Sanral puts out N2/N3 tenders worth billions

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First batch of contracts worth billions of rands for the upgrading of the N2 and N3 will be put out to tender over the ensuing weeks, the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) announced today.

This will include the upgrading of the N2 from Kwamashu Interchange to Umdloti Interchange; upgrading of the N3 from Cato Ridge to Dardanelles; and from Dardanelles to Lynnfield Interchange.

A stipulation of the contracts is that successful tenderers must be B-BBEE Level 1 to 4 and subcontract a minimum of 30% of the value of the contract to exempt micro enterprises (EMEs) or qualifying small enterprises (QSEs) that are more than 51% black-owned. A minimum of 8% of each of the contracts will also be required to be spent on various types of labour opportunities from targeted areas.

The work that is being tendered out in reasonably sized packages for sections of the freeway will entail the construction of an additional two lanes per direction as well as rehabilitation/reconstruction of existing pavement layers and widening of a number of structures.

The full extent of the planned upgrades on N2 and N3 is expected to take up to eight years to complete, as various phases of the project are being let to tender. The upgrades form part of the National Government's key Strategic Integrated Projects, SIP2: Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor.

SIP2 aims to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa's main industrial hubs, improve access to Durban's export and import facilities and raise efficiency along the corridor, including access to the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone.

* The upgrade of the N2 will focus on a 55km length, from Lovu River on the South Coast, to Umdloti on the North Coast.

* The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

In line with SANRAL's Community Development policy, there are numerous community development projects or initiatives that will be implemented alongside the highway upgrade programme. These initiatives are to ensure that SANRAL leaves behind some infrastructure for communities adjacent to the national route.

Dumisani Nkabinde, Regional Manager of SANRAL's Eastern Region, said the agency is committed to the transformation of the engineering and construction sectors through community development projects during the N2 and N3 upgrades.

"Investment in road infrastructure upgrades provide an opportunity for generating economic growth, alleviating poverty, reducing the scourge of inequality and increasing international competitiveness.

"Clear guidelines and structures have been put in place to ensure local communities benefit directly from the procurement of goods and services from local suppliers to giving preference to the creation of local jobs and developing small enterprises."

Nkabinde said SANRAL's transformation policy set clearly defined targets for the participation of black contractors, professionals and suppliers in all of its projects.

"Transformation of the construction industry is a long process, with this understanding SANRAL undertakes to develop SMMEs in various divisions within the construction and other related sectors. SANRAL is also strengthening its community liaison through establishing communication structures that links the projects and adjacent communities," he said.

Earlier this year, thousands of entrepreneurs and job-seekers attended stakeholder events hosted by SANRAL to share information on business and job opportunities available on the R30bn N2/N3 upgrade project.

Stakeholder consultative engagements were held in Pietermaritzburg, Hammarsdale and Durban for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) about contract opportunities (including training and MOU partner introductions), how to register with the Construction Industry Development Board, requirements to participate in SMME opportunities and processes to follow when tendering.

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