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GOING THE EXTRA MILE

Sanral Author | 2 July 2024


SANRAL is going the extra mile to provide economic opportunities to marginalised groups in South Africa – women, youth and people living with disabilities as well as military veterans.


SANRAL has unveiled economic opportunities running into millions for the vulnerable groups – all part of the agency’s agenda to transform the South African economy and the lives of communities where it builds infrastructure.


The roads agency is going around the country, holding information sessions to make these vulnerable groups aware of the opportunities available to them.


At a session held in Siyathuthuka, Emakhazeni Local Municipality, project manager Kwanele Simelane said it was vital for designated groups to become more involved in projects such as the Moloto Road upgrades.


The Moloto Road is a major arterial road used to transport goods and people between Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The upgrades are one of SANRAL’s flagship projects, and run into billions of rands.


Simelane said: “We’ve committed ourselves to supporting the development and participation of these businesses by making opportunities more accessible. Through implementation of our transformation policy, we’ve made significant progress in reducing the barriers to entry, so that everyone has a fair opportunity to participate in SANRAL projects.”


In the agency’s 2021/22 Integrated Report, Chair of the SANRAL Board Themba Mhambi said that SANRAL was impressed with its own pace of transformation of the construction sector.


He said that during the 2021/22 financial year, SANRAL provided 1,684 SMMEs with work on construction, rehabilitation and maintenance projects. The total amount earned by the SMMEs from these contracts was R2.3 billion.


Mhambi said black-owned SMMEs won 88.05% of the contracts awarded and 89.6% of the value of the work performed.


He added that of the 9,129 jobs created in the reporting period, 6,647 were for men and 2,482 for women. A breakdown based on age revealed that 3,096 young men and 1,339 young women were beneficiaries.


“From a disability perspective, 62 people with disabilities were employed. In terms of SANRAL’s contract participation goals, the aim for targeted enterprises is 30%, which includes women and youth-owned businesses at 5% each, the target for military veterans and people with disabilities being 0.5% for each of those groups.


“On the N3 project in the Eastern Region alone, this meant that R64,304,246.53 went towards youth-owned businesses, with the same amount going towards women-owned businesses. On the same project, women and youth each earned R30,866,038.33 of the total R103 million spent on local labour.”


In Emakhazeni, Vuyani Mpongo, site agent for the main contractor on the Moloto Road upgrades, Rainbow Civils, outlined opportunities for vulnerable groups in the area on RRM projects valued at nearly R3 million scheduled to take place over 22 months. Half of the project value has been earmarked for local SMMEs with a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading of between 1 and 3.


Women who attended the Emakhazeni session responded positively to the opportunities offered by SANRAL. Among them was Gloria Mahaule of Lugcabho Projects, who called for more information, assistance, and support for female SMME owners.


“As women, we’re quite capable of running successful businesses within the construction and related sectors, but we still need support because many female business owners end up deserting their companies due to a lack of opportunity and guidance,” she said.

Kgothatso Mnisi, director of Amakhosikazi Legacy Company, said she was looking forward to participating in SANRAL’s upcoming opportunities so she could grow her business and provide for her family.


“Everything with SANRAL has been very transparent so far. I now know which documents to prepare so I can place my bid and hopefully get to participate in building a better community,” she said.


Precious Motshwege, of Tshibogo Trading, who has previously participated in an RRM project with SANRAL, said she was willing to help other business owners prepare for opportunities through their recently launched Women in Business forum.


“About four years ago, I had the opportunity to participate by providing road marking services for SANRAL. I gained a lot of experience that I’d love to share with other women. I’m grateful for the support SANRAL has given us, but we also need to support each other so we can all benefit,” she said.


Member of Emakhazeni Mayoral Council, Jackie Mabila, also urged business owners to work together to ensure that poverty and unemployment are alleviated through the development of local businesses.


“SANRAL has simplified how local businesses can benefit through projects and support programmes. It’s something that we really need here in Emakhazeni, and I’d encourage business owners to avail themselves of such initiatives,” he said.


See https://sanralesdd.co.za/ for second-tier tender opportunities and more supplier development information.


‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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