THE South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) is investing approximately R485 million on a special maintenance project on the R56 national road – from Indwe to Elliot and from Elliot to Maclear – in the Eastern Cape.
SANRAL met with Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in Indwe and Elliot recently to discuss the economic benefits and job opportunities that will be created by the project.
“The aim of our visit was to introduce the contractors and form Project Liaison Committees (PLC) that will represent the interests of SMMEs on these projects,” said Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL’s southern region stakeholder engagement specialist.
The R56 project will include structural work such as replacing bridge expansion joints on 13 bridges; patching in the towns of Elliot and Ugie; completion of subsoil drains installed previously; construction of concrete side drains; construction of down chute and outlets structures on high fills; installation of gabions in cuttings to prevent silt from spilling into the side drains; and replacing of the remainder of the existing fencing.
“While the entire upgrade of the road is envisaged to be completed in 20 months, we have allocated the first three months of the maintenance to mobilisation, in which Tau Pele, the appointed contractor, will interact with the community and set up Contract Participation Goals (CPG). A CPG is the amount that will be set aside and allocated to SMME development,” said Ndika.
Work is anticipated to start in early 2022.
“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,” Ndika added.