Road construction equipment supplier Wirtgen Group South Africa (Wirtgen SA) and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which Wirtgen SA MD Heinrich Schulenburg said would cement the relationship between the entities and give action to both their development support goals.
“Through Sanral’s procuring power they play a huge role in transforming the construction industry. With help from original-equipment manufacturers such as Wirtgen, . . . Sanral [can] achieve its 2030 vision strategy goals,” he noted.
In signing the MoU today, both parties declare their commitment to collaboration and the joint development of South African roads and to support emerging contractors and contribute to transformation in the construction industry, giving small enterprises better access to the road construction machinery they need to execute major Sanral-owned projects.
The agreement will afford small to medium-sized construction contractors full access to Wirtgen’s full suite of equipment brands, as well as financing, training and logistics.
“Equipment is one of the major success factors for contractors in the execution of their projects. If contractors are not well equipped, the country also faces the danger of substandard road infrastructure,” said Sanral chief engineer Louw Kannemeyer.
Wirtgen SA is a subsidiary of Germany’s Wirtgen Group, which, in turn, is owned by US-based John Deere, which is a prominent global equipment supplier for the agriculture, turf, forestry and construction industries.
Wirtgen Group manufactures and supplies earthworks, road building and surface mining equipment, as well as provides services on site, applications consulting, workshop services and training workshops for customers.
Wirtgen Group has 55 subsidiaries worldwide, with a combined yearly turnover of around €3-billion. Wirten Group is a significant global supplier of road milling machines. Its equipment brands include Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann, Benninghoven and Ciber.
Sanral employs 400 people nationally, with all maintenance and construction outsourced through open tender processes that become available to the private sector.
“These kinds of MoUs are not exclusive agreements with suppliers to make use of them. It is not an agreement where Sanral will be buying equipment; what it is, is an alignment of synergies of stakeholders in the industry, to enable smaller contractors to compete in a more open and transparent environment, ensuing better competitiveness,” Kannemeyer explained.
“The intention of the MoU is to open up opportunities for smaller contractors and to provide access to training opportunities for operators.”
This is the third such MoU concluded between Sanral and industry participants.