Major road construction tenders exceeding R40 billion will be issued to the construction sector by South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) in the next two to three years.
“We expect a surge in road construction projects over the medium-term framework as part of the broader national efforts to invest in economic infrastructure,” said Louw Kannemeyer, the roads agency’s engineering executive.
“We are confident that this investment will help to boost the construction sector which has been under severe pressure in recent years, and also cascade down to black-owned and emerging enterprises, who will receive much larger shares of tenders in future.”
Kannemeyer said that Treasury has allocated about R21.5 billion per year for the maintenance and improvement of Sanral’s 19,262km non-toll network.
He added that Sanral has a total of 940 projects in the pipeline, of which 325 are already under construction.
Kannemeyer said the new projects will include some 90 major capital works projects larger than R500 million each, which will go out to tender during the three-year medium-term period.
This will include tenders to the value of R8.3 billion for construction work on the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg will go out to tender during the current financial year.
According to Kannemeyer, this has been financed through the infrastructure stimulus package announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018.
He added that seven major tenders will be issued for the N3 within the next three months, once the regulatory approvals have been received and land acquisition finalised.
Earlier this month Sanral outlined some of its plans for the N2 and N3 upgrade.
The agency said that it plans to spend R28 billion on improvements to the highways in the coming months – including an increase in the number of lanes, and configuration changes to some of the busiest interchanges.
In addition to structural changes, the agency said it would also make changes to make the roads more environmentally friendly, iron out dangerous curves, and use a new noise-reducing asphalt mix which will make travelling on the roads quieter.