SANRAL submits proposal to transform South Africa’s construction industry
South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has finalised a proposal to transform the country’s construction industry in a motion that has been submitted to the government’s cabinet for approval.
Among the plans are firm targets regarding the participation of black suppliers, contractors and workers in projects commissioned by government-owned SANRAL, which is responsible for building and maintaining roads in South Africa.
Excluding land values, SANRAL controls R30bn ($2.16bn) of assets in what is a road and car-dominated transport setup in the country.
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Skhumbuzo Macozoma, SANRAL Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The transformation policy underlines that SANRAL can help to build a capable and developmental state and drive economic development through the provision and maintenance of critical infrastructure.
“Through our procurement and supply chain processes we can break down monopolies, transform the construction industry and advance the broad participation of black-owned enterprises.”
SANRAL presented a draft proposal in September 2017 and has consulted the industry over the following months in all nine South African provinces.
Another key feature of the proposal is the aim to open larger projects up to less-established companies. This would be achieved by training and developing emerging contractors which would facilitate higher gradings from the Construction Industry Development Board.
The final proposal has been submitted to South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.