projects SANRAL, will only do business with companies that are at least 51 percent black-owned and with a minimum B-BEE level 2 rating.
In an effort to give small contractors access to earthmoving machinery to allow them to participate more meaningfully in major construction projects, SANRAL has signed a memorandum of understanding with construction machinery company Bell Equipment.
Themba Mhambi, SANRAL board chairman, said South Africa faced economic challenges which could only be addressed under a leadership that is visionary and dreams big.
“SANRAL will make sure that revenue from these billion-rand projects provide business opportunities to local SMMEs,” he shared.
Ryan Britain, regional general manager at Bell Equipment, said, “Access to sophisticated and more advanced equipment used in construction has been identified as one of the biggest hurdles that continue to face emerging contractors.
“SANRAL’s MOU with Bell Equipment will attract new entrants into the construction and engineering sectors, particularly black contractors, who will in turn grow their business and create jobs. The co-operation between SANRAL and Bell Equipment is also expected to help to promote fair competition in the construction and engineering sectors,” he explained.
The upgrade of the N2 will focus on a 55km length, from Lovu River, on the South Coast, to Umdloti, on the North Coast. The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.
These upgrades will include the widening of the N2 and N3 carriageways, with four to five lanes in each direction, and the reconfiguration of most major interchanges along these route sections.
Due to the length and estimated cost of the entire N2 and N3 upgrades, the corridor will be split into a number of detailed design and construction packages.
The upgrading of the N2 and N3 is expected to take between five to eight years to complete depending on funding availability.

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