Phase 1 of N2 Alexandra to Bhisho Road upgrade injects R30m in SME development

More than 200 local labourers from King Williams Town have worked on a major road construction project, which is due to conclude at the end of November. Phases two and three of the roadworks are starting in mid-2018, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has announced.

Sanral has trained 26 CIDB grade one and two SMEs on the first phase of the rehabilitation project of the N2 from Buffalo River to Breidbach and the R63 from Alexandra Road to Bhisho. Six of these SMEs were also directly employed on this project. Furthermore, a total of 21 SMEs ranging from CIDB grade one to six participated in this project, with approximately R30 million being spent on SMEs.

“Sanral would like to express their gratitude to all motorists and residents for their understanding during the construction process, trusting that the new improved road will result in safer travels for road users in King Williams Town. Already, Sanral is receiving good feedback on the Hargreaves traffic circle with motorists commenting on the improved traffic flow,” said Mbulelo Peterson, Sanral Southern Region Manager.

Phase two is the realignment of the N2 from Bulembu Airport road intersection to the Buffalo River Bridge, tying in to phase one. “This project will include improvements in the horizontal and vertical alignment of the N2 and the construction of three new bridges, which will replace the current ones,” Peterson added.

Phase three will include the construction of the Breidbach underpass and partial construction of the Belstone interchange. “This system is designed to make travelling easier for travellers from East London to Bhisho,” he said.

Phase two and three are envisaged to commence mid next year and will run concurrently over a construction period of 30 months. “It is envisaged that further opportunities for SMEs will be created in the implementation of these phases, in line with government policy on empowering SMEs,” Peterson said.

Progress Hlahla,  Sanral Southern Region project manager,  said the project has progressed well and he looked forward to working on the other phases. “I extend my gratitude to all government departments and private entities including SMES who participated in the realisation of phase one of this project, and look forward to further partnering and intergovernmental cooperation in the implementation of phase two and three”.

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