THOUSANDS of entrepreneurs and job-seekers attended the Sanral stakeholder engagement event hosted by Sanral in Durban.
Durban - HUNDREDS of entrepreneurs and job-seekers attended recent stakeholder events hosted by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to share information on business and job opportunities available on the R30 billion N2/N3 upgrade project.

Stakeholder consultative engagements were held in Pietermaritzburg, Hammarsdale and Durban for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) to find out about contract opportunities, how to register with the Construction Industry Development Board and processes to follow when tendering.

SMMEs also had access to an exhibition area where they could get information from the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, the National African Federation for the Building Industry, Ithala Business Finance and construction industry equipment companies such as Bell Equipment, Barloworld, Wirtgen and Pilot Crushtec.

Sanral said the N2/N3 upgrade project would have enormous economic spin-offs for KwaZulu-Natal during construction.

Dumisani Nkabinde, Sanral manager in the Eastern Region, said: “The strategic intent of Sanral is to help develop and grow black-owned small to medium-sized construction, engineering and related industry businesses.

“It's estimated a project of the magnitude of the N2/N3 upgrades will create about 15000 job opportunities in KZN. It’s also envisaged that SMMEs will benefit enormously, allowing them to grow their businesses and create jobs.

“Sanral wants to share business and job opportunities and has made a concerted effort to ensure that youth, women, the disabled and other designated groups benefit from its projects.”

On capital projects, Sanral will only do business with companies at least 51% black-owned and with a minimum B-BEE Level 2 rating.

To give small contractors access to earthmoving machinery to allow them to participate more meaningfully in major construction projects, Sanral has signed a memorandum of understanding with construction machinery company Bell Equipment.

Themba Mhambi, Sanral board chairperson, said South Africa faced economic challenges which could only be addressed under a leadership “that is visionary and dreams big”. “Sanral has convened these information-sharing sessions to create a platform for KZN communities to voice their concerns and comments on job creation, tendering and skills development.

“Sanral will make sure revenue from these billion-rand projects provides business opportunities to local SMMEs.”

The upgrading of the N2 and N3 is expected to take between five and eight years to complete.

The Mercury