South Africa has set aside US $236.1m for the upgrade of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga sections of the R573 Moloto road. This is according to Transport Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande.
The government will on the hand take the final decision regarding the planned rail component of the corridor.However, over the medium term, the road project is entitled to receive US $338.4m. The project is also expected to create about 12,500 jobs over the five-year duration of the project.
Additionaly about US $78.7m has been put aside for the rehabilitation and maintenance of coal haulage roads, in Mpumalanga over the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years whereelse US $165.3m has been provided in 2019/20 and 2020/21 for the construction of the N2 Wild Coast highway.
“As part of reviewing the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), we will heighten our consultation with all involved government spheres and non-governmental stakeholders,” said Dr Blade Nzimande. “These consultations will form a critical path toward the discussion of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) operating model, which includes a new toll roads policy,” Dr. Nzimande said.
Dr Blade Nzimande also noted that, Sanral needs to start facing this issue head-on and listen to the people of Gauteng. The entire e-tolls scheme needs to either be scrapped or be funded differently so that the financial burden is not left with the already overstretched taxpayer. Now more than ever, the Minister must develop a new toll roads policy.
“Experience shows us that a great contributor to the negative public sentiment against the e-tolls project was a deeply lacking public participation process. Until the e-tolls project is scrapped we need to ensure that any future e-toll projects do not repeat these bad public participation processes,” he added.