Themba Mhambi, Chairman of the SANRAL Board, believes the national road network will continue to be the catalyst for growth and socio-economic transformation.
In our long-term strategy – Horizon 2030 – we identify one of SANRAL’s greatest challenges as balancing the gradual expansion of the national road network within a constrained funding envelope.
Funding constraints worsened during the financial year because of a downturn in the global economy and a stagnant South African economy.
Additionally, low level e-tolls payment have led to the National Treasury approving the reallocation of R5.75-billion from the non-toll portfolio to the toll portfolio.
This resulted in a 27% reduction on expenditure in the construction of road infrastructure.
The resolution of the e-toll non-payment impasse is therefore critical.
The importance of SANRAL will continue to grow, but only if the network growth is capped at 25 000km and the funding of roads is resolved.
SANRAL sets an example of what government wants to achieve in the transformation of state-owned entities and the creation of a capable state.
The governance of SANRAL was again a highlight in the year under review with a record 15th unqualified audit report achieved.
Another major highlight is that 201 SMMEs benefited from our community development projects. That is 23% more than the previous year.
All of these are black owned. In line with government’s programme of producing black industrialists, the Board mandated management to evolve a special project for the targeted development of black industrialists.
SANRAL also continues to take the lead in transforming the industry from within. Of the 127 engineers in the organisation’s employ, 52 or 41% are black.
Together with coloured and Indian engineers, this number increases to just under 60%, or 76.
Transformation is also being driven by SANRAL’s Technical Excellence Academy, where over 50 candidate engineers, technologists and technicians have been assisted since 2014.
Our national road network will continue to be the catalyst for growth and socio-economic transformation.
This is an opinion piece by Themba Mhambi, the Chairman of the SANRAL Board