Much needed jobs will be created once the Special Maintenance road project from the R63/N10 Intersection to Bedford kicks off in the neighbouring towns of Bedford and Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape.The project, valued at R155 million, will create much-needed job opportunities for community members and SMMEs in the local municipalities of Blue Crane and Raymond Mhlaba, according to Thandile Makwabe, SANRAL Southern Region’s Transformation Officer. SANRAL hosted an information session in Bedford yesterday. The stakeholder engagement was a continuation of the information sessions planned with Blue Crane and Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipalities. SANRAL met with stakeholders in Cookhouse last month to also discuss the R63/N10 to Bedford project information. “The project also includes a training budget allocated to upskill local SMMEs, especially those emerging contractors who are in the lower grades as determined by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB),” said Makwabe. The scope of work on this project will include the recycling of existing pavement surface and base layer, replacement of three existing culverts, crack sealing, replacement of defect fencing, as well as the repair of inlet and outlet structures of culverts. The appointed contractor, Roadspan Surfacing (Pty) Ltd, will start with its three-month mobilisation period in June 2022 and the project is expected to create work for 100 people. It is anticipated that the project will be completed after 18 months. Vanda Nqunqa, SANRAL Southern Region’s SMME Coordinator, explained the importance of the mobilisation period.
“During the mobilisation period the contractor, together with the Project Liaison Committee (PLC), will interact with the community and set up Contract Participation Goals (CPG), which is the amount that will be allocated to small, medium, micro enterprises (SMMEs) development. In addition, databases for preliminary targeted enterprises and targeted labour are compiled. These are some of the tasks being undertaken during the mobilisation period,” said Nqunqa.Xoliswa Chubana, SANRAL Southern Region’s Community Development Specialist, said that SANRAL’s 14 Point Plan, will assist greatly in ensuring transparency and inclusivity with local communities that will work on the project. “We work with the Project Liaison Committee (PLC) to ensure transparency. SANRAL will chair the PLC and provide secretarial support. Other representation on the PLC will comprise of, the contractor, consultant, business representative, traditional representatives, provincial and municipal government representatives, community representatives and any other critical local stakeholders that may be deemed necessary by the PLC,” said Chubana. Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality ward councillor Mpho Mahleza said the project was important for the community. “We thank SANRAL for sharing information about the project with the community. The project will bring jobs and upgrade our roads,” said Mahleza. SANRAL continuously strives to strengthen its relationship with stakeholders who are affected by its projects through these information sessions. The sessions are not only a platform for the roads agency to share information about job opportunities on its projects but also to share information about its transformation policy and Horizon 2030 Strategy. Since introducing the Horizon 2030 Strategy, SANRAL has empowered local communities and SMMEs with information, giving them opportunities and enabling them to partner with more established construction companies on its projects.