Major contracts to benefit local business
Construction of one of the longest bridges in the world will give back to the communities it serves and boost development
With the N2 Wild Coast project getting to implementation phase, the rollout of major contracts has begun.
The R1.6bn contract for the concrete viaduct Mtentu bridge, the highest bridge in Africa, was awarded to the Aveng Strabag joint venture — between Aveng Grinaker-lta — and European construction company Strabag. The contractors have been on site since January.
The 1.1km-long bridge, with a 40-month estimated construction time, will be one of the longest main span balanced cantilever bridges in the world and reach heights of 220m.
The R1.65m Msikaba bridge near Lusikisiki was awarded to the Concor Mota-engil joint venture — between Concor and Mota-engil.
Construction of the bridge, with a deck height of 195m and length of 580m, will start in February and is expected to take 33 months. This is Africa’s third-highest bridge after Mtentu and Bloukrans, and the longest cable-stay methodology mainframe bridge in Africa.
Sanral engineering executive Louw Kannemeyer says the project is beginning to award the major contracts.
A number of contracts for haul roads to the bridge sites are already at construction phase as are contracts for relocation of affected households and graves, with significant SMME spend ahead of the 30% target.
For Sanral, this is its largest single ongoing project. “In terms of bridge structure, these are the two largest bridges we have worked on in SA. Even in the southern hemisphere, they will be among the top 10 longest and highest,” he says.
Kannemeyer says once the route is complete, there will be 112 new kilometres of road, cutting substantial time and distance off the Kwazulu-natal to Umtata route. “In terms of total transportation costs, 90% is the road user-related cost and 10% is the cost of providing and maintaining the road over its lifecycle. This represents huge savings generated for the SA economy.”
Positive impacts on the local economies of Port St Johns, Lusikisiki and Mzamba and towns such as Flagstaff, Bizana and Holy Cross are expected to flow through.
To ensure inclusion of SMMES, 31 Grade 1 and 2 SMMES drawn from communities have completed theoretical training and simulation experience and are now involved in mentored construction of local access roads. Another 60 have started training. Between R400m and R450m will be allocated to wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers employed directly on the project and a further R1.5bn to local SMMES.
Louw Kannemeyer: Huge savings generated for the SA economy