New bridge projects set to benefit SMMEs in the construction sector

The Msikaba Bridge and Mtentu Bridge were set to be completed between 2025 and 2026.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the nation on 11 July 2021. Picture: GCIS.

Author: Tebogo Mokwena

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Although President Cyril Ramaphosa has punted the construction of two bridges along the Wild Coast to benefit SMMEs, building them may take a bit longer as one of the contracts could end up in court. The Msikaba Bridge and Mtentu Bridge were set to be completed between 2025 and 2026. They would benefit SMMEs in the construction sector to the tune of R4 billion, the president said.

Ramaphosa also said that R120-million has already been spent on SMMEs for the Msikaba project. But the new tender for the construction of the Mtentu Bridge is reportedly under adjudication to resolve a dispute between the original contractor, the Aveng-Strabag Joint Venture (ASJV), and the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral). The additional work was not included in the original scope of the project, but Sanral hoped that the tender would be awarded by the end of the year.

The Msikaba Bridge near Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape is one of two sites the president did an inspection of last week. Ramaphosa said that the bridges and improving the highway were part of the government’s mass infrastructure drive. “Mobility is a major challenge for our people in the province, especially rural communities.

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