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SANRAL hits the road with R30B worth of ‘shovel-ready’ projects

Construction industry has welcomed SANRAL’S announcement which is expected to provide some relief for the struggling sector

Sanral Road infrastructure development machine learning facial recognition AfriForum sanral sanral's


The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) says it’s ready to roll out R30 billion worth of construction projects as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for “shovel-ready” infrastructure development projects to help spur South Africa’s economy.

In June, Ramaphosa called on both private and public sector entities to invest in and unlock infrastructure development to stimulate the South African economy.

“In the current financial year, SANRAL has advertised 278 maintenance, operations and construction projects worth approximately R30.2 billion. So far 136 projects to the value of R7.3 billion have been awarded,” said SANRAL’s Engineering Executive, Louw Kannemeyer.

South Africa’s road agency also plans to roll out over 200 additional road infrastructure projects across South Africa’s nine provinces, which they say will impact directly on economic development, job creation and economic transformation.

SANRAL added that 12 projects with an estimated value of R12.1 billion had to be cancelled and retendered, mainly because of non-compliant bid submissions. 

Kannemeyer says the agency “recognises the frustrations of the industry” and is engaging with regulatory bodies to find ways to streamline their procurement processes and 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 or less – 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.” explained Kannemeyer.

Louw Kannemeyer, SANRAL Engineering Executive

Road infrastructure development is key

President Ramaphosa noted during the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA) in June that the success of the country’s infrastructure development response rests on “eliminating corruption and collusion, genuine transformation, complete transparency, unwavering accountability and unparalleled efficiency.”

SANRAL’s says it’s track record is built on a portfolio of evidence of industry best practice, stringent quality control, transformation that changes lives for the better, and a national road network that serves as a key artery to keep South Africa’s economy turning.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has said that road infrastructure development is a “key contributor” to South Africa’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SA’s road network

South Africa’s total road network is about 747 000km, the longest network of roads of any African country.

Sanral is responsible for the country’s network of national roads, which cover around 16 200km. There are about 185 000km of provincial roads, and the municipal network totals around 66 000km, according to the SA Institute of Civil Engineering.