I have a hard time believing that mod_access is not available... even by default. Have you tried to even use the directives for mod_access?
Setup a basic directive to test it:
Deny from all
After restarting Apache, acess to the Directory should be denid. If it is... Waallllaaaa mod_access is already enabled. If it doesn't, you should see something in the Error Log or even when restarting Apache.
Otherwise... you'll need to read the documentation for SuSE as I haven't run it for a long time. Any other distro has mod_access enabled by default... so I think you may be over looking something.