The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) met with small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in Indwe and Elliot, in the Eastern Cape, at the start of November to discuss the economic benefits and job opportunities its special maintenance project on the R56 national road would create.
Sanral is investing R485-million into the R56 road, upon which the special maintenance project will take place from Indwe to Elliot, and from Elliot to Maclear in 2022.
The R56 project will include structural work, such as replacing bridge expansion joints on 13 bridges; patching in the towns of Elliot and Ugie; the completion of subsoil drains that were previously installed; the construction of concrete side drains, down chute and outlets 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.
Sanral southern region stakeholder engagement specialist Welekazi Ndika says the aim of the SMME visit was to introduce the contractors and form project liaison committees that will represent the interests of SMMEs on these projects.
She adds that, while the entire upgrade of the road is envisaged to be completed in 20 months, Sanral has allocated the first three months of the maintenance to mobilisation, in which the appointed contractor – Tau Pele – will interact with the community and set up contract participation goals (CPGs).
A CPG is the amount that will be set aside and allocated to SMME development.
“Guided by our transformation policy and 14-point plan, at Sanral we always ensure that there is transparency and opportunities for local community members on our projects. We have also spelled this out in our D1000 document, which encourages the maximum participation of women, youth, people with disabilities and military veterans,” says Ndika.