Major roadworks construction projects valued at ZAR2.2 billion in the Eastern Cape will help to prepare the region for integrated growth and development, according to Nazir Alli, South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL) CEO.
Speaking during a public lecture at Walter Sisulu University in East London today, 3 August 2015, Alli underscored SANRAL’s commitment to the region through road infrastructure programmes on behalf of regional and provincial government for local communities, road users and the private sector.
Presently, 32 engineering projects for 2015 with a combined value of ZAR2.2 billion are taking place on the national road network in the Eastern Cape.
The programmes will benefit local and regional economies by laying the foundation to further improve the attractiveness of region for foreign and direct investment, create safer and sufficient walkway and road-crossing infrastructure for pedestrians, and improve road surface and safety conditions for motorists.
New data released by SANRAL Southern Region this week shows that 1 070 km or 23% of the national road network of 4 544 km in Eastern Cape, the province with the most national roads out of all provinces, is being upgraded, preserved or rehabilitated and that the whole 4 544 km is being maintained throughout the year.
In the Eastern Cape, and as part of its 2015 road infrastructure programme for provincial and regional government, SANRAL is busy on the N2, N6, R61, R63, R65 and R67 with projects worth:
- ZAR750 million for periodic maintenance covering 600 kilometres of the national road network
- ZAR372 million for special maintenance over a distance of 208 kilometres
- ZAR460 million for rehabilitation of the national road network covering 122 kilometres
- ZAR648 million is for special upgrading projects on 140 kilometres of the national road in the province
Alli says that SANRAL road infrastructure development programmes are supporting the goals of the country’s National Development Plan, and stressed that world-class road for the Eastern Cape will also address poverty, unemployment, income equality, while supporting the broader goals of national and regional development, transformation and empowerment.
New statistics released by SANRAL Southern Region also shows the value of conventional engineering and routine road maintenance contracts awarded to 625 SMMEs between April 2014 and March 2015 to be at R805 million, and 69.76% of beneficiaries were black-owned companies.
The latest SANRAL project, which kicked off today in the Eastern Cape, is the special maintenance of a 28-kilometre stretch of the N2 road between Bramlin Interchange and the Coega IDZ in Port Elizabeth. The project entails resurfacing, drainage improvements and localised repairs of existing pavement failures over 18 month period.
Towards the interior between Engobo and Port St. Johns, the R61 road development and upgrading project is preparing the region catalytic socio-economic projects such as the proposed Wild Coast special economic zone (SEZ).
New roads will also stimulate tourism to a pristine but underdeveloped coastal region along South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.
SANRAL projects here will also improve safety of pedestrians through several special walkways, pedestrian bridges, and to protect the assets of rural livestock farmers and to reduce motor vehicle accidents several agricultural underpass culverts are being constructed.
“We are also proud of innovative community programmes that run parallel to conventional road engineering projects,” says Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.
“These developmental programmes have been designed carefully, taking the needs of communities in the region into consideration.
“SANRAL will this year spend R179 million on community development projects in the Eastern Cape.”