RAL ANNUAL PERFORMANCE: MORE JOBS CREATED AND SMMEs EMPOWERED
The newly appointed MEC for Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure, the nourable Ms Nandi Ndalane, a shareholder representative, s reaffirmed the confidence e provincial government has in L under the leadership of Board airperson Mr Matome Ralebipi d CEO Mr Maselaganye Matji. In r first address to the Agency’s nual General Meeting following r appointment to the position Premier Chupu Mathabatha in tober, MEC Ndalane said she s impressed by the improving te of RAL, considering where e Agency was previously. The ency held its crucial AGM ently in Mookgopong in mpopo at the backdrop of the ent report of the Auditorneral, which reflects yet other improved audit for the ency. The Agency’s annual rformance report also shows eat strides made regarding job ation, SMMEs empowerment d rural economic development ough strategic publicvate partnerships and road rastructure programs.
“I was impressed by the state the health of Roads Agency mpopo. I am aware that RAL nt through a painful period ongst others being put under ministration and many other tches too depressing to detail. at gloomy period is gone, and I pe it will never return,” said Ms alane.
Notwithstanding RAL’s pressive annual performance ults, the MEC strongly couraged the Agency’s dership not to rest on its laurels d be satisfied that we have a od entity.” Said Ms Ndalane: e must move from good to great .... I have confidence that we will move from the current unqualified audit to the clean audit. I am therefore challenging you the chairperson of the board as well as the CEO and your team that it is not enough to be good we need to strive to become great. This company needs to be listed amongst the great stateowned company ever existed. It is a challenge which I have full confidence that you will achieve.”
Job creation and economic development through road infrastructure is central to the Agency’s mandate, through which it strives to boost the Province’s economic growth, reduce poverty and increase social cohesion. The Agency has ring-fenced 30% of its construction costs for SMMEs in communities where projects are implemented. In the 2016/17 Financial Year, a total of R164 million, which is an increase from R109 million in the 2015/16, was spent on local SMMEs to boost job creation. This has resulted in the creation of a staggering 1747 job opportunities, a significant jump from 437 job opportunities in 2015/16. Over R60m was spent on local labour, which is an increase from R20.2m spent in the previous financial year.
The empowerment of youth and women has taken center stage in the Agency’s economic developmental programs. A total of 348 local people, 60% of whom are youth and women, were provided with accredited training in the 2016/17 Financial Year, up from 61 the previous year.
As the most rural province of the 9 provinces, the Agency has a backlog of 14,332 KMs that needs upgrade, repairs and maintenance to boost economic activities, which cannot be funded solely through the current allocation from the provincial treasury. In this regard, the Agency has entered into strategic public-private partnerships through which it co-funds roads Infrastructure with the private sector.
Since 2015, over R375 million in strategic partnerships were signed between RAL, the mining and agricultural sector to either construct new roads or rehabilitate others around those mining communities for the greater public good.
MEC Ndalane says she is also impressed by the Private-Public Partnerships RAL is pursuing in the quest to augment the resources to build roads in the province. “This innovative intervention is indeed what we need in our province.” She encouraged RAL to “strengthen its relationship with the private sector. “I have been made aware that the PrivatePublic Partnerships are currently running into millions of rands and indeed that is very encouraging. Both the board and the CEO are encouraged to increase this investment to the benefit of both the private sector and the people of Limpopo.”