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Engagement on road infrastructure projects

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The session also saw emerging contractors use the opportunity to raise their challenges and engage with Sanral and the departments

A COLLABORATIVE session between the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), the national Department of Transport, and the Northern Cape departments of Transport, Safety and Liaison and Roads and Public Works was welcomed by SMMEs in De Aar yesterday.

The purpose of the session was to introduce Sanral and its projects to the people of the area and to widen the net of economic inclusion and ensure beneficiation from massive infrastructure maintenance and development programmes in the area.

The session saw the reality of how well-maintained road infrastructure is critical for the Province due to its vastness and the distances between towns.

To ensure more economic opportunities for people, Sanral has restructured its Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) programmes to be delivered within the borders of local municipalities, which makes it easier to keep job opportunities for the people in those areas.

The session also saw emerging contractors use the opportunity to raise their challenges and engage with Sanral and the departments.

The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, submitted to the session that more than R4 billion has been earmarked for road maintenance and improvements in the Northern Cape over the next three years.

R500 million is specifically set aside for routine road maintenance. Between 40% and 60% of this value is specifically directed at targeted enterprises including approximately 10%

(R50 million) specifically for entry-level road maintenance contractors.

Over and above Sanral’s Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) projects, the Northern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works has also allocated R398 million to RRM projects across the Province’s five districts in the current financial year.

This will include spot re-gravelling, blading and pothole repairs aimed at creating more than 6 600 work opportunities and includes training for youths and persons with disabilities.’

To build a capable base on these projects, there will be continued roll-out of the S’hamba Sonke Contractor Development Programme, which will this year see an intake of 32 contractors.

Sanral further promised to work with companies to make it easier for emerging contractors to access plant equipment, as well as continued engagement with financial institutions that may assist with operational finance.

The MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Nontobeko Vilakazi, welcomed the stakeholder engagement session, including the inputs made.

She highlighted that the maintenance and expansion of road networks is the way to realise the developmental potential of the Province.