Question NW10 to the Minister of Transport

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26 March 2024 - NW10

Profile picture: Sithole, Mr KP

Sithole, Mr KP to ask the Minister of Transport

(1)With reference to her reply to question 3824 on 8 January 2024, regarding the international trip to Prague and which highlights the topics that were presented by officials from the SA National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) at the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses, how will the insights gained from such presentations be integrated into SANRAL’s projects and initiatives in the Republic; (2) considering the total cost of R2,52 million for sending the 29 SANRAL officials to Prague, what assurances can she provide that the (a) specified expenditure aligns with SANRAL’s strategic priorities and (b) benefits from the participation justifies the financial expenditure?


(1) The Permanent International Association of Road Congresses (PIARC) is a non-profit organisation established in 1909. PIARC’s broad aim is to promote international cooperation and the exchange of knowledge on issues relating to roads, road infrastructure and road transport. With more than 125 member countries, PIARC brings together governments from all over the globe. Its members represent all levels of economic development and every region in the world. In addition to national governments, PIARC includes regional authorities, collective members, and individual members.

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) represents South Africa and has been an active member and participant in PIARC since 1998. The works of PIARC are primarily done through Technical Committees on four-year cycles. The Technical Committees have representation from various countries from a wide cross section and spectrum around the world, including developed and developing nations. South Africa is an example of a member country with an economy in transition.

It is important for both developed and developing nations including those such as South Africa, that have a world class national road network, to have a voice on these PIARC Technical Committees, to represent the SADC region and the African continent, to ensure that the standards/specification and products produced are aligned to varying needs. The works of the Technical Committees generally culminate in best internal practices and experiences, which take the form of Literature Review Reports, Reports on the Collections of Case Studies for specific topics of interests and relevance, briefing notes, Technical Reports and Technical documents, as well as other technical documents on Technical events, all of which are road or road transport related. There are also various International Seminars held in various parts of the world on road and road transport topics depending on the needs of such countries or regions. These are coordinated by PIARC in conjunction with localised road authorities.

During the past four-year work cycle (2020-2023), SANRAL together with PIARC co-hosted Technical Committee meetings for two Technical Committees namely, TC 2.2 Accessibility and Mobility in Rural Areas and TC 3.1 Road Safety, as well as an International Seminar with SARF and the international Road Federation, in Oct 2022, as part of the knowledge exchange initiatives promoted by PIARC and its members. SANRAL showcased our commitment to Transformation, Skills Development, Engineering Excellence and Flagship projects.

2(a) SANRAL participation in PIARC is directly aligned to SANRAL’s strategic priorities as outlined in the SANRAL ACT 7 of 1998, section 26 which states:

(r) to liaise with bodies of professional persons performing work with regard to national roads in the Republic or similar roads elsewhere;

(s) to liaise and exchange information, knowledge and expertise with the official bodies or authorities entrusted with control over roads of a national or international character in other countries, and to participate in the conferences, seminars and workshops of those bodies or authorities and in the activities of any multinational or international association of those bodies or authorities;

2(b) The contribution of the SANRAL representatives/members on the various PIARC structures have been significant over the last four year cycle, as evident in the body of work and reports, and seminar proceedings, which are available and published on the PIARC official website (

It is clearly evident that South African PIARC Technical Committees members selected to the attend the final meetings and Congress, in addition to presentations made at the said World Road Congress (WRC) in Prague, have also made significant contributions to this international body of work. Their participation in the WRC is therefore a logical conclusion to share and receive feedback on the body of knowledge produced during the four-year cycle.

To further illustrate this point, South Africa had active representation on a number PIARC Technical Committees during the 2020-2023 cycle. The following reports have South African PIARC Technical Committee Members as part of the Author groups and/or acknowledged for their contributions. These include and are not limited to the following technical reports and products under the 4 primary Strategic Themes, namely:

Strategic Theme 1: Road Administrations

Technical Committee on Performance of Transport Administration produced:

  • It´s All About People – Defining and Promoting Diversity and New Talent Management - Technical Report. ISBN: 978-2-84060-773-1
  • Customer Experience and Public Value Creation – Technical Report. ISBN: 978-2-84060-748-9
  • Diversity and Talent Management in Transport Administrations – The Road to Success. - Literature Review Report. ISBN: 978-2-84060-670-3

Technical Committee on Finance and Procurement produced:

  • Best Practices in Funding and Financing of Road Infrastructure - Collection of Case Studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-688-8

Technical Committee on Disaster Management produced:

  • Climate Change, Resilience and Disaster Management for Roads - Seminar ISBN: 978-2-84060-777-9
  • A Study on Financial Management of Disasters in the International Arena - Briefing Note ISBN: 978-2-84060-694-9

Strategic Theme 2: Mobility

Technical Committee on Mobility in Urban Areas produced:

  • Case Studies on Travel Behaviour Data Collection in Metropolitan Regions - Briefing Note ISBN: 978-2-84060-798-4

Technical Committee Accessibility and Mobility in Rural Areas produced:

  • Rural Roads: Pillars of Rural Development - Case Studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-812-7


Technical Committee on Road Freight produced:

  • Control and Enforcement Measures to Reduce Truck Overloading and Associated Infrastructure Damage on Road Networks - Collection of Case Studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-689-5

Technical Committee on Road Network Operation/ITS produced:

  • Utilizing Data to Optimize Road Network Operations - Collection of Case Studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-684-0

Strategic Theme 3: Safety and Sustainability

Technical Committee on Road Safety produced:

  • Specific Road Safety Issues for LMICs: Illustrative Examples - Collection of Case Studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-775-5

Strategic Theme 4: Resilient Infrastructure

Technical Committee on Road Pavements (Structural Design) produced:

  • Innovative Pavement Maintenance and Repair Strategies - Collection of Case Studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-721-2
  • Use of Recycled Materials in Pavements - Case studies ISBN: 978-2-84060-678-9

Technical Committee on Bridges produced:

  • Road Bridges - New Rehabilitation Materials and Technologies - Technical Report ISBN: 978-2-84060-709-0

Technical Committee on Tunnels produced:

  • Good Practices in Maintenance and Traffic Operation of Heavily Trafficked Urban Road Tunnels - Technical Report ISBN: 978-2-84060-734-2
  • Improving Road Tunnel Resilience, Considering Safety and Availability - Literature Review ISBN: 978-2-84060-631-4

Technical Committee Road Design Standards produced:

  • State of the Art in Road Design Standards - Literature Review ISBN: 978-2-84060-708-3

The congress, organised by PIARC and the Czech Road Society, brought together more than 6,000 participants from 120 countries, including 1,700 Czech and Slovak students, 4,000 delegates and 40 ministers and deputy ministers from around the world, who shared their views, policies and practices over five days. The Congress hosted 65 sessions, 16 workshops and 15 technical visits.

The insights gained from the above reports, presentations and discussions are then incorporated, where applicable, into the South African Committee of Transport Officials National Guidelines Series for South Africa, which consist of over 30 publications that are used to guide officials and industry consultants on the applicable best practices to be applied in South Africa.

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