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NC road maintenance projects to create opportunities

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Two new routine road maintenance contracts in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District of the Northern Cape will create scores of opportunities for subcontracting and local labour over a period of five years, Sanral has announced.

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THE SOUTH African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) has unveiled two routine road maintenance (RRM) contracts in the Northern Cape that promise to create numerous opportunities for subcontracting and local labour.

These projects are set to make a significant impact in the John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) District of the Province over a period of five years, said Sanral.

The road agency said in a statement this week that it is currently in the process of evaluating tenders submitted for these contracts and aims to finalise contractor appointments later this year.

At a recent stakeholder engagement session in Mothibistad, just outside Kuruman, Sanral project manager Rudi Joubert highlighted the substantial benefits associated with these large-scale projects.

Joubert noted that the potential for job creation, skills development, training and enterprise development is significant and will benefit small businesses and local communities in the JTG District.

“The work will focus on maintenance of the N14 and will include grass cutting, removal of alien vegetation, cleaning of culverts (a tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a roadway), clearing of litter at rest areas and keeping the road reserve and the fences clean,” Joubert said.

“Maintenance of the N14 will be done on an ongoing basis and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) should prepare to take advantage of the opportunities for subcontracting.”

It was announced that the first of the two projects runs between Olifantshoek and the North West border and spans about 250km. The second project starts between Danielskuil and Kuruman, runs through Kuruman, past Hotazel, and continues to the Botswana border.

“Both projects will be solely focused on RRM, so they do not deteriorate over time. If there is a pothole, it will be fixed and if there are cracks, they will be sealed,” Joubert said.

During the information session, Sanral Western Region transformation officer Morné Windvogel assured small business owners of Sanral’s commitment to their growth and prosperity.

“We don’t just want you to have access to tenders. We are available to do pre-tender training that capacitates you to submit compliant, competitive and profitable tenders. We also, through our various partnerships with industry players, assist with access to finance, registration, skills development and business development,” said Windvogel.

He pointed out that, in line with Sanral’s transformation agenda, the agency aims to empower small contractors, nurturing their evolution into major players in the industry and paving the way for wealth creation.

Small business owners who attended the session expressed their satisfaction with the informative event. The agency’s commitment to engaging with local entrepreneurs was well-received.

One of the attendees, 27-year-old Tumisang Pampoen, the owner of Ladotech Engineering, welcomed the news of potential opportunities for youth-owned businesses in the two projects.

During the project manager’s presentation, it became clear that subcontracting opportunities would be prioritised for young entrepreneurs.

Pampoen emphasised the challenges faced by youth business owners.

“My experience as a young business owner is that the youth are at times sidelined from business opportunities as some contractors want to only employ established companies who have experience,” said Pampoen.

Another attendee, Happy Diseko, owner of Diseko Business Enterprises, appreciated Sanral’s focus on training. Specifically, the emphasis on tender management and business administration.

Diseko highlighted the importance of being able to independently complete tender documents.

“The most important part of the training, I think, is financial management and how to fill in your own tender document, without sourcing any person to assist you, because it comes with a lot of costs,” said Diseko.

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