The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) says it is ready to implement R30 billion worth of construction projects as part of a call by president Cyril Ramaphosa for “shovel-ready” infrastructure development projects, to unlock South Africa’s economy.
President Ramaphosa recently called on both private and public sector entities to invest in and unlock infrastructure development to stimulate the country’s economy at a time of stagnation and mass unemployment.
The president’s call was followed by a commitment from transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, that road infrastructure development would be a key contributor to economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sanral’s engineering executive, Louw Kannemeyer said the road agency has a portfolio of “shovel-ready” projects which will be implemented during the course of the 2020/21 financial year and beyond.
“In the current financial year, Sanral has advertised 278 maintenance, operations and construction projects worth approximately R30.2 billion. So far 136 projects to value of R7.3 billion have been awarded,” said Kannemeyer.
Sanral said it plans to roll out over 200 additional road infrastructure projects across all nine provinces of South Africa, impacting directly on economic development, job creation and economic transformation.
It noted that 12 projects with an estimated value of R12.1 billion had to be cancelled and retendered, largely due to non-compliant bid submissions that were received. “This is one of the major contributing factors to the delay in awarding tenders,” it said.
“We recognise the frustrations of the industry and are engaging with regulatory bodies like National Treasury on ways to streamline our procurement processes to make them more efficient and ultimately to speed up the process of adjudicating and awarding tenders.
“We typically can receive as many as 60 tenders for a single project, especially on CIDB 6 projects (<R20 million) and all these are subject to various regulatory and compliance verifications to confirm that each bid is responsive.
Some of these verifications involve external entities, resulting in numerous delays in finalising the processes. The challenges are exponentially compounded under Covid-19 lockdown regulations, as some of these entities are not functioning at 100% capacity yet,” said Kannemeyer.