Byline: Andani Matumba

29 November 2022

As part of their ongoing efforts to improve South African road infrastructure, the South African National Road Agency (SANRAL), hosted a stakeholder engagement session under the banner, “Taking Sanral to Govan Mbeki Municipality” at the Lilian Ngoyi Center last Friday, 25 March 2022.

Stakeholders attended in numbers and the theme of the session was Transforming Mpumalanga one kilometre at a time.

The aim was to engage in dialogue with the stakeholders of GMM through sharing of information on the upcoming projects around the GMM area.

Sanral networks within GMM consist of 3 national Roads which cut across the municipal boundaries.

According to Mr Madoda Mthembu, Sanral Operations and Maintenance Manager, there are currently ten RMM projects across Mpumalanga and one being within Govan Mbeki Municipality.

“The rehabilitation of the N17 road was prioritized including the R35 and R38, which will also include the maintenance of the roads which is a total of 135km radius across the province.

Although GMM will only benefit from the project in its boundary, the rehabilitation and upgrade of the N17 road will start from springs, through Leandra to Bethal,” said Mthembu elaborating on the jurisdictional area of the N17 project.

Mthembu further stated that there is currently one project for the maintenance of the road reserve that will run for 36 months starting from mid-April and Sanral is currently in the final stage of appointing the main contractor who will then appoint subcontractors meanwhile projects and the scope of maintenance work include:

  • General maintenance of the road reserve,
  • Grass cutting;
  • Storm drainage;
  • Fencing;
  • Erecting and maintenance of road signs; and
  • Potholes and road surface repairs.

According to Sanral, the main contractor was selected through the national tender system which was opened and advertised across the country wherein formal tender processes were followed.

“All Sanral projects have a subcontracting component as per government legislation; 30% for all conventional projects and between 40% and 50% for RMM projects.

It took a bit of time to finalize the process because we did not want to appoint someone who is going to fail,” added Mthembu also assuring that local SMMEs should be first to benefit from this project.

Executive Mayor of GMM, Cllr. Nhlakanipho Zuma urged SANRAL to prioritize employing local skills and local businesses within his Municipal jurisdiction.

According to Cllr Zuma, the roads in Govan Mbeki dilapidate due to the high volume of trucks that utilize the road each day because the there is no other transport mode to transport cargo except through the roads.

Zuma further stated that the municipality does have sufficient funds which could enable it to finance road infrastructure due to the fact that the municipality can only generate income through rates and taxes so that it can be able to develop, which is seemingly impossible at this stage because the residents are not paying.

“I am pleased that Sanral is taking the initiative of fixing our roads as the connection of our roads links Gauteng Province and Kwa-Zulu Natal to the mines,” said Cllr. Zuma in closing.