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TRANSPORT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
14 February 2007
ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK: DEPARTMENT BRIEFING
Chairperson: Mr J Cronin (ANC)
Document handed out
Road Infrastructure strategic framework for South Africa 2007
Committee 2006 Annual report [available at Tabled Committee Reports once adopted]
The Committee received a briefing by the Department of Transport on the Road Infrastructure Strategic Framework. The Framework was designed to develop and implement comprehensive and appropriate interventions to ensure service delivery efficiency and sustainability of the road network system.
The Committee supported the promotion and co-ordination of a partnership approach to road network management between the different levels of government. It also welcomed the well-focused strategy and its vision of addressing the maintenance backlog and shortage of new roads. It was hoped that the strategy would ensure the better integration of the road network system and effective management by adequately resourced road authorities, thereby providing transport access and mobility to all South Africans in a sustainable manner.
Department of Transport (DOT) Briefing
Mr S Macozoma (Chief Director: Infrastructure, DOT) briefed the Committee on the Roads Infrastructure Strategic Framework. He outlined that the vision of the Department is to have a well-integrated road networks system that is managed efficiently, and adequately resourced roads authorities, which were accessible to all citizens. The strategy was intended to develop and implement comprehensive and appropriate interventions to ensure service delivery efficiency and sustainability in the road networks system; and to promote coordination and a partnership approach to road network management
Mr Macozoma also emphasised the need for partnerships between the DOT and provinces to strengthen coordination with municipalities and at the national level. To ensure that they confronted the challenges facing the roads network system, the Department decided on roads network management as a response to challenges and to ensure efficiency.
He called for greater attention to the strategic secondary roads network that will serve the dual purpose of feeding into the primary roads network and become the backbone of provincial economies. He also proposed a new road classification system which will assist the Department in implementing the strategic framework.
Mr Macozoma emphasised the importance of information systems and the need for road condition surveys, since they formed the basis for road prioritisation and investment.
The Chairperson asked about the road maintenance backlog and the Department intended reaching its strategic plan in this respect.
Mr Macozoma replied that what has been lacking is a vision for roads development and a guide for all roads authorities to develop a roads plan. Road infrastructure directly affected the economy and its development could only be accomplished by first doing an engineering assessment on the state of the road network to determine what is required.
Mr V Gore (ID) asked how the localised Roads Coordination Bodies (RCBs) would be formed and how they would relate to other stakeholders such as local, provincial and national government.
Mr Macozoma responded that a balanced, cooperative approach would be followed to ensure devolution of resources to all government levels.
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) asked how municipal roads bodies would relate to the SA National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL).
Mr Macozoma responded that SANRAL is a commercial entity that delivers outcomes on behalf of the Department. It is accountable to the Department and Minister of Transport.
Mr B Dhlamini (IFP) asked for clarity on the relationship between senior Roads Coordination Bodies (RCBs) and local RCBs to avoid bureaucracy that would hinder service delivery. Would the senior RCBs have the power to intervene in local RCBs to ensure delivery?
Mr Macozoma answered in the affirmative. The senior RCBs would have the power to intervene to ensure compliance and delivery.
The Chairperson congratulated the Department for coming up with a very clear strategy which outlined how the implementation process would work.
The Committee also emphasised that the Department has to focus more on the transport needs for the 2010 Soccer World Cup to ensure availability and accessibility for transport users.
The meeting was adjourned.
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