Construction works to upgrade the N2 section from KwaBhaca to Ngcweleni River have begun, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) has announced.
The project, which follows the existing N2, starts in KwaBhaca and ends at the Ngcweleni River Bridge near EmaXesibeni. The R1.2 billion project affects the Umzimvubu Local Municipality and Ntabankulu Local Municipality, both within the Alfred Nzo District Municipality.
The contract was awarded to Rumdel Construction Cape in February this year and is anticipated to be concluded within 45 months. The scope of works on the project will include rehabilitation of the existing carriageway pavement structure for both N2 Section 19 from km 92.4 to km 95.012 and N2 Section 20 from km 0.0 to km 39.4, widening of the existing road cross section for introduction of climbing lanes, construction of one new bridge and three new major culverts, widening of five bridges and four major culverts, construction of a pedestrian bridge at Phakade, upgrading of intersections to include sheltered right-turning lanes, left turning lanes, and adequate stacking distances based on the traffic impact study conducted to achieve the required Level of Service (LOS), construction of pedestrian walkways, and construction of community service roads.
The anticipated benefits of the road upgrade include enhanced road safety, reduced traffic congestion, and improved pedestrian safety, while considerable socio-economic impact can be expected through job creation, skills development and a cash injection to the local economy.
“Over 75 SMMEs will be subcontracted on this contract, with around 600 job opportunities to be created. A minimum of 30% of the contract value will be subcontracted to SMMEs.” says SANRAL Southern Region Manager, Mbulelo Peterson.
“We have also made provision for training to be given to SMMEs on this project, the modules of which include Site Administration Procedures, Contract Documentation, and Tendering for Construction Projects. This training is intended to capacitate the SMMEs and to contribute to their development to be sustainable beyond the SANRAL project,” he says.
SMMEs subcontracted on the project will be handling civil works, fencing, supply of goods and security.
Siphiwo Sandla, owner of Okonke Security, is an SMME that has been subcontracted to oversee security on the project. The company has employed 12 security guards on the project. “I am grateful for the opportunity brought by this SANRAL project to our community and to us as SMMEs. Through this opportunity we are able to feed 12 families and will be creating around 100 job opportunities throughout the project lifecycle. This is a great opportunity for growth for our young company that was established in 2016. Working on this contract will lift our company profile and open more doors in future,” says Sandla.