Namibia Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus Naruseb has officially opened the road connecting the town of Rosh Pinah to Oranjemund.
According to Minister Naruseb the opening of the US $53.1m road is by far the biggest infrastructure project in the southern region and is evidence that government is committed to bringing development to all parts of the country.
He said construction of the road was part of government’s policy to expand and modernize the country’s road infrastructure in all parts of the country, adding that government recognizes that transportation is one of the best investments that can expand opportunities for the local people.
“The opening of this road is testimony that our government’s programme to develop our road infrastructure countrywide is on track and I can confirm that development is indeed taking place in all corners of our country,” he said.
He further said the upgrade of the main road, which is about 90 kilometres long, from gravel to bitumen standard would greatly increase economic activity for people in the region, especially businesses and those looking to invest in the region.
The road has also opened up a shorter route from the south to the west and those who regularly use the road between Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop through to Grunau and Noordoewer to import or export goods from and to South Africa are likely to benefit from the shorter route.
“We are fully committed to ensure that our road network is constructed to the highest standard and maintained regularly in order to facilitate trade and improve mobility and safety of all road users; this new route will reduce traveling time, traveling costs and will also reduce accidents,” he said.
He also said that during the construction period, 388 Namibians were employed, of which 20% were women, while work done by small and medium enterprises amounted to US$3.7m, with the value of works done by subcontractors recorded at 7.6m.
The minister however raised concerned about the number of vehicle accidents on Namibia’s roads and urged drivers to adhere to the traffic laws to reduce accidents.