323 tenders worth R59 billion have been awarded by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) to improve road infrastructure. This is almost triple the R22 billion awarded in tenders last year.
“Through these awards, the roads agency continues on a positive trajectory to drive economic recovery, and it should be seen as part of the broader national effort by the government to invest in economic infrastructure,” Sanral said.
Sanral is responsible for the maintenance of the national roads in the country.
Almost half the tender value is accounted for in 12 contracts that were all above R750 million in value. The value of these 12 contracts is R28 billion.
The Sanral board notes and reviews any tender valued at R750 million and above.
The Sunday Times reported that Sanral had told parliament that a R150 billion funding gap could open over the next ten years due to a lack of certainty around e-tolls.
Sanral warned that it would need R15.75 per year for the next ten years for its basic requirements, tackling its backlog, and its road network expansion if toll funding is no longer available, MyBroadBand reported.
State of National road infrastructure
The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) published a report card last year to assess the state of public infrastructure.
The report card tracked performance over 16 years, and last year South Africa was given its worst-ever overall rating of ‘D’, on a sliding scale from ‘A’ to ‘E’.
National roads were placed in the ‘fit for the future’ category and were given a ‘B+’ rating.
“The proportion of the national road system in poor or very poor condition is below 7% thanks to SANRAL’s strong maintenance and expansion regimen, which is excellent by global standards,” according to the SAICE report.
While national roads were given a B+ score, all other categories were in the ‘at risk of failure’ category or lower. All other categories of roads were placed in the ‘at risk of failure’ category or lower.
According to the report, South Africa is estimated to have the 10th largest road network in the world.