The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has started with the roll-out of a R120-million community development and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) training programme in anticipation of the construction of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR).
The programme aims to support local economic development in the Eastern Cape’s OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo district municipalities, says the agency.
Sanral regards the N2 project as the “glaring missing link to unlock the Durban – Cape Town corridor”.
The programme will provide local labour and SMMEs with the skills to make use of business opportunities provided by the N2 project, says Sanral project manager Gcobani Socenywa.
The training programmes in Mbizana, Lusikisiki and Port St. Johns will target 31 owners of construction SMMEs and new start-up companies with a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading of level one to three.
Sanral says it has appointed three service providers to train, mentor and develop learner subcontractors.
Following stakeholder consultation and candidate selection, the business owners selected to the programme will be provided with National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3, 4 and 5 training, leading to a full learnership, which is an official qualification accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority.
The programme will also include selective training for SMMEs with a CIDB grading of level three to six.
SANRAL is also preparing the local labour force to participate in the construction project.
Around 330 individuals will be trained to help create a local skilled and semiskilled labour force for the N2WCTR.
“The programme’s ultimate goal will be to ensure that SMMEs benefit and participate in the forthcoming Mtentu and Msikaba mega bridge, the new greenfields section, and legacy projects such as road maintenance of the N2WCR,” says Socenywa.
As part of their practical training, the SMME business owners will be responsible for upgrading and constructing community access roads in Ingquza Hill local municipality, Mbizana local municipality and Port St. Johns local municipality, in the Eastern Cape.