The agreement with Wirtgen was part of a process introduced by Sanral to open up the engineering and construction industries through its tender and enterprise development initiatives. File Photo: IOL
PRETORIA – Access by small enterprises to the road construction machinery they need to execute major SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) projects has been boosted by a memorandum of understanding (MoU) entered into between Sanral and Wirtgen Group South Africa.

The agreement with Wirtgen was part of a process introduced by Sanral to open up the engineering and construction industries through its tender and enterprise development initiatives.

It is the third such MoU entered into by Sanral and construction equipment suppliers and follows agreements signed with Barloworld Equipment last month and Bell Equipment in January.

Louw Kannemeyer, the engineering executive at Sanral, said on Friday that the agreement with Wirtgen was an important step in the broader national aim to transform the construction and engineering sectors and enable emerging black contractors, including enterprises owned by women and the youth, to participate more fully in major projects. “Infrastructure development will be a major contributor to the efforts to attract investment and was singled out at the recent Job Summit for its ability to create employment and stimulate economic activity.

“We are delighted that a global leader in construction, such as Wirtgen, is stepping up to fill major gaps in the industry that constrain the growth of smaller contractors and impose barriers on their ability to tender for major work packages,” he said.

Waylon Kukard, the national sales manager at Wirtgen South Africa, said equipment was one of the major success factors for contractors in the execution of their projects and if they were not well equipped, the country also faced the danger of sub-standard road infrastructure. He said the agreement would provide emerging contractors greater access to all Wirtgen Group equipment brands.

The agreement opens new doors for Wirtgen to collaborate with small contractors by offering them access to finance, technical assistance, mentoring and logistical support.

Sanral and Wirtgen would also collaborate on issues such as training, supply chains and access to information about tendering processes.

Kannemeyer said Sanral was confident the MoU would increase the number of participants across the value chain of the road construction sector and contribute to fair competition. Wirtgen offers a wide range of equipment, including rollers, bitumen spreaders, sweepers, milling machines, recyclers, slipform pavers, modular asphalt pavers, mobile asphalt plants, crushers and screens.

BUSINESS REPORT