The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) will put out contracts worth billions of rands to tender, for the upgrading of the N2 and N3 over the next coming weeks.
 
This will include the upgrading of the N2 from Kwamashu Interchange to Mhloti Interchange; upgrading of the N3 from Cato Ridge to Dardanells; and from Dardanells
to Lynnfield Interchange. A stipulation of the contracts is that successful tenderers must be BBBEE Level 1 to 4 and subcontract a minimum of 30% of the value of the contract to Exempt Micro Enterprises (EMEs) or Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) that are more than 51% black owned. A minimum of eight percent of each of the contracts will also be
required to be spent on various types of labour opportunities from targeted areas.   
 
The work which is being tendered out in reasonably-sized packages for sections of the freeway will entail the construction of an additional two lanes per direction as well as rehabilitation/reconstruction of existing pavement layers and widening of a number of structures. The upgrading of the N2 and N3 is expected to take between six to eight years to complete as various phases of the project are being let to tender. The upgrades form
part of the National Government’s key Strategic Integrated Projects, SIP2: Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor.
 
SIP2 aims to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs, improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities and raise efficiency along the corridor, including access to the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone. The upgrade of the N2 will focus on a 55km length, from Lovu River, on the South Coast, to Umdloti, on the North Coast.

The N3 upgrade will focus on an 80km section from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Dumisani Nkabinde, Regional Manager of SANRAL Eastern Region, said SANRAL is committed to the transformation of the engineering and construction sectors through community development projects during the N2 and N3 upgrades.

“Investment in roads infrastructure upgrades, especially in rural and underdeveloped communities, provides an opportunity for generating economic growth, alleviating poverty, reducing the scourge of inequality and increasing international competitiveness. SANRAL is committed to breaking down monopolies in supply chains and ensuring the broad-based participation of black South Africans,” said Nkabinde.
 
“Clear guidelines and structures have been put in place to ensure local communities benefit directly from the procurement of goods and services from local suppliers to giving preference to the creation of local jobs. SANRAL’s transformation policy set clearly defined targets for the participation of black contractors, professionals and suppliers in all of its projects. The transformation of the construction industry is long overdue and to respond to this, SANRAL undertakes to develop SMMEs and to introduce project liaison committees (PLCs) on its major projects,” he said.
 
Earlier this year, thousands of entrepreneurs and job-seekers attended stakeholder events hosted by SANRAL to share information on business and job opportunities available on the R30 billion N2/N3 upgrade project.