The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has set aside more than R3-billion to benefit local small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs), in Mpondoland, in the Eastern Cape, as part of the construction of the N2 Wild Coast Road.
About 8 000 direct jobs and up to 20 000 indirect jobs will also be created, says Sanral N2 Wild Coast Road project manager Mbulelo Sonqishe. “On the Msikaba bridge project, which is one of the megaprojects in the region, R243-million has already been paid to 103 local suppliers, service providers, subcontractors and other targeted enterprises from surrounding municipalities.
“Further, about R38.5-million has been paid in wages to over 300 local community members employed on the projects,” he adds. The Msikaba bridge project is expected to be completed in February 2024 and targeted goals on employing different sector groups have already been exceeded. The 30% target for youth labour was exceeded, with 87.4% of those employed being youths, and the 30% target for women labour was exceeded, with 38.4% of those employed being women.
Meanwhile, four tenders have been advertised by Sanral in the region. These are for the rehabilitation of the Ingquza Hill Memorial road, the upgrade of roads in Ntlavukazi Village, the upgrade of the DR8004 road from the R61 national road to Bambisana Hospital road and the upgrade of the R61 national road to Mbongweni Village.
Community development projects have also been initiated. Sanral’s community development projects go beyond bitumen and asphalt by leaving communities with a legacy of road safety improvements, as well as economic opportunities that will benefit communities from project inception, says Sanral Wild Coast district manager Nwabisa Gxumisa.
Additionally, new community development projects that are in the design phase are an access road leading to the Goso Forest Clinic, an access road and pedestrian facilities in Mbotyi and the Ntafufu Service road.
Construction on the DR08120 and DR08121 roads from Bizana to Mbongweni will start in 2022. The agency will also implement community legacy projects associated with each project. An example is the upgrading of provincial roads in the region to surfaced roads in several villages along the route, which will form part of the OR Tambo Heritage route.
OVER AND ABOVE
“These projects are over and above the roads, training and community development components of each project. Some of these legacy projects will include simple and yet symbolic gestures, such as leaving behind buildings built or rehabilitated for use by the contractor or engineering site staff during construction for use as community halls, business hubs and tourist accommodation,” says Gxumisa.
Meanwhile, the tender for the anticipated R3.5-billion Mtentu bridge project has closed and is currently in adjudication. A contractor is expected to be announced in 2022, Sanral says.
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