ROAD commuters in Limpopo are set to benefit from the Road Agency Limpopo’s (RAL) partnership with mining companies.
This follows the Mining Indaba international conference that was held in Cape Town, placing the agency in a partnership with several consortiums in the mining industry. RAL Board Chairperson Matome Ralebipi and Chief Executive Officer Maselanganye Matji had in 2015 adopted a strategic partnership approach in a bid to overhaul the agency past financial difficulties. The partnership is aimed at assisting budget allocations related to road constructions.
According to RAL, mining houses, the agricultural sector and tourist destinations play a critical role in their profession as sectors that rely on the maintenance of public roads for the success of their business. The mining companies partnered with include Marula Platinum, Exxarro, De Beers and Anglo Platinum.
RAL spokesperson Maropeng Manyathela said: “The provincial roads provide a feeder role to the mines as they use these roads to transport their raw materials and since adopting this strategic partnership approach, RAL has raised more than R382 million and continues to secure more partnerships.” He also said that the agency planned on attracting new partners and also strengthen relations with its current partners.
The agency CEO Maselaganye Matji said: “On 16 February, RAL has planned to engage with mines in Sekhukhune area relating to specific area-based roads. This is RAL’s continued effort to ensure that we join hands in improving the Limpopo road infrastructure. R100 million is the amount targeted for the current financial year.”
The agency has been directed to manage, control and develop provincial roads on behalf of the Provincial Government. Its asset portfolio measures to the extent of 20 260 km, in which only 5 974 km is tarred and the balance of 14 286km is gravel or dirt roads.
“The corollary of this successful partnership with the mining industry to either construct or rehabilitate roads has resulted in quicker delivery of quality road for the people of Limpopo and an improving battle against the perennial backlog, that has been the bane of this most rural of provinces,” said Manyathela.
The agency plans on sourcing its revenue from the Provincial Government according to the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant (PRMG) and equitable share. The total budget allocation for the year under review for both PRMG and equitable share stood at R836 million and more than R380m was secured in additional funds from strategic Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Matji said RAL was also planning on consulting technology solution-oriented companies in order to find affordable ways of building roads. “You may have a company that produces a cheaper material than the usual bitumen to build roads. As RAL, we therefore believe Mining Indaba offers good opportunity for the Agency,” he said.