The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) on Friday announced a R28 billion boost for the construction industry after some 70 new tenders would be put to the market in coming weeks.
Last year Sanral ruffled feathers in the construction industry when its board implemented a new black economic empowerment (BEE) scoring system which the state-owned enterprise uses when adjudicating tender bids.
Sanral faced legal challenges in an effort to overturn the board’s new BEE scoring system, and in October Sanral withdrew its tenders. Then in December, its tenders were put out again, but not under the new BEE procurement policy.
Sanral CEO Reginald Demana said they had closed 77 tenders worth R6.43bn in December 2023. They intended to put out at least another 70 tenders to the market in the next couple of weeks.
This would result in about R28bn of tenders advertised under the Interim procurement policy in the current 2023/2024 financial year.
He said the agency was on a mission to accelerate work in the construction industry early in the first half of 2024.
“There is a lot of work we want to dish out. By March, we want to have about R28bn’s worth of tenders in the market. However, some will be closed towards April when we enter the new financial year,” he said.
The work would be spread across the entire country. The Western Region (Western Cape and Northern Cape) would get contracts worth R600 million.
The Southern Region (Eastern Cape) would get contracts worth R2.8bn. The Eastern Region (Free State and KwaZulu-Natal) would get contracts worth R2.1bn. The Northern Region (Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West) would get contracts worth more than R500m.
The Eastern and Southern regions were allocated bigger portions as they included significant infrastructure projects such as the N2/N3 expansion in KwaZulu-Natal and N2 Wild Coast project in the Eastern Cape.
“We try make sure we are distributing work and tenders equitably so we don't leave any part of the country feeling that we are not looking after the national road network in their area,” said Demana.
He said that as part of Sanral’s efforts to deepen transformation and in terms of its Interim Preferential Procurement Policy, at least 30% of the contracts would be allocated to smaller black-owned construction companies. Sanral hoped to see these small businesses graduate to become major construction companies through these contracts
He said that wherever the Sanral projects were, the agency had a mandate that saw value flowing through to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), local contractors and local communities.
He said Sanral’s projects were always on time and within budget, as the 25-year organisation had qualified project managers who tracked the projects and monitored expenditure and the quality of execution.