The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has started with the roll-out of a R120-million community development and small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) training programme in anticipation of the construction of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR).
The programme aims to support local economic development in the Eastern Cape’s OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo district municipalities, says the agency.
Sanral regards the N2 project as the “glaring missing link to unlock the Durban–Cape Town corridor”.
The programme will provide local labour and SMMEs with the skills to take advantage of the business opportunities provided by the N2 project, says Sanral project manager Gcobani Socenywa.
The training programmes in Mbizana, Lusikisiki and Port St Johns will target 31 owners of construction SMMEs and new start-up companies with a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading of levels 1 to 3.
Sanral says it has appointed three service providers to train, mentor and develop learner subcontractors.
Following stakeholder consultation and candidate selection, the business owners selected for the programme will be provided with National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 3, 4 and 5 training, leading to a full learnership, which is an official qualification accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority.
The programme will also include selective training for SMMEs with a CIDB grading of levels 3 to 6.
SANRAL is also preparing the local workforce to participate in the construction project.
Around 330 individuals will be trained to help create a local skilled and semiskilled workforce for the N2WCTR.
“The programme’s ultimate goal will be to ensure that SMMEs benefit and participate in the forthcoming Mtentu and Msikaba megabridge, the new greenfields section, and legacy projects such as road maintenance of the N2WCR,” says Socenywa.
As part of their practical training, the SMME business owners will be responsible for upgrading and constructing community access roads in the Ingquza Hill local municipality, the Mbizana local municipality and the Port St Johns local municipality, in the Eastern Cape.