Almost US$1.45bn is needed by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to upgrade the N3 road between Piertermaritzburg and Durban in KwaZulu Natala in the next five years.
According to Ravi Ronny who is the design and construction divisional manager for Sanral, this upgrade will exclude the Pietermaritzburg ring road and the re-routing of the N3 near hammarsdale.
Initially Sanral had planned to upgrade the N3 between Cedara and Durban on an estimated amount of US$1.44bn.The second phase of advancement will be on the Pietermaritzburg ring road and Hammarsdale, expected to be complete by 2027 at a cost of US$1.52bn.
Ravi noted that the proposed De Beers Pass route, which would bypass Harrismith, will cut 14 km from the Johannesburg to Durban trip and be safer than the existing Van Reenen’s Pass route.
He said the De Beers bypass route is estimated to cost US$434.4m adding that it will not be constructed by Sanral but by the N3 Toll Concession, which operates the N3 between Cedara and Heidelberg in Gauteng.
The South African government adopted a National Infrastructure Plan in 2012 that intends to transform the country’s economic landscape while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs, and to strengthen the delivery of basic services.
In his 2013 budget speech, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan announced that the government will over the three years from 2013/14 invest US$80bn in the building of new and the upgrading of existing roads, ports, railway systems, electricity plants, hospitals and other infrastructure.