Multi-billion rand upgrade programme planned KZN N2 and N3 interchanges
DURBAN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that tenders to the value of R8.3bn for construction work in KwaZulu-Natal will be issued within the current financial year.
These tenders include seven major tenders on the N3 which will go out in the next three months once regulatory approvals have been received and land acquisition finalised.
The massive project which take eight to ten years to complete is set to increase road safety, ease traffic flows as well as access to and from industrial areas between these two major cities in KwaZulu-Natal.
It is part of a R40 billion two to three-year investment programme by the roads agency announced last week.
Some of the N2 interchanges that will be upgraded include Kingsway, Adams Road, The Higginson, Edwin Swales and Sibaya while the N3 interchanges that will upgraded include EB CLoete, Spine Road, Hammarsdale, Cato Ridge amongst others.
The upgrade programme has been designed with the needs of road users in mind. The upgrades will make use of geometric design to optimise efficiency and safety.
A total of 12 projects is expected for the N3 and N2 upgrades which will create around 23 500 direct job opportunities.
Direct job opportunities are actual individuals per ID number on site based on SANRAL averages over time of 262 jobs per R100m project value. In the case of community projects, of which two (consisting of multiple packages) are planned in the province, 290 jobs on average.
"This excludes SANRAL’s continuous routine road maintenance as part of our robust preventative maintenance strategy aimed at taking care of the road assets we have," said Dumisani Nkabinde, SANRAL’s Eastern Region manager.
Treasury has allocated about R21.5 billion per year for the maintenance and improvement of SANRAL’s 19 262km non-toll network, including the national road network in KwaZulu-Natal.
A growing share of contracts will be allocated to black-owned construction companies and enterprises owned by women, the youth and the disabled.
SANRAL has committed itself to the transformation of the construction and engineering sectors through the allocation of tenders to new entrants in these sectors.
Over the past six months SANRAL has brokered memorandums of understanding between emerging companies and major suppliers of construction equipment and machinery to give black-owned companies greater access to financing, expertise and the sophisticated equipment required to tender for larger contracts.
Dumisani Nkabinde, Regional Manager of SANRAL Eastern region, said: “The upgrades are part of Government’s rollout of Strategic Infrastructure Projects in line with the National Development Plan, specifically the Strategic Integrated Projects, of which the N2 and N3 upgrades are within the SIP2 program.
"The N2 and N3 are not just roads - they are the epitome of empowerment and are essentially South Africa’s lifelines for the transportation of freight from Durban to Gauteng, the economic hub of the country," he added.
According to SANRAL, the upgrade programme will have a traffic management plan that will protect construction workers and road users by safely conducting traffic around or through the areas where the construction will be taking place.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE